Nile Breweries Limited (NBL) has extended financial support worth UGX 80 Million to 30 University students under its Equality Scholarship Programme.
Received by the Principal Education Officer from Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) Mrs. Mercy Mugoowa and Makerere University Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration (DVCFA) Assoc. Prof. Josephine Nabukenya on behalf of students, the money will be allocated towards students’ tuition and welfare expenses for the academic year 2021/ 2022.
The Equality Scholarship is an annual programme initiated in 2011 by Nile Breweries Limited as one of its Corporate Social Responsibility activities. The programme is geared towards supporting the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4; Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The Programme supports academically excellent but financially disadvantaged students who have succeeded in their Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) but lost hope of continuing with studies due to financial constraints. With a total of 72 beneficiaries supported from Senior one (S1), Nile Breweries supports 30 students that are currently at University and 42 students that are still in secondary school.
Mr. David Valencia addresses the media at the NBL Equality Scholarships Handover ceremony
According to the Country Director Mr. David Valencia, the Equality Scholarship Programme doesn’t only fulfil the company’s commitment towards society improvement but also help NBL to recognize the catalytic role of education in promoting human security by fulfilling the academic dreams of a Ugandan child.
The Equality Scholarship Programme targets rural primary schools in the districts that grow sorghum and Barley for Nile Breweries Limited. These include; Budaka, Bukedea, Buikwe Bundibugyo Dokolo, Hoima, Isingiro, Kabarole, Kamuli, Kanungu, Katakwi, Kiryandongo, Kisoro, Kitgum, Kween, Lira, Mubende, Nebbi, Ngora, Ntungamo, Oyam, Soroti and Zombo.
“Students are supported from senior one until they finish university, with the current enrollment costing the company 300M per year. Approximately UGX 3bn has been invested in students from senior one till completion of their undergraduate studies,” Mr. Valencia noted.
Dr. Josephine Nabukenya congratulated graduating beneficiaries and reiterated Mak’s committment to promote gender equality
Of the 30 university beneficiaries, 14 are Makerere University students placed at the respective colleges. Speaking at the colorful ceremony on 29th April 2021 at NBL Company Offices in Luzira, the DVCFA Assoc. Prof. Josephine Nabukenya congratulated the pioneer beneficiaries John Ochom, Ivan Subile and Emmanuel Okello upon successfully completing their studies at Makerere University. The students are graduating with Bsc. Biochemistry, Bsc. Industrial Chemistry and Bsc. Sports Sciences respectively.
In the same spirit, she congratulated the beneficiaries from other respective Higher Institutions of Learning that are soon graduating. She urged the beneficiaries to make most use of the scholarship opportunity to study, and participate in community empowerment activities that will transform lives. She also encouraged them to utilize the networking platforms well and find solutions to problems that affect communities.
Assoc. Prof. Nabukenya, applauded Nile Breweries for uplifting individuals and creating positive difference in the lives of students, families and communities through supporting access to education. She also thanked the Government of Uganda for creating a favorable environment that has enabled strong partnerships especially in the education sector.
“As outlined in the Gender Equality Policy, Makerere University is committed to the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment where all students, academic, administrative and support staff, female and male enjoy equal opportunities. We are therefore thankful to be part of this achievement as we support the girl and boy child on equally accessing education,” she noted.
“Furthermore, the University Council during the 147th Meeting held in August 2019, approved the Affirmative Action Policy providing for a 40% enrollment quota for female students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). It is therefore, gratifying to learn that three (3) of the four (4) females in the cohort of continuing students at Makerere University are perusing STEM-based Programmes,” she added.
The Principal Education Officer at Ministry of Education and Sports appealed to students to use the positive attributes that education provides to build solutions to community challenges. “Education is a trigger to individual and national development. It remains the most important force that enables a person to pursue development goals with requisite knowledge and capabilities.”
And, urged the private sector to support students during internships, field attachments as well as initiating vocational skills among the students.
The Corporate Affair Director at Nile Breweries Limited Mr. Onapito Ekomoloit noted that given its role as a major player in Uganda’s economy and community, Nile Breweries Limited’s mandate is to bring people together for a better world.