The notion that every child deserves to have their talent and hard work rewarded is a principle on which the Mwezi Foundation was founded. Our solar lights are a hand up, not a handout, because they help students achieve that which they are already capable of and enable them to fulfil their full potential. With a Mwezi solar light at school and at home, students with the desire to study can do so without being obstructed by darkness and difficult conditions.
It was with this principle in mind that we launched the Mwezi Foundation Scholarship back in February. Since Mwezi was founded in 2015, our solar lights have been boosting the exam results of the students who have access to them, which, in turn, has opened doors for them in further education and beyond.
Unfortunately, however, some students are unable to accept the rewards that their talent and determination brings them, since their families are unable to afford the fees that must be paid in order to send them to secondary school.
The Mwezi Foundation Scholarship was created to help pupils who find themselves in this situation, as successful applicants have their secondary school education funded by Mwezi. The scholarship also covers the cost of any other necessities that are required to attend school, such as textbooks and a uniform.
The scholarship was funded by close friends and supporters of the Mwezi Foundation, such as the family members of our pro bono staff.
To be eligible for the scholarship, a student had to have been a beneficiary of a Mwezi solar light for at least one year. Additionally, applicants had to have no electricity at home, and to have already earned a place at a national or county school.
The application deadline was 24th March 2022, and we received an overwhelming number of exceptional submissions. In fact, the standard of the applications was so high that we ended up awarding the scholarship to four (yes, four!) talented candidates: Florence, Ramadhan, Alice and Sofia. Here (in no particular order) is a little bit of information about each of this year’s gifted Mwezi Foundation scholars:
Florence attended Mitsajeni Primary School, where she dreamed of becoming a lawyer one day. This ambition motivated her to study with her solar light regularly, and, as result, she achieved an outstanding score of 414/500 in her KCPE. This won her a place at Mama Ngina National School, and her school fees – as well as any other school-related expenses – will now be covered by the Mwezi Foundation.
Florence believes that success is the natural product of cooperation and mutual support. In her application letter, she told Mwezi that, if the scholarship were to enable her to take up her place at Mama Ngina, she would “help her fellow students to achieve their goals” as well as pursuing her own. This attitude has helped her to thrive at secondary school, and we look forward to following her progress.
Ramadhan is an extremely talented and motivated student from Kasidi Primary School. Much of his determination to excel at school stems from his desire to support his family: in his application letter, he wrote that he wanted to protect his siblings from financial hardship and make his parents proud.
Ramadhan achieved a place at a National Secondary School called Utumishi. His school fees (and other expenses) have been fully funded by Mwezi, and he is doing incredibly well. In fact, in a recent exam, Ramadhan was the 12th highest scorer in his cohort at Utumishi, which consists of 382 pupils! Many of the other students will have come from top private primary schools, so Ramadhan should be immensely proud of this achievement.
Alice was a top-performing student at Bwagamoyo Primary School when she applied for the Mwezi Foundation Scholarship. She was encouraged to apply by her teacher, Mr Mnazi Jackson, who also wrote Alice’s letter of recommendation (he is stood beside her in this photo).
Alice scored an impressive 385/500 in her KCPE, which earned her a place at Moi Nyabohense, a national secondary school. Now that Mwezi has covered her school fees, she is excited to have the opportunity to continue studying, and dreams of becoming a surgeon one day.
Sofia attended Chigombero Primary School, where she was a dedicated and enthusiastic student. With her Mwezi solar light at hand, she studied every day, and her grades rose steadily over the course of her year in class 8. By the end of her time at primary school, she attained the brilliant KCPE score of 403/500.
Sofia’s excellent exam results won her a place at Murray Girls’ Senior School. This is a top local school, and her school fees are already being covered by her county (Kwale). In her case, therefore, the Mwezi Foundation Scholarship will cover all of the additional necessities that she requires to attend school, such as the cost of her books and her school uniform.
Additionally, Sofia has trouble with her eyesight and needs glasses, but her teacher informed the Mwezi Foundation that her parents cannot afford to buy her some. Consequently, the scholarship will also ensure that Sofia always has the pair of glasses that she needs.
She is currently thriving at Murray Girls’, and hopes that her time there will set her on the path to achieving her dream of becoming a judge.
Sofia ended her application letter with these words about the Mwezi Foundation Scholarship: “This is a saving opportunity which will empower children from poor families, who should have access to education and be able to enjoy a bright future like any other kid, despite the different economic status.”
We are excited to follow the progress of all of our talented scholars over the course of next year, and can’t wait to hear all about their achievements!