By Beth Nyaga
NAIROBI, Nov 3 (NNN-KBC) — Swiss food and beverage multinational Nestle has launched a 3.3 million Kenyan shillings (about 32,400 US dollars) scholarship programme aimed at improving the level of education in eight coffee farming communities which it works with in central and eastern Kenya.
The programme, called “The Coffee Aroma Scholarship”, has been made possible through Nestlé’s long-term partnership with local firm Coffee Management Services Ltd (CMS) and is set to provide education funding to the children of coffee farmers in these areas.
“The scholarship beneficiaries are guaranteed a stable learning environment without the fear of being sent home from school for lack of fees. They will also receive regular follow-up and coaching to ensure they get the best from this opportunity,” said Linda Butler, Coffee Sustainability Manager at Nestlé Headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, who met the farmers in Nyeri in central Kenya Monday.
Kamau Kuria, the Managing Director of CMS, said that through the partnership with Nestlé, farmers under the programme would have the assurance that their children would receive the best education irrespective of their parents’ circumstances.
“We hope to enable them to have an improved lifestyle, providing brighter prospects and opportunities for employment and family dynamics for the future.”
The scholarship, which will cater for secondary education is targeting the academically promising top five percentile performing students in their counties in the upcoming Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations.
“The selection criteria will give priority to orphans or vulnerable students from families that deliver coffee to any of the eight selected sites,” added Kuria.
The children who will benefit from this programme include those who have lost one or both parents and have no guardian or sponsor to provide for their education . Others to be considered will be those whose parents are physically or mentally disabled and are not in a position to educate them. — NNN-KBC