The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa graduates 223 Scholars from the Transformative Leadership Program; hosts annual Scholars' Conference and Award Program (SCAP)

On Thursday, April 25, 2024, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa graduated 223 Scholars in Cohort 4 and 5 from the Transformative Leadership Training Program, facilitated by VS Management and Consulting. The graduation took place during the annual Scholars' Conference and Award Program (SCAP). The event was a culmination of months of intensive training and mentorship, aimed at equipping Scholars with the skills and knowledge to become transformative leaders in their communities.

In attendance at the ceremony were the Director, Advancement and Partnerships, Mr. Eannes Ongus, the Program Director, Ms. Linet Aguko. Also in attendance were Ms. Nadia Abdalla, Director of Africa Communications at CopAfrica, who was also the chief guest, Mr. Aziricome Popo, Director of Angaza Foundation, Mr. Tonny Kamuya, a Social Worker at Zaidi ya Dreams, and Ms. Naomi Bwalya, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar at USIU-Africa and part of the winning group, The Change Agents. They participated in a plenary session moderated by Mr. Adeyemi Asaba, Lead Consultant, VS Management and Consulting, on the Conference theme, "Empowering Communities: Transformative Impact Through Grassroot Initiatives," sharing insights and experiences from their work in community development, discussing at length the positive impact that community development projects had.

In the keynote address, Nadia spoke about her journey as a leader, which she started as a women’s rights activist in Mombasa all the way to the Pan-African level. In her remarks, she urged the Scholars to always bet on themselves if they wanted to succeed in life.

“Transformative leadership is all about a commitment to self and to the community. You must understand clearly what you stand for, and go for it fearlessly. As Scholars, you must believe in yourselves and believe that you are destined for greatness. Don’t take your position in the world lightly; use it to create a positive ripple effect in your lives, your communities and the continent, “she said.

In addition to the graduation, the ceremony also featured presentations from the finalists who took part in the Scholars' Conference and Award Program (SCAP) Impact Challenge. The teams presented their projects and their impacts to the audience and a panel of judges who assessed the projects for their excellence in storytelling, resource mobilization, project impact, sustainability, localization, and project quality.

The Change Agents, emerged victorious, clinching the grand prize of Ksh. 50,000 for their project focused on imparting life skills to young mothers in Kariobangi, in fulfillment of SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth). The Social Battalion were second, securing the Ksh.30,000 prize for their project that focused on installation of solar panels at Friends Anduru Educational Centre, to address the problem of poor lighting in classrooms that meant teachers and students relied on natural light for teaching and learning. In third place were Elite Innovators, who won Ksh. 10,000 for their project which involved the renovation of a leaking counselling room, offering mentorship sessions and computer literacy classes at Kirigiti Girls Rehabilitation Center in Kiambaa.

Ms. Linet Aguko, the Program Director, congratulated the Scholars on their graduation, urging them to leverage the knowledge and skills acquired during the Transformative Leadership Training Program to become transformative leaders and changemakers who would positively impact their communities.

“It is our hope that taking part in the Transformative Leadership Training and the SCAP Challenge have inspired in you a deeper social consciousness, and has equipped you with the tools and skills to make a positive difference in your communities. It is our hope that each of you now feel even readier to become responsible youth who can contribute to the development and sustainability of your communities,” she noted.

Social Media