A multinational tea company based in Kericho County has come to the aid of locals through bursary program for students interested in pursuing their Master’s (MA) degree course in the United Kingdom (UK).
James Finlay Company Limited has this year awarded two students, one from Kericho and another from Bomet counties with scholarships to study in UK under the Swire Masters Scholarship program.
The beneficiaries have received the prestigious scholarship support to the tune of Sh13M.
Speaking to KNA at the company’s Chepkembe Head office grounds at the outskirts of Kericho town, Corporate Affairs Manager Sammy Kirui said the prestigious scholarship program was initiated in 2012 with the aim of empowering and equipping students with learning experiences and skills for the future.
“Finlays introduced this program in 2012 with the aim of supporting young students to advance in their chosen careers. We thought there were certain skills that are required in the community and maybe people have not been getting the right resources for training, the more reason we introduced this program. In the UK the students will not only be exposed to better facilities but will also gain experience at international level hance after the programme they can work in any part of the world,” said Kirui.
The Manager revealed that the scholarship is funded by Swire Charitable Trust and administered by James Finlay noting that since its inception in 2012, Sh79.7 million has been spent, benefitting 16 students from the two counties.
“We have so far sponsored 16 students and some are working in corporate companies in the world while others are working with community driven organizations in Kenya,” stated Kirui.
The program runs for one year and caters for both air ticket, tuition and other logistics relevant to the program. The two students will commence their studies in September this year.
Kirui said the two candidates qualified through a rigorous and competitive process.
“This year we had 87 students who applied for the scholarship, but we only pick two who successfully had the qualifications required. We were looking for their academic excellence, someone who can be a good manager and someone who can interact easily with other people and someone who can conduct consultations when taxed with work related responsibilities,” he said.
In an interview, one of the beneficiaries, Joyline Cherotich, 24, from Bomet County said she was happy that Finlays had assisted her to pursue her MA degree in Civil and Structural Engineering at the University of Plymouth in the UK.
“I completed my Bachelor’s degree (BA) in 2019 at Masinde Muliro University where I scored first-class honors having undertaken my dream course Civil and Structural Engineering. I scored an A- in my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations. It has been my dream since I was in primary school to do a project in design of structures. During my second year at the university, I got an opportunity to attend an exchange program at the University of Plymouth UK during which, my dream of one day working on design of structures more so bridges, became even more pronounced. I also mentor students at Kanyang’oro Mixed Secondary School. Am so grateful for this scholarship. With it, my dream will truly come true one day.” said Cherotich.
The second beneficiary of the program, Emmanuel Kiplangat Koech, 26, said he thanked Finlays for the golden opportunity to pursue his MA degree in Electronical and Electric Engineering majoring in embedded systems and control at the University of Leicester.
Koech added that he undertook his BA in Electricals and Electronic Engineering at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUT) where he scored a first class honor after attaining a straight A in KCSE.
By Sarah Njagi