The Wings to fly scholarship programme has been urged to increase the number of beneficiaries for North Eastern region.
Talking to the press in Garissa town on Monday, Sister Everline Ingoshe , the Director for Garissa Catholic Diocese said that several needy and eligible students risk being locked out for lack of sponsorship.
Ingoshe said that 8 out of 50 eligible candidates were picked by the wings to fly scholarship panel that she is a member leaving out 42 without anyone to sponsor them.
“We received 200 applicants and we selected 50 for the final interview of which we picked 4 girls and 4 boys. The 42 we left out were all eligible and the government and donors must find ways and means to enable the candidates pursue their education,” Ingoshe said.
“I want to appeal to individuals, organizations and other well-wishers to come together and assist candidates from poor background pursue their dreams and help their families out of poverty,” she added.
The Garissa Branch Equity Manager, Stephen Karumba who spoke after meeting the students and their parents or guardians said the selection exercise was rigorous and panel ensured deserving students were picked.
Among the criteria used to pick the beneficiaries include students whose parents or guardians live under extreme poverty, those in informal settlement as well as orphans.
“We were also giving priority to those children whose parents have terminal illness such as cancer or HIV aids” he added.
Sister Ingoshe said the selection panel was free and fair because the minority groups were also given the chance.
She said the scholarship will transform families that would otherwise be in abject poverty.
“Not many families can afford the fees for secondary schools, the scholarship will go a long way in helping vulnerable families in catering for their children’s school fees as well as other essentials,” she said.
The wings to fly scholarship will cater for the uniforms, shopping, transport to and from school, pocket money, boarding and school fees for the four year secondary education.
By Jacob Songok