Econet support enables Higherlife Foundation to extend 11 100 scholarships to orphaned and vulnerable children
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and its social impact and philanthropic operating arm, Higherlife Foundation, have awarded 11 100 scholarships to orphaned and vulnerable children across the country, with 5,300 of them coming in the first half of this year.
“Education remains at the core of our mission to create positive change within the communities we serve,” said Econet Board Chairman Dr James Myers in a statement accompanying the company’s financial results for the half year to August 31, 2023.
“During the period under review, we embarked on a recruitment exercise that awarded more than 5 300 scholarships to orphaned and vulnerable children.
“In total, more than 11 100 students are benefiting from various scholarships under Higherlife Foundation. These significant scholarship initiatives reflect our unwavering dedication to providing educational opportunities for those who need them most,” Dr Myers said.
Higherlife Foundation was established by Econet Funder and Group Chairman Strive Masiyiwa and his wife Tsitsi in 1996 for the purpose of investing in Africa’s human capital in order to build thriving individuals, communities, and sustainable livelihoods.
The work of the Foundation is anchored on the four pillars of education, global healthcare, rural transformation and sustainable livelihoods, as well as disaster relief and preparedness.
The education pillar specifically aims to extend access to quality educational opportunities for disadvantaged children, empowering individuals and building communities for a thriving future.
“Education is a fundamental human right, and it is the cornerstone for exercising all other human rights,” Dr Myers said.
“By enabling greater access to education, Higherlife Foundation strives to create a ripple effect of empowerment, individual freedom and ultimately poverty eradication.”
Dr Myers also shed light on the Foundation’s dynamic and evolving approach to social impact.
“Akello, our innovative digital platform, continues to provide quality education to children in vulnerable communities,” he explained.
“To date, over 34,600 students have accessed the platform through the Akello tech scholarships, embracing unique and interactive digital learning experiences.”
Akello’s unique model leverages technology to create greater access to quality education for primary, secondary and high school learners, and has impacted over one million children with its comprehensive digital learning platform.
Furthermore, under the rural transformation and sustainable livelihoods pillar, Higherlife Foundation is working to bolster agricultural initiatives and activities among farmers.
“This initiative involved training for over 13 300 farmers, exceeding the previous season’s reach of 10 000 farmers,” Dr Myers elaborated.
“Additionally, farmers received essential inputs for a diverse range of crops — maize for food security, bio-fortified sugar beans for nutrition, and groundnuts as a cash crop to enhance household incomes.”