My Challenge to all Well Wishers...
Is to partner with Daystar University, Kenya, in providing financial support for students, especially women, who are capable and willing to further their education and bring hope and change to Africa.
Due to poverty in Africa, many intelligent students, especially girls, are lost by the wayside because, though they pass their secondary school exams very well, they cannot continue with university education. Most parents, faced with the decision to send either their son or daughter to university, will send the son. This means there are still very few women in positions where there can effectively impact their generally patriarchal cultures.
Our greatest hope is that young people with a Christian commitment will have university education so that they can occupy decision making positions and help change Africa. I am one of those few that benefited from a university education, and I believe this is the major way of breaking the cycle of poverty in Africa. It may be a cliché, but it is true that “when you educate a woman, you educate a village.”While other types of aid are crucial, educating women is the most significant way of empowering them against all forms of discrimination.
The Need.The need is very great. The scholarship will meet the tuition, room and board, medical insurance, transportation, summer courses, spiritual activities, library, computer and other university fees. An estimate of expenses (all inclusive per year per student) is between $ 5200 and &7000, depending on the exchange rate.
The Types of ScholarshipThere are two types of support, selected and recommended. A “selected” scholarship comes from a list of names selected by the University, while the “recommended” is one initiated by the donor. The donor shares names of students to be supported with the university. Then the University will analyze the student based on its criteria of need, academics and faith commitment. This fund hopes to support students recommended by those who know them best, their local church.
DurationA student normally spends four years at the university, thus needing approximately $ 28,000 to complete the course. It is therefore important to be able to guarantee that this money will be available before accepting the student into the program.
Spiritual Dimention.All students who receive the scholarship must meet eligibility criteria established by Daystar University: a clear pattern of Christian behavior, evidence of a deep Christian commitment, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, enrollment in full time study and genuine financial need.
Risk AnalysisThe system that Daystar has set up to distribute scholarships helps to bring protection to the donor and also guarantees that the most deserving and financially needy students receive scholarships. The donations help to meet the needs of the students already accepted into the program.
ConceptThe fund needs to be a revolving one so that the money can earn when it is not being used, and thereby keep growing to ensure that the fund does not go bankrupt.
Design and CapabilityMy hope is that we can get initial grants of $500,000. With that amount we can initially support ten students for four years at $280,000, while the rest 220,000 would be invested for future. I understand that there are a number of Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) willing to match dollar for dollar, as long as one has raised at least $500,000 initially. Also more money would be added from individual donors and invested, so that more students can be supported, as money becomes available.
ControlI have suggested to the university that this be a fund with its own account, and that they inform me about all major decisions, including making the account available to me for inspection, as an interested partner. I also suggested that a committee, including a family representative (Currently my sister Jocelyn Mwangi, who is resident in Kenya) take care of day to day running of the committee. It will also be subject to normal university audit.
SustainabilityIf the suggestions in 7 and 8 above are followed, I believe this fund can become self sustaining within five years.
External RiskThe external risks would mainly be similar to those that would apply to the university as a whole,mainly economic and political changes, within which all of us must operate.
ConclusionEducating our youth, especially girls, is a challenge Africa must face. We have no guarantee that they will be able to face corruption and other injustices that stop Africa from progressing, but if we give them a Christian education that helps build up character as well, we have some hope that the next generation will be better than ours. I hope you will help me contribute to this noble goal by either donating to the fund or buying a book or both.
Mary Nyambura Muchiri (Ph.D.)
Associate Professor of English
Upland, IN 46989 USA