The Finlays Community Trust has today awarded 30 students scholarships through the Swire Masters Scholarship and the Undergraduate Degree Scholarship programs as it celebrates its one-year anniversary.
“Over the past year, we have intentionally worked with the community to identify investments that would create an enduring impact to them. For instance, under our education pillar, we have invested Ksh 10.7 million in the graduate Scholarship; providing inclusive opportunities to students to undertake their studies at a university of their choice in the UK. Further, we have invested over Ksh 45 million to educate 56 undergraduate students and Ksh 4 million in secondary school scholarships”, the Trust’s chairperson, Bishop Alfred Rotich highlighted during the celebration.
The Masters Scholarship 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. It is funded by Swire Group and administered by Finlays Community Trust. 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. Two students are chosen each year through a highly competitive process to pursue a master’s degree at a university of their choice in the United Kingdom. Since its inception, the scholarship has benefited 21 students and has cost more than Kshs 91.6 million.
The Undergraduate Scholarship was awarded to 28 recipients, 22 of whom were from the 11 constituencies in Kericho and Bomet counties (two from each constituency) and six (6) of whom were Finlays employees’ dependents. The scholarship targets bright and needy students from the two counties. Each year, 28 students are accepted into the program. Students from all the eleven constituencies in the two counties are eligible for the scholarship. A highly competitive process is used to select the recipient. The scholarship is valued at Kshs. 150,000/= per student per academic year for the duration of the program. As part of the scholarship package, the recipients also receive a laptop computer. The scholarship has benefited 372 undergraduate degree students and has cost more than Ksh. 99 million since its inception.
Bishop Rotich also outlined other complimentary investments made under the education pillar with the launch of the mentorship program this year. “Under this program, we are reaching out to students so that they are inspired and are able to grow wholesomely thereby giving them the necessary life skills to navigate life after school and succeed in their careers.”
Under the infrastructure pillar, the Trust has been developing amenities to support socioeconomic development in Bomet and Kericho Counties. Since 2010, the Trust has invested over Ksh 251 million in school, public health, energy and water infrastructure projects.
Commending the milestones achieved by the Trust, Simeon Hutchinson, James Finlay (K) Limited Managing Director and Patron of the Trust said. “We are extremely proud of the milestones achieved by the Trust. Their investment in young people through scholarships and infrastructural projects is key in setting up young people for success. Their strategy in partnering with different stakeholders in the community is important in ensuring that the projects invested in are those most relevant to the community. Important to note is the effort towards bringing awareness on climate mitigation where the Trust partnered with St. Mary’s in conjunction with the County Government of Bomet’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Association of the Religious Sisterhood of Kenya to plant 500 indigenous trees in Bomet County.”
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.