38 students receive scholarships from the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

By Christine Kamala

Following of the adverse economic situation following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fundraising Department set up the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which sought to create a safety net to enable underprivileged students to continue their studies. Working with the Educate Your Own initiative, the month-long campaign was able to raise Kes. 650,000, which was awarded to 38 students to pursue their studies.

Through this collaboration, a total of 61 students have received scholarships to study this year, as a result of an additional 23 scholarships worth Ksh. 320,000 being awarded to continuing students by EYO to undertake their studies during the Spring semester. These scholarships have supported beneficiaries from 11 Undergraduate and Graduate programs.

The Grant Award Committee Chair, Mr. George Lumbasi, noted that the beneficiaries were selected based on a number of factors, including their need, to ensure that only the most deserving students were selected.

“To mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis to our students, even students with negative fee balances were considered for the grant since at the time of application, all applicants had fee balances. We had to make sure that the selection process was as meticulous as possible, so as to give each applicant a strong chance, and ultimately, to ensure that the grants went towards supporting students who were most in need,” he said.

The Chief Manager, Fundraising, Mr. Eannes Ongus, noted that the contributions would go a long way towards supporting students in the pursuit of their dreams, praising the willingness of the University community to come together to support its members.

“The fundraising office wishes to thank the USIU-Africa community for their generosity and confidence in the impact of their contributions. The scholars also express great gratitude for the remarkable dedication and compassion that is displayed every day,” he said.

“This is a difficult period for everyone, and we don’t take lightly the sacrifice that each of you have made towards this noble cause of making a difference in these students’ lives,” he added.

Sandra Joan (BA. Psychology), one of the beneficiaries noted that through the grant, she has come to truly believe that USIU-Africa is indeed a family, and she was honored to be part of it. This sentiment was echoed by Sarah Masila (BA, Journalism), who notes that “It is how we connect to each other and how we treat one another with patience, compassion and honesty.”

To strengthen its fundraising efforts to support students, the University has procured an Advancement System (Raisers Edge NXT and Blackbaud Net Community) that will improve donor relations, engagement and online giving. Other strategic programs being implemented include proposal writing to support school grants & research efforts as well as case statements to corporates and foundations.

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