Sponsorships are common in Europe and United States where private sponsors support students from the local communities. The term sponsorship is less frequent in Kenya, while international students talk of finding sponsors, and Kenyan students mostly speak of finding scholarships. In Kenya, the two main bodies which offer scholarships to students are the Government of Kenya and Non-governmental organizations. If you are interested in getting sponsors in Kenya for education, then you need to understand the most common qualifications and the Do’s and Don’ts to get you started on your search. Some of the most common requirements for sponsorship depending on the type of aid you apply for are;
- You should be an orphan
- You should come from a low-income/ poor family
- You should have a strong academic background i.e. excellent academic performance
- You should be a particular gender, male or female (Some scholarships are reserved only female candidates)
- You should come from a specific demographic region e.g. the marginalized community
To find sponsors for education in Kenya, one of these descriptions should fit you. Now that you have this information, the next thing you need to do is to make the internet your friend. The internet is now a central means of communicating in Kenya today, and it is also one of the cheapest. There are many advertisements of scholarships online, so you only need to identify one that you are most interested in and you are most qualified for, based on the particular qualification criteria provided, then go ahead and make the application. With an internet connection and dedication of time, it will not take you long to identify a viable scholarship opportunity.
There are many channels through which you can find sponsorship in Kenya. Some companies and individuals offer scholarships to the best-performing students and students from a poor background. For example, the Equity Bank of Kenya funds exemplary students for undergraduate studies in some of the best universities in the country and outside the country too. Equity bank offers a scholarship to the first male and female students in each district. Some of the common factors that cut across all sponsors are that they look for;
- Academic merit
- Financial needs
- Equitable geographical distribution
- Character assessment
- Performance during the course period
The first and most crucial way of finding a scholarship is to conduct research and make a list of the potential sponsors in Kenya who are likely to fund your studies. If you do your homework well, you will find out that the top sponsors of Education in Kenya are;
The Higher Education Loans Board
This is a State Corporation that was established by an Act of Parliament (Cap 213A) in 1995). HELB is the leading financer of higher education in Kenya. It has the mandate of disbursing loans, bursaries, and scholarships to students who are pursuing higher education in recognized institutions in the country.
The MasterCard Foundation Scholarship for Kenyans
This program provides scholarship opportunities to young individuals who demonstrate academic talent. Until 2016, the program had provided at least seven hundred million dollars for the education and leadership and development of more than thirty thousand young Africans.
The University of Nairobi Rockefeller Foundation scholarship
The University of Nairobi offers undergraduate and graduate scholarships in the fields of social and Economic studies, Basic survival safeguards, security, and climate and environment.
The AgaKhan Foundation scholarship for developing countries (Masters and P.H.D)
The AgaKhan foundation offers a limited number of postgraduate scholarships for the students with outstanding academic performance who do not have any means to finance their studies. 50% of this scholarship is a grant.
Kenyatta University OVS scholarship opportunities
This learning institution puts a lot of emphasis on the social development of the students and for this reason; it established the Orphans and Vulnerable Students Scholarship fund to take care of the less privileged students who would like to pursue higher education.
Sponsorship from companies
One way of getting Education sponsors in Kenya is from companies in the country both local and international. Getting free sponsorship from companies might sound like an uphill task, but with the right strategy and approach, it is one of the natural ways to find aid in the country. It might seem like you have to send several generic emails and make several phone calls dealing with uninterested individuals, but if you equip yourself with the handy tips, then the process should be much more straightforward and fruitful. The approaches to take when sourcing for sponsors from companies are;
Target the right company
Do not waste your time sending emails and making phone calls to companies that have not communicated that they are interested in issuing sponsorship or sponsored other students in the past. Instead, it makes more sense to contact companies that have participated in such programs before. This way, you can be confident that they will be interested in your proposal.
Thinking outside the box helps you to attract the companies’ attention. By offering something different from other Kenyans who are also looking for sponsorship such as taking advantage of their goods and services as opposed to asking for funds directly, the firm might be triggered to choose your application over the rest. Sponsorship from companies comes in different forms, therefore, don’t sound like you are outright looking for money from them.
Be the best employee at work
Some employers give study scholarships to their highly esteemed workers in Kenya. For example, they can fund your master’s degree on condition that upon completion, you will return to the organization and impart the knowledge that you have acquired. Many Non- Government Organizations, private companies, and government agencies offer such scholarships. One of the ways of earning such scholarships is by standing out as the best performing employees; this will increase your chances of getting the scholarship award when you show interest.
Private education sponsors in Kenya
You will need to identify a few private sponsors for education in Kenya to increase your chances of getting sponsorship. Some of the Sponsors of education in Kenya are private organizations and individuals. An example is the Kenya Youth Education Scholarship fund that was established in 2005 as a society to address the issues affecting the education of the youth in Kenya. The primary source of funds for the organization is corporations, foundations, and individuals that share a similar viewpoint on how to address national education challenges. Investing in young Kenyans who demonstrate academic excellence. The organization is keen on creating a fund to guarantee its viability and sustainability.
