Only a small percentage of children who go through Free Primary Education programs in Kenya are able to transition into secondary schools. Although there are several provisions for them from the government including bursaries and educational funds, they do not cater to a majority of the needy students seeking secondary education.
Scholarship programs are a small way of ensuring that the dreams of these bright scholars are achieved. In Kenya, there are several foundations that are set up to provide funds for needy students who are not able to enrol in secondary schools and thus further their education.
The Palmhouse Foundation was formally founded in 2002 under the Trust Act and the NGO Coordination Act.
Over time the Foundation has grown and facilitates the education of students from less fortunate backgrounds. The Foundation has over 900 beneficiaries who are supported through secondary school in Kenya’s top institutions.
Programs such as the Palmhouse Foundation continue to be integral to the provision of quality education for young Kenyans. Children for marginalized communities and hardship areas are afforded opportunities to better their lives and those of their communities, through education.
Scholarships from programs and foundations such as these, thus allow a reduction in the number of children who have not gone through the secondary level of education. This, in turn, alleviates the burden of illiteracy for many of the country’s youth.
Among the supporters of the Foundation is the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA). Between 2010 and 2015, CBA sponsored 4 students every year through an annual sponsorship fee of Kshs 1.2 million for their entire secondary school education. In 2016, the bank increased this sponsorship to 10 students, with a fee of Kshs 3.2 million.
“CBA’s partnership with Palmhouse Foundation covers a selection of deserving students, paying their tuition fees and mentoring them to ensure they have a rounded approach to life,” spoke Mr Chris Pasha, the CBA Group Head of Marketing and Communications.
Through the years, the bank’s staff have also volunteered and joined the Palmhouse Foundation trustees in the interview and selection process conducted in 9 counties (Mombasa, Nakuru, Murang’a, Embu, Kakamega, Kitui, Kitale, Kisumu and Kiambu). During the school holidays in April and August, the CBA staff also conducts mentorship sessions and programs for these students which continually impact and influence these students positively.
This year marks the ninth year of the partnership between CBA and the Palmhouse Foundation with the CBA group donating funds to the foundation in support of their sponsorship program. Through a 3.2 million shilling kitty, CBA will fully sponsor 10 students through their entire secondary school education.
“Through this partnership, we have so far been able to give 50 of them an opportunity to realise their dreams, transform their lives, their families and society,” said Mr Pasha.
Of the beneficiaries of the Palmhouse Foundation, over 400 have completed their secondary education and many are pursuing their post-secondary levels both locally and abroad. It is evident therefore that this partnership will in long term, fulfil the education dreams for needy and deserving students across the country.