THE MASTERCARD FOUNDATION AND FAWE RWANDA LAUNCH A 9.3 MILLION US DOLLAR SCHOLARS PROGRAM FOR 1,200 GIRLS IN RWANDA FAWE Rwanda is proud to join The MasterCard Foundation in launching a 10-year Scholars Program to develop next generation leaders with quality and relevant education for Africa's transformation


FAWE Rwanda is proud to join The MasterCard Foundation in launching a 10-year Scholars Program to develop next generation leaders with quality and relevant education for Africa's transformation


May 20, 2014, Kigali, Rwanda


In partnership with The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, FAWE will on Tuesday, May 20, launch a ten year national level scholarship program in Rwanda. The partnership will enable the organisation to provide a comprehensive scholarship package to 1,200 girls who are academically promising, and are from economically challenging backgrounds, thereby enabling them to access quality education throughout upper secondary and the majority of these in tertiary education. 


The scholarship package will respond not only to the Scholars’ economic challenge, but also include an array of support and enrichment services like tutoring, mentoring, transition support, leadership training and networking  that will ease their transition to Rwandan public universities or even other MasterCard Foundation partner universities in Africa, USA and Canada. The Program will be implemented in more than 10 schools located in all five provinces of the country, including the City of Kigali. 

Rwanda has made enormous strides in improving access to education at all levels and in promoting gender equality within the education system, but even though gender parity has been achieved in primary and secondary education and girls’ performance is improving, this is not the case in tertiary education.

“Girls are still fewer, especially in Science-related subjects which are still considered as domains for males. Reasons for lower participation of girls in Science, Mathematics and Technology include the assumption that girls are less able than boys, and that Mathematics and Science are too difficult for girls,” says Rwanda’s Minister for Education Dr Vincent Biruta.

He adds, “These beliefs get inculcated into the girls’ minds that they end up believing it themselves, and thus excluding themselves from Science subjects. Yet, we know that girls are as able as boys. What they need is being encouraged and empowered so that they can feel more confident”. 

We are therefore happy that the MasterCard Foundation has chosen to contribute to the promotion of an inclusive and equitable education in Rwanda, by supporting and empowering bright but socio-economically underprivileged schoolgirls, who would not be able to complete quality education if they didn’t get assistance, he says.  “The Ministry of Education pledges its support to FAWE Rwanda to ensure that the Program meets its targets”.

“We are pleased to be working in partnership with FAWE to ensure young girls in Rwanda are fully supported throughout their secondary and university education,” says Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation.  “The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program enables girls to learn and discover how they can become active leaders of change in their communities.”

Ms Hendrina Doroba, Executive Director of the FAWE Regional Secretariat says, “We are very excited about the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program especially because of its innovative nature. As a ten-year program, it helps us design a more sustainable model of transforming girls in Africa”.

"This Program gives FAWE a chance to modify, strengthen and scale up the best practices and successful models we have developed over the past twenty years of working in girls education in Africa. 

“In Rwanda in particular, the program enables us to ensure that girls are not left behind in promoting the government agenda to enhance technology in development by building the interest and skills of girls in these subjects in participating schools,” she added.

“The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is invaluable to FAWE and has come just at the right time as it allows us to take the best of our 21 years of experience and package it into an innovative, exciting, results oriented and most importantly sustainable program for the benefit of Africa's children.”

The MasterCard Foundation and a collaborative, global network of education institutions and non-profit organisations are ensuring that academically talented, yet economically challenged young people are equipped with the knowledge, skills and competencies needed to contribute to economic growth and social development in their communities.

For more details please call; Edgar Atuhaire (Tel +250 788 262125) 

or Eugenie Mukanoheli (Tel. +250 788 302 427)

or email coordinator@fawerwa.org


FAWE Rwanda started in 1997 as a chapter of the Regional Forum for African Women Educationalist (FAWE) in Nairobi. FAWE is the leading pan-African Non-Governmental Organisation working to empower girls and women through gender-responsive education in sub-Saharan Africa. Our aim is to ensure that African girls receive equal education and life chances so that they grow into women who have the knowledge, skills and opportunity to contribute to the economic, social and democratic development of their societies. www.fawe.org 


The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program provides academically talented yet financially disadvantaged young people, particularly from Africa, with access to quality and relevant secondary and university education. Students selected for the Program receive a holistic set of financial, social, and academic supports throughout their education and during their post-graduate transitions. The Program consists of a global network of education institutions and non-profit organizations, who together believe that education is a catalyst for social and economic betterment. The Program aims to educate 15,000 young people, and enable them to contribute to the economic growth and social of development in their countries of origin.  To learn more about the Scholars Program please visit www.mastercardfdnscholars.org


The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada, with $9 billion in assets. Through collaboration with partner organizations in 46 countries, it is creating opportunities for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly in Africa. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is a separate and independent entity. The policies, operations, and funding decisions of the Foundation are determined by its own Board of Directors and President and CEO. To learn more about The MasterCard Foundation, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org.

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