What happens when you bring together 35 young people from Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program partner institutions across the world, seven Foundation staff and other partners on United States International University-Africa’s beautiful Nairobi campus? Lots of learning, deep conversations, laughter and fun. This is what characterized the three-day retreat for the current Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Scholars Council that was held from February 10 to February 12th, 2023.
The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Council are student leaders from the Scholars Program at our partner universities who represent and champion the needs of Scholars and liaise with the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program teams at each institution, the Mastercard Foundation and alumni of the Scholars Program.
The Vice Chancellor of USIU-Africa, Professor Margee Ensign and the Head, Scholars Program Partner Network, Pauline Gangla were on hand to welcome the Council. In her remarks, Professor Ensign reminded the Scholars that they had a part to play in making their communities better places for those in need and challenged the Scholars to invest their knowledge and skills in solving problems in their communities. Pauline Gangla, in her address, re-emphasized the critical role that young people’s voices play in the Foundation’s programming and acknowledged the Scholars Council for the role it plays in providing strategic direction and leadership to ensure sustained communication and connectedness among Scholars.
At the core of the Scholars Program is a commitment to developing transformative leaders: young people who will lead positive change in their communities in an ethical and innovative manner. The three-day program included various discussion and brainstorming sessions on the daily practice of transformative leadership and the Scholars’ ideas for advancing various initiatives and principles within the Scholars Program. Scholars also visited Mastercard Foundation partners, Ajira, e-Mobilis, and Moringa School and saw first-hand other facets of the Foundation’s work in Kenya and the results of our partnerships.
It was an amazing opportunity to connect with fellow Scholars who are passionate about making a positive impact in their communities. We look forward to drive positive change and make meaningful impacts in our part of the world together.” Gifty Koufie, CAMFED GHANA
In their downtime, Scholars visited the Nairobi National Park and the Giraffe Center, and glammed up in their cultural attires for a gala dinner with Foundation staff and partners.
The three-day event solidified connections and relationships between Scholars and the Foundation. We look forward to implementing the action points from the Scholars Council Meeting and building a stronger Mastercard Foundation Scholars community.