Nairobi, Kenya Sep 3 – An orphaned student who scored an impressive “A” grade but failed to join university for lack of fees has obtained scholarship from Savannah Cement.
Saul Henry Obwanda had decided to work at a posho mill in Kisumu after deferring his admission to Kenyatta University twice.
Obwanda was elated when he obtained his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results with a straight “A” only to realize that he cannot afford university fees.
In any event, he still needed to fend for himself and his three siblings who live with their grandmother, leave alone think about the much it would take to get him through five years of university education.
His plight ended up reducing him to work at a local posho mill, to make ends meet, despite having attained impressive marks in his Form Four examinations.
Obwanda and his three other siblings live with their grandmother in Lwanda near Maseno in Western Kenya and was first admitted to Kenyatta University in 2013 but had deferred his admission on account of his economic plight.
Speaking when he formally presented a comprehensive scholarship to Obwanda in aid of his academic pursuits at Kenyatta University, Savannah Cement Managing Director Ronald Ndegwa said the sponsorship had been availed within the scope of the company’s social investment policy.
Besides the full scholarship valued at more than Sh1million, Savannah Cement will also provide a medical cover for Obwanda within the company’s medical scheme besides offering him internship opportunities.
“I am also glad that several members of management and staff teams have accepted to join me in mentoring Obwanda through his academic program,” Ndegwa said.
The scholarship gesture by Savannah Cement comes hot on the heels of the recent signing of a collaborative partnership between the firm and Kenyatta University.
The agreement provides for a collaborative platform for the two organisations to engage in joint research activities, capacity building and student internship among other areas of mutual benefit.
Speaking last June, at the signing of the Kenyatta University/Savannah Cement Memorandum of Understanding, Kenyatta University Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina said the agreement is part of the University’s efforts to forge a closer working relationship with the private sector on areas of mutual interest.
“With the signing of this partnership with Kenyatta University, Savannah Cement is effectively extending an opportunity to facilitate homegrown academic and industrial research on mutual interest areas as part of our commitment to fuel the engine for innovation and economic growth,” Ndegwa said.
At Savannah Cement, Kenyatta University Undergraduate and Postgraduate students pursuing various academic disciplines will be afforded access to a modern purpose built laboratory, marketing and commercial management platforms.
The Kenyatta University Students undertaking Engineering and related studies will also enjoy practical experience in the running of a modern cement manufacturing plant that features the advanced roller press technology.
In Kenya, Savannah Cement enjoys pride of place as the most modern cement manufacturing and sales company, currently running an eco friendly and energy efficient plant near Kitengela town.