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This Saturday, roughly 30 primary school (Standard 7) graduates came to Kilimahewa to complete the essay portion of their application for an EdPowerment Discovery Sponsorship.  This is the third year that EdPowerment has offered two scholarships to one female and one male outstanding primary school graduate with no financial – and often no parental – support.   This year we asked the students to write about the importance of water to their family, community and country.  They write two essays, one in Kiswahili and one in English.  This process helps us to evaluate their thinking and their command of English.

Every student last Saturday was dreaming about a Discovery Scholarship. EdPowerment commits not just to secondary school, but to sponsorship as far as the student can progress educationally – until he or she is ready to begin a career.  We know that a simple secondary school sponsorship for the poorest of students means little unless they can continue to A level, vocational or university studies.  This commitment can last 9 years: Secondary School (O levels or Form 1 – 4), High School (A levels or Form 5 – 6), and university studies up to 3 years.  The total cost of such as commitment can range from $5,000 for secondary boarding school alone to $20,000 for an entire ride through university.

Look at these young people as they struggle to write about water – and then think of them as businesspeople, computer specialists, teachers, lawyers and other professionals. This is the dream that an EdPowerment sponsorship transforms into a reality.