The Cooperative Bank has this year sponsored 655 needy students to join Form One. This has been achieved through the bank’s scholarship scheme which is popularly known as the Co-operative Bank Foundation Scholarship Scheme.

These latest scholarship have brought the number of needy students who have benefitted from this program to 5,900. This scholarship scheme was launched in 2007 and is funded through the lenders Co-op Foundation Scholarship Scheme that seeks to bridge educational gap.

Of the 655 new scholarships to Form One students, 420 were awarded by the bank’s Regional Delegates’ Forums and the remaining 235 scholarships, at 5 per county, awarded by County Governments in all the 47 counties

Co-operative Bank’s Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Gideon Muriuki has said that the bank is also educating a total of 159 students who were selected from the top performing beneficiaries of the secondary school scholarships, in their university education.

“Our scholarship beneficiaries are selected at the grassroots level by Co-operative Societies across the country through a well-established national delegates system. Co-operative Societies, who are the face of Kenya, identify well-performing students from disadvantaged backgrounds and bring these names into a regional forum where delegates debate and select the most deserving cases. At the banks’ head office, our role is to process payments to the schools and monitor the students’ performance through the four years in secondary school. The top 28 in the Form Four examination each year are granted an additional full scholarship for their university education,” Dr. Muriuki said.

Of the 5,900 deserving young Kenyans who have benefited from the top-tier lender’s scholarship program, 4,110 have gone through secondary education and 140 through university.

“Unless corporate institutions and all people of goodwill come together to support initiatives within the education sector, brilliant but needy Kenyans will never realise their full potential. Being poor does not mean that one isn’t bright or has no potential. A large number of Kenyans holding positions of responsibility today were educated with loans from the Co-operative Movement.  It is for this reason that the Co-operative Bank, being the premier co-operative institution in Kenya, has taken the lead in this area,” Dr. Muriuki explained on why the lender runs the initiative.

The bank provides full school fees scholarships for the entire four years of secondary education to the selected beneficiaries. On the other hand, university scholarships are awarded to the best performing students from each region.