BY TOPAFRICANEWS Reporter
The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation has been implementing a comprehensive Scholarship Program integrating FAWE’s flagship approaches to support girls’ success in education. The approaches include comprehensive scholarship, Tuseme girls’ empowerment, Gender-Responsive Pedagogy (GRP), mentoring by alumni and mentors to guide the scholars on the pathway to academic and career success.
Since 2017-2018 academic year, FAWE Rwanda/MCF scholars were enrolled in two partner Universities, namely University of Rwanda and INES Ruhengeri. It is in this regard that the first cohort of 28 scholars were enrolled at INES Ruhengeri during 2017-2018 academic year and 174 scholars from the cohort two were enrolled in this institution for 2018-2019 academic year.
On 11th March 2022, INES Ruhengeri organized a graduation ceremony for its students who completed their schooling at the end of 2020-2021 academic year. Among the graduands, there are 28 FAWE/MCF scholars from the cohort one and 25 FAWE/MCF scholars from the cohort two.
FAWE Rwanda participated in the graduation ceremony at INES Ruhengeri and took that opportunity to organize an award ceremony for 366 FAWE/MCF scholars enrolled at INES Ruhengeri during 2021-2022 academic year, to sign the Memorandum of Agreement with INES Ruhengeri and to distribute laptops and smartphones to 20 scholars sponsored by Beautiful Word Canada Foundation since 2021_2022 academic year.
During the event FAWE Rwanda celebrated the successful completion of the studies among the beneficiaries of Mastercard foundation scholarship program who graduated from INES Ruhengeri.
In total, INES Ruhengeri graduated more than 800 students among them are 53 FAWE/MCF scholars: 28 scholars from the cohort one and 25 from the cohort two.
All these scholars, who graduated, were commended for their effort while at this university which led them to being among top performers from their respective faculties and awarded for their excellent performance.
UKWITEGETSE Gikumi, who was awarded Rwf 1 million as a top performer in Computer science has been the 1st of her class for three consecutive years up to graduation.
Speaking to Top Africa News, she extended her gratitude to FAWE Rwanda for its support along her school journey from high school until the day she graduated from university.
“I really thank FAWE and Mastercard foundation for being real parents to us and taking care of vulnerable persons like me by providing everything we needed so that we can get access to education”
Not only Gikumi, who was awarded, but also other three scholars namely Byukusenge Joselyne, Umutoni Yolanda and Irakoze Dinah have already started doing professional internship at INES Ruhengeri and shall be Tutor assistants at this university.
This last, Dinah, says “that getting this opportunity to be hired even before graduating, was due to how FAWE Rwanda teaches its scholars to be courageous and to work hard in everything they do. So, since the day I came here I kept that spirit and now you are seeing the results from that.”
Speaking on behalf of INES Ruhengeri, Father Hagenimana Fabien, the vice chancellor says that receiving FAWE scholars at this university brought them changes since the university was not used to receiving a big number of best performers from high school as those best performers were known to be enrolled in the public universities.
“Normally in Rwanda, those best performers in secondary school receive government scholarships to go to university of Rwanda or to Rwanda polytechnic then private tend to receive either those who have courage to say no to the scholarship or those who have sponsors. It’s not really easy for private universities to get the best performers from secondary school.” Father Fabian said.
He also added that “FAWE scholars have been a catalyzer because since their arrival at the university, they changed the whole environment as they brought positive competition and today science department which was formerly dominated by male students is now dominated by females. And that’s why you have seen that girls came among the best performers who were awarded during the graduation ceremony.”671