Launched in August 2002, the Ufunguo
Scholarship programme is a major education initiative to raise the level of
computer literacy amongst young Kenyans from economically disadvantaged
backgrounds. Over time the programme aims to benefit 1% of school leavers by
providing access to quality ICT training courses managed by delivery partner,
the Institute of Advanced Technology (IAT).
literacy is nowadays a
almost every white-collar job applicant in Kenya.This is especially true in the
prevailing economic climate, in which most employers are not prepared to sponsor their employees in acquiring ICT skills, even though these are
needed in their workplace.
As in many countries, Kenyans live on
either side of the ‘digital divide’.
The minority urban elite not only has access to higher quality general
education and life-skills development but also to ICT training, both at their
secondary schools and in private colleges. Those from disadvantaged economic
backgrounds – the majority – do not.
Acquiring the more technical qualifications that could lead to a career in ICT poses a bigger problem for the majority, as training for these qualifications is even more expensive.
Through the Ufunguo programme, over
2,000 young Kenyans will receive full or partial scholarships every year.
Scholarships of different value are available and are awarded using a
combination of means and merit based assessment of applicants. Currently Over 2500 scholarships have been awarded,with over 200 at full scholarship level.
Scholars acquire valuable internationally recognised qualifications that give them an edge in the job market, and facilitate the development of both academic and career potential, these include:
International Computer Driving Licence- An international qualification which enables one to demonstrate their competence in use of computer applications
As is demonstrated by the numerous scholar testimonials, the reception from scholars on their training has been tremendous and the programme enjoys considerable goodwill from across a variety of institutions and companies. Several scholars have already been identified for additional support with 10 former scholars now actually employed at IAT. The Public relations plan aims to build on these aspects to demonstrate the impact on the lives of scholars and the benefits for society as a whole.
As part of IAT’s CSR the Ufunguo scholarship programme is a firmly grounded, well-designed and practical initiative,which directly impacts the lives of thousands of young Kenyans, their families, friends and communities.