Sponsorship from the Kenyan government
A standard way of getting higher education sponsors in Kenya and high school sponsors is by looking out for government opportunities and support. To get funding from the Government, you will most likely have to send applications and attend some interviews. Some of the scholarship programs from the Government of Kenya include; The Ministry of Education Bursary and Loans are accessible online from the ministry and education department of your constituency, Secondary school bursary, and the Presidential Bursary, though this is known to support secondary school students in Kenya. The secondary school bursary forms are available online; you only need to fill in all the required details and submit.
The Presidential Secondary School Bursary is meant for vulnerable children coming from low-income families and orphans in secondary school and is administered by the OVC Secretariat as a complimentary service to the CT-OVC Programme. The main aim of the bursary scheme is to enhance secondary school enrolment and attendance of school by orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya. The PSSB scheme was started in the 2013/2014 Financial Year and is a Government contribution in compliant to the legal requirement as broken down in the Children’s act 2001 section 7 (1), moreover as a complimentary service to the CT-OVC Programme. The beneficiaries of this program must be aged below 18 years and enrolled in Secondary school.
Another government sponsorship program that you can apply for is the Kenya TIVET Bursary Scheme offered by the Higher Education Loans Board Kenya. The program provides bursaries to eligible students in Technical, Industrial, Vocational, and Entrepreneurship Training tertiary institutions. The TIVET institutions include; Technical Training Institutes, Institutes of Technology, and Public National Polytechnics. The programmes give priority to orphans and students from low-income families
The best way to identify government sponsorship programmes and get them is by;
Be on the lookout
You need to continually check for new opportunities announced by the government throughout the year. The government of Kenya has several programs put in place to provide scholarships for Kenyan students at all the stages of learning all the way from primary school to university. You have to read newspapers, watch television news, and keenly follow government educational conferences. You might want to give some bias to the ministry of Education of Kenya and pay more attention to their events and activities.
Make your application concise
When sending an email application for a scholarship, keep your email as brief as possible. No one wants to read lots of information; they will only spend a few seconds on your email. Tailor it as per the instructions and just communicate about the information that they need in deciding to grant you sponsorship. If you need full support, make sure that comes out clearly.
Do not let yourself be walked over by interviewers; shyness is not an option. From the moment you make an application, you should remain convinced that you are good enough to get it. If you get a chance to defend your claim, then this should boost your confidence further, explain your goals and vision ensuring that they are in line with those of the sponsors and you will win their hearts.
Get good referees
Almost all sponsorship application forms from the Government will require you to provide references. The process is in a bid to establish your character. Failure to get proper referees automatically results in disqualification. For this reason, take your time to get excellent professional references from your teachers and employers to upper your chances of getting the desired sponsorship.
One way of getting College education sponsors in Kenya is from higher learning institutions. A good number of colleges offer sponsorship to students based on academic merit and if they are from low-income families. A majority of Kenyan students perform exceptionally well in secondary school examination, but they lack the financial ability to continue with their University studies. There are also Kenyans who have concluded their undergraduate studies, and they wish to get sponsorship and funding to pursue masters or doctorate studies in the country. Private institutions have not been left behind in this kindness either, universities like Strathmore University and the United States Internal School University have outstanding sponsorship opportunities for the needy and talented students.
How get sponsorship from the learning institutions in Kenya
To obtain funding for your studies from learning institutions in Kenya, you have to;
Convince them that you are from a low-income family
When making an application for sponsorship from the learning institutions in Kenya, if you form a low-income family, be sure to mention it and use it to sell yourself. No one wants to see a brilliant young person miss out on education only because they cannot afford the school fees.
Achieve academic excellence
One proof the most straightforward way of getting sponsorship from learning institutions is by performing well in your academics. With this, there is a good chance that you will be awarded a scholarship by the institution even before you make the application or get referrals for the same. The public universities in Kenya offer scholarships to study masters at the institutions for the students who get first class honors in their undergraduate studies.
Sell your talent
Apart from the academics, learning institutions pay keen attention to your participation in extra curriculum activities such as sports and acting. If you actively participate in games, you can use this to sell yourself and get a competitive advantage over the other applicants. For instance, Strathmore issues scholarships to rugby students, so you play for the school team rugby and they pay for your tuition fee.
Finding willing education sponsors in Kenya is not easy, but it is not impossible. There is a lot of competition since there are many intelligent underprivileged students in the country. You have to cut a niche for yourself by working hard and ensuring that you register excellent results in all examinations that will allow you to demonstrate academic excellence. Stand a higher chance of securing sponsorship by actively participating in the extra curriculum activities.
If you get a chance to hold a leadership position, take it and ensure that you excel at it. A lot of time sponsors look out for leadership qualities amongst applicants, and this will increase your chances of getting an education sponsor. Last but not least, get good recommendations. Most of the time, your potential sponsors will ask you for at least two or three references. Do not include your family members and friends in your reference list unless asked to, instead make it as professional as possible and ensure that you get the best recommendation from your referees. Sponsors for university education in Kenya requires reliable referees for securing sponsorships.