Commercial Bank of Africa has today announced an increase in their secondary school sponsorship programme from Kshs.1.2 million annually to Kshs.3.2 million. This represents a 150% increase with the funds being channeled through the Palmhouse Foundation. The sponsorship will see 10 students from disadvantaged backgrounds; complete their secondary education in top schools across the country.
The Palmhouse Foundation is a non-govermental organization that ensures that children from less fortunate backgrounds are able to pursue and complete their high school education. Palmhouse Foundation Trust began the philanthropic efforts under Founder Trustees informally but their program grew to change many lives and create many success stories. The Foundation also mentors the students through life ensuring they grow to have a large positive impact on society. The foundation so far has over 500 beneficiaries with over 230 having completed their secondary education.
According to Mr. Chris Pasha, CBA Group Head of Marketing and Communications free primary education has created opportunities for a lot of children, however for guardians, secondary education remains a dream for their children as many are unable to afford the fees and school equipment.
Reports by Ministry of Education, 2010 indicated that in 2008, the annual cost of secondary education was twelve to twenty times more than the monthly income of parents in rural areas, where more than 80% of the population lives. Hence the need for scholarships such as the ones offered by Palmhouse.
Also over a quarter of young people have less than a lower secondary education and one in ten did not complete primary school in Kenya. There is a mismatch between funding and enrollment growth, meaning a heavier tuition burden for students and increased access issues to higher education that already exist for the marginalized according to the World Education News.
The work done by the Palmhouse Foundation with the help of CBA is clearly appreciated on the ground, as witnessed by a headmaster from Kitale who had this to say, “It is a relief for us as a community to have support in educating these children. Most of them are either orphaned or from single parent families who can barely sustain feeding their families.”