The GEANCO Foundation is proud to inaugurate the David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls, which will provide scholarships covering educational expenses for girls directly impacted by acts of terror in all its forms.
Recipients will include victims of terror attacks and debilitating gender-based inequality.
In recent years, extremists have kidnapped, raped and terrorized thousands of girls in Africa’s most populous country. Although a large number have since escaped or been rescued, they are still not truly free and now face a different kind of isolation. Considered “tainted”, many have been rejected by their families and communities. Their educations have been disrupted, and they cannot afford tuition at high-quality schools.
GEANCO’s special scholarship will benefit this vulnerable group of girls, in addition to girls severely disadvantaged by Nigeria’s pervasive gender inequality. It is named in honor of acclaimed British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo (Selma, A United Kingdom, Disney’s Queen of Katwe), a strong GEANCO supporter who encouraged the scholarship’s creation and plays an active role in its funding, administration and promotion. Last year, David received GEANCO’s “Global Promise” Award at the foundation’s annual Hollywood gala in recognition of his commitment to providing better educational opportunities for Nigeria’s youth.
“We cannot stand idly by while thousands of innocent girls remain under serious threat,” said Oyelowo. “With our help, these bright and resilient girls can blossom into Nigeria’s most inspiring leaders in government, education, business, entertainment, and so much more. The way to combat oppression and injustice is to be intentional in calling it out and then seeking to affect sustainable and long-term change. That is what these Leadership scholarships are all about. We seek to nurture a generation of strong female trailblazers whose positive impact will be felt across Nigeria and around the world.”
“Through these scholarships, we will bring fresh hope to Nigeria’s most precious and vulnerable souls,” said Afam Onyema, GEANCO Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer. “This is a powerful, heartwarming response to an urgent, challenging crisis.”
Three scholarships will be awarded for the 2016-2017 school year. The number offered in subsequent years will depend on capacity and available funding. This year’s recipients will attend the Anglican Girls Grammar School (AGGS), a secondary school for students aged 10-15, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city. AGGS is an academic center of excellence known for its emphasis on science and math. For girls who have endured nearly constant instability and insecurity, this all-girls boarding school offers a safe and nurturing learning and living environment. Future scholarship recipients will be placed at other high-achieving schools in Nigeria.
David and Jessica Oyelowo, Oprah Winfrey, Janus Funds, Participant Media and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon provided the seed funding for this scholarship. GEANCO’s leadership actively seeks additional major gifts to increase the scholarship’s reach and impact.
For more information on The GEANCO Foundation, visit Geanco.org.