The Wings to Fly scholarship program, an initiative of the Equity Group and Mastercard Foundation (MCF), was established to support secondary education for top performing children from financially challenged backgrounds. With support from other partners, the program offers access to leadership training to previously marginalized children in all counties.
The program offers comprehensive support for the scholars through provision of tuition fees, accommodation, books, uniform, shopping, pocket money and transport to and from school during their 4 years of secondary education. It has so far supported 26,304 bright but economically challenged scholars. MCF has so far committed to support 10,000 scholars through two phases of funding with the last intake joining the program in 2021.
The Equity scholarship program was formed to aid high performing children hailing from less fortunate backgrounds. The program beneficiaries are selected from across Kenya’s 47 counties, based on their performance in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination. Awareness of the program is conveyed through public forums i.e. administrative chief’s forums, places of worship, through radio announcements and social media channels. Application is made at all Equity Bank branches, Equity Agents and on the Equity Group Foundation’s Website. Beneficiaries of the scholarship are selected by the Community Scholarship Selection Board (CSSB), which is made up of key leaders in the community and is chaired by the County or sub-County Director of Education.
The Wings to Fly mentorship program supports a scholar’s holistic development through four facets; encouraging academic excellence, developing a value-centered life, nurturing transformative leadership and embracing a culture of giving back.
Mentorship is offered at three different capacities:
- University student mentors carry out school visits and monitor academic performance. They are mainly alumni of the program.
- Through forums facilitated by CSSBs and Equity Bank, parents, guardians and Equity Bank staff engage with mentors and scholars. These are career talks and giveback activities that aim to impact the community positively.
- In the Annual Education and Leadership Congress, cohorts of Wings to Fly scholars come together for week-long intensive, inspiring and educative forums where they get to learn from the role models in society such as successful professionals, government persons, entrepreneurs, and community leaders.