By Mwakwaya Raymond
Bamburi Cement company has salvaged academic dreams of at least 20 needy students in Kwale by financing their education for Kshs 1.1 million.
The Company says its gesture is part of their corporate social responsibility and support to the government policy of ensuring 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary and on to the college and universities.
The students were stuck at homes after they failed to raise school fees to further their education. However they could hardly believe it when Bamburi Cement company came in handy with full sponsorships.
Bamburi Cement’s Chief Executive Officer CEO Seddiq Hassan said the students were picked from a rigorous process basing on their academic excellence.
‘The students who originate from Mwachome and Denyenye Communities were selected through an Academic talent identification program that assures transparency and equity,” he added
The CEO said the levels of poverty not just in those areas but the Coast Region at large are alarming and need quick timely intervention to enable smooth transition of students to secondary schools.
He added that the scholarship program will go a long way in Addressing the same.
On his part Matuga Sub-County Deputy County Commissioner Alexander Mativo regretted that many students in the region were being hampered by abject poverty from transiting to secondary schools.
Poverty, he said, was a key contributor to teenage pregnancies and cases of early marriages with parents counting on the bride price to feed their families.
He applauded Bamburi Cemnet’s Scholarship programme saying it’s a worthy cause and called on other company’s to come up with such initiatives to uplift the living standards of the locals.
‘There’s need for companies to empower less fortunate communities especially in their areas of operations saying most of the students come from humble backgrounds and any assistance would be highly appreciated” said DCC Mativo
Bamburi Cement has a greenlight from the government to carry out mining of shale alongside those areas.
Addressing the same function, the director of Early Education Development Mr Abbdallah Bilashaka who represented the County Executive Committee member for Education said the County government was doing all it could to address the problems.
Among the students who got the first leg of the sponsorship are Mohamed Hamisi Mwachala, Suleiman Mohamed Mwakuandika, Saidi Mwinyi Buki from Denyenye Primary and Mwalaini Salim from Mwachone alongside others.
The Bamburi Scholarship Program stems from our desire to give back to communities that form an integral part of our operations.
It is designed to improve literacy levels within the community, instill a sense of civic responsibility and provide learning opportunities to academically gifted students from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
One of the beneficiaries Mwalaini who is the seventh-born in a family of nine children, said only two of his siblings have gone through primary school and were it not for the scholarship programme, he would be forced to fend for his siblings.
“This award has given me the confidence to maintain high grades. I’m hoping that the government will consider sponsoring my university education so that I can study engineering,” he added.