Chirano Gold Mines has offered full scholarships to 24 tertiary students under its General Manager’s Scholarship Scheme and the Chirano Sefwiman Foundation Scholarship Scheme.
These students will be the second batch to benefit from these two scholarship schemes, with 30 students benefitting from the first.
This brings to a total of 54, the number of students currently being fully funded at the tertiary level by the company, with the number expected to further increase in the coming years.
The General Manager’s Scholarship Scheme is an initiative of the Vice President and General Manager’s office to lend a hand to students from the Senior High School Level who might not be able to progress to the higher level because of the lack of financial support.
The Chirano Sefwiman Foundation Scholarship scheme on the other hand is one of the many projects of the Chirano Sefwiman Foundation inaugurated in 2020 with seed money of $2 million to spearhead development in the mine’s catchment area.
Speaking at a ceremony to award the scholarships to the students, the Vice President and General Manager of Chirano Mines, Mr Terence Watungwa, said the company recognises education as a critical element in the advancement of its local communities.
Over the years, he said the company had provided educational infrastructure such as classrooms, ICT labs and teachers quarters.
“As I speak, I am proud to announce that Chirano will next week commission a new Junior High School Block for the community of Etwebo. We will also be handing over a new teacher’s quarters to the school basic we built at Aboduabo.
“We recognize that beyond providing infrastructure for the education of our young ones in the area, a time will come when they have to move to other places to further their education at the tertiary level. These scholarships are therefore meant to do provide support beyond the basic and secondary level to the underprivileged to ensure they are not left behind,” he stated.
Mr Watungwa noted that all the applicants were from and have attended basic school in one of its catchment communities.
“They are recent Senior High School graduates who excelled at the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.
“The beneficiaries have gone through a rigorous selection process to determine the financial status of their guardians and none of them is a dependent of an employee of Chirano Gold Mines,” he emphasised.
He said the company was confident that the selected students would make a positive impact on their communities after completion of their tertiary education.
For his part, the Board Chairman of the Chirano Sefwiman Foundation, Mr Dindiok Chialin, said there wouldn’t be any meaningful socio-economic development in the communities without quality education.
He said this was why the foundation dedicates 20 per cent of its funds to promote education through scholarship.
“Even though the foundation was established less than two years ago, this is our second batch of scholarships. This shows the importance we place on Education.
“We are very grateful to Chirano for the vision and continuous funding of our activities through its contributions, administrative support and more importantly, for instituting and sustaining the GM’s scholarship which runs parallel with that of the foundation,” he stated.
The Board Chair noted that all the qualified students were STEM students which the foundation was excited about because it was in line with its objective to promote the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
“We are equally pleased that females are very well represented in this years’ scholarship awards with eight of the 24 students being females,” he stated.