Since inception, the scholarship programme has benefitted 566 secondary school students, 400 undergraduate students and 23 graduate students in the two counties.
The Finlays Community Trust, an independent charity that empowers communities and nurtures sustainable growth in Kericho and Bomet counties, has awarded 30 students scholarships through the masters and undergraduate scholarship programs at Fair Hills Hotel, Bomet County.
Twenty-eight students will receive full undergraduate scholarships to study at various Kenyan public universities, while two students will receive full postgraduate scholarships to study at universities of their choice in the United Kingdom. The Trust remains dedicated in its mission of empowering communities through education and will continue to support initiatives that foster growth and inclusivity within the counties.
The Masters Scholarship, which is funded by Swire Group and administered by the Trust, was inspired by the need to provide beneficiaries with unique technical and soft skills, allowing them to compete in both the local and global labour markets. By exposing the students to different cultures, they are able to expand their personal and professional networks which are key to the development of their communities. To achieve this, two students are admitted every year to universities of their choice in the UK. On the other hand, the undergraduate Scholarship, which is funded by the Trust, is given to 28 beneficiaries, 22 of whom are from the 11 constituencies, two from each constituency, in the two counties and six (6) of whom are dependents of Finlays employees.
“We are incredibly proud to support the youth in Kericho and Bomet through these scholarships. Education is the key to unlocking potential and creating lasting change. By investing in their education, we are investing in the future of our communities. To date, the three scholarship initiatives, some of which were run directly by James Finlay Kenya before the Trust was created, have benefitted 566 secondary school students, 400 undergraduate students, and 23 graduate students at a cost of Kshs 272.2 million,” the Trust’s chairperson, Bishop Alfred Rotich highlighted during the award ceremony.
The scholarship recipients were selected based on their academic excellence, financial need, leadership potential, and commitment to community service. Each scholarship includes financial support for tuition fees, and other educational expenses, ensuring that the recipients have a conducive environment to pursue their education.
Commenting on the award ceremony, Education Principal Secretary Hon. Dr. Richard Belio Kipsang said, “We commend the Finlays Community Trust for its continued dedication to fostering education and empowering the youth in Kericho and Bomet. The government will continue to engage and partner with all stakeholders to ensure that all Kenyan students have equitable access to quality education, research, innovation, entrepreneurship and employability opportunities for the benefit of their parents, communities and for the posterity of Kenya,”.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Kenya’s tertiary enrollment rate stands at 10.04 percent; which is way lower than the global average of 40%. Kenya has unveiled a new portal to allow students to apply for scholarships, loans and bursaries under the new university funding system which has been implemented this month. Sustained and intensified efforts from the government and various stakeholders remain critical to ensure a brighter educational future for Kenya.
The Trust has also held mentorship sessions at St. Monica Chebangang Girls’, Chepkoton, Sosiot Girls, Cheborge Boys, Cheborge Girls, Kapkisiara Girls, Chebonei Girls, and Tenwek Boys secondary schools since the program’s commencement in mid-last year; enabling students to grow wholesomely thereby giving them the necessary life skills to navigate life after school and succeed in their careers.
The Finlays Community Trust was officially launched in 2021 as an independent charitable trust to replace Finlays Charitable Trust. The Trust aims to empower communities and nurture sustainable growth in Kericho and Bomet Counties. To achieve this, the Trust has been guided by its mission to create sustainable, long-term impact by supporting a variety of projects and initiatives across the strategic pillars of education, infrastructure, health and disaster relief.