College Scholarship Fund
Through our ongoing partnership with the African Education Program (AEP), we are seeking to provide life-changing scholarships to orphans and vulnerable youth in Zambia.
In Zambia, 78% of the population is under the age of 25 and 60% live below the poverty line. Only 55.3% of youth pass the 9th Grade National Exam. 64.8% pass the 12th Grade National Exam, and 12% of high school graduates will access university education. College and university school fees make acquiring a tertiary education out of reach for most Zambian high school graduates. AEP’s yearly scholarships are awarded to deserving high school graduates and college or university students who otherwise cannot afford to continue their education.
Learn more about AEP’s College Scholarship Fund and find out how you can get involved below.
Advance Education for Vulnerable Youth in Zambia
AEP’s College Scholarship Fund Story
AEP started the Scholarship Fund in 2007, awarding 25 high school scholarships. Over the years, nearly 3,000 annual scholarships have been awarded to over 1,000 students, resulting in a total of 500 high school graduates and 100 college graduates. In 2022, the new Zambian President eliminated mandatory secondary school fees, fulfilling his campaign promise of free public education. However, with national exam pass rates still very low and the poor quality education a child receives in public schools, a “free” education isn’t what it appears.
AEP’s College Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to students who cannot afford to continue their education at the tertiary level. AEP has already witnessed the effects that the College Scholarship Fund has for its most promising members who have lifted themselves out of poverty. To date, over 100 college graduates have completed their studies thanks to these scholarships. These students started with high school scholarships and were then awarded college scholarships and they are now changing the trajectory of their individual lives and those of their families.
Scholarships have also helped to avert student pregnancy and early marriage by alleviating the economic burden families face when trying to provide an education for their girls. AEP has a 1-2% pregnancy rate among its female beneficiaries compared to a 20% average in the area.
Like many of her peers, Anita began taking advantage of the AEP’s Learning & Leadership Center in Kafue, Zambia in primary school. As a Young Learner she accessed learning opportunities including basic literacy, math, science, art and team building.
During her teenage years, Anita accessed programs focused on quality education through academic tutoring, leadership development and volunteerism, gender equity, self-esteem building, period poverty elimination, HIV/AIDS and health awareness, nutrition and food security, and the arts and creativity.
After high school graduation, during the mandatory gap year between high school and college, Anita volunteered and tutored her younger peers in the program as she accessed the College Prep Program. Through this program, she chose what she really wanted to study while taking preparatory classes focused on career guidance, academic writing, note taking, budgeting, study habits, healthy relationships, and other needed life-skills.
Anita applied and was accepted at Zambia’s leading educational institution, The University of Zambia or UNZA as it is known. Anita was excited for her university experience to begin but she admitted with trepidation, “I had never been far from home, living on my own was scary. Luckily at school, I met my second family, my mentors from the center who were also attending UNZA. They helped me get through tough times on campus and coached me to be independent.”
Anita shared, “I am the first girl in my family to go to university. I feel like I have broken through the limitation that existed in my family. I keep on pushing and pursuing despite various challenges because I convince myself that I can and will make it.”
How You Can Help Us Provide Scholarships
In 2023, the College Scholarship Program will serve 41 college students and 55 high school graduates who are currently in the College Prep Program.
Providing an annual college scholarship costs $2,500. You don’t have to offer the full annual amount to make a difference, any donation will help a student continue their studies! You can help us provide a life-changing scholarship by donating now!