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FAWE, MasterCard renew partnership to extend tertiary education to the marginalised

Martha Muhwezi

Martha Muhwezi

The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) has renewed its partnership with the Mastercard Foundation to further enhance access to tertiary education in marginalised communities in Uganda.

The seven-year program is aimed at enabling young women and men with disabilities and from refugee and other marginalised communities who have completed secondary education to transition into tertiary education and later entrepreneurship and employment.

FAWE has been implementing the program's first phase in partnership with Mastercard since 2017. Following the successful implementation of the program dubbed: Higher Education Access Program (HEAP) in Uganda and Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program in Ethiopia and Rwanda, the extension of the partnership between FAWE and the Foundation includes 10 countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Under the program, FAWE Uganda will support 1,800 students through the bursary program for the higher education access certificate and TVET. Additional interventions include the Extended Orientation program, gender-responsive pedagogy training, mentorship, entrepreneurship support, and others.

“FAWE is delighted to once again have the opportunity to partner with the Mastercard Foundation on this exciting and fulfilling journey. We hope that we will effectively change the life trajectories of young women and men in Uganda and ultimately our great continent,” said Dr Martha Muhwezi, executive director of FAWE Africa.

She said through its national chapters, FAWE will implement several key programs to enhance education access for marginalised communities, with a focus on young women, individuals with disabilities, and refugees. Among the initiatives planned for phase two are the design and adaptation of the bridging program in seven additional chapters, along with scaling up in Uganda.

“Under the program, comprehensive academic bursaries will also be provided for bridging and TVET participants, while institutional strengthening will be undertaken for the FAWE network and its implementing partners. Additionally, there will be efforts to contextualise and adapt the Extended Orientation program, as well as provide entrepreneurship support to program participants," she said.

FAWE will work in close collaboration with the Foundation’s partners, specifically CAMFED, Light for the World, Mastercard Foundation Leaders in Teaching, and World University Service Canada (WUSC), to complement each other’s work for a greater impact on the Foundation’s mission.

“This partnership is a testament to our shared commitment to equity, inclusivity, and empowerment of young people. We are creating second-chance opportunities and fostering leadership and mentorship to enable young people to become agents of change within their communities,” Adrian Bukenya, country director of Mastercard Foundation said.

Bukenya noted that Mastercard has a strategy of creating employment opportunities for over 30 million young people across Africa. With the partnership, FAWE will expand postsecondary pathways to 518 accredited tertiary institutions in seven countries.

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