At least 214 girls have received scholarships from the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), Rwanda Chapter, and MasterCard Foundation to study at INES-Ruhengeri in Musanze District.
The scholarship recipients, all from vulnerable families across the country, will pursue science-related courses.
Antonia Mutoro, the Country Director of FAWE, said the scholarships aim to support government efforts toward facilitating girls to pursue their education.
“We do provide support to only brilliant girls who are from financially disadvantaged families which are mainly in the first and second category of social stratification. We thoroughly select the beneficiaries in close collaboration with local government entities and schools,” she explained.
Mutoro challenged the scholars to optimise the opportunity they have been given by striving to effect positive change in their communities.
“Do not think you are too small to make a change and this is the time because the future is always now,” she advised, adding; “Start with something simple, just be clean and clean the area around you and yourself and then see the milestone you will get. After your success, you should be saying, ‘what can I do for others that can make a difference’?”
The FAWE Country Director called on the scholars to start assuming leadership responsibilities, saying that it will shape their future for the better.
“Leadership is solving a problem that you see that nobody else has taken care of, leadership is a self-initiative, leadership is thinking critically to make a difference, leadership is teamwork building… so leadership is that thing you do first before anybody else sees it to make a progress or to solve an issue,” she added.
Mutoro went on to say that developing leadership skills among the girl child will among other benefits help them avoid mistakes that can ruin their lives.
Besides the 214 scholarships that FAWE provided to new students at INES-Ruhengeri, it also renewed scholarship contracts for 212 other girl students from the two previous cohorts that the school received since 2017.
The rector of INES-Ruhengeri, Father Dr Habien Hagenimana, said that partnering with FAWE Rwanda and MasterCard Foundation has brought about students’ dynamism within the campus.
“Most of the scholarship recipients normally come in with good grades and we, therefore, see this as an opportunity as they assist their fellow who may have constraints in some subjects,” he noted.
Philomène Nyirakanyambo, 19, and one of the scholars who enrolled in Biomedical Laboratory Sciences, said she was worried about her future given that couldn’t afford to pay for her university studies.
“Now that I am given the scholarship, my future is guaranteed; I thus want to study intensively and achieve my dreams of becoming a dermatologist,” she told The New Times.