First class of Rotary Scholars at UNESCO-IHE begins studies
The first class of Rotary-sponsored scholars will begin their studies 18 October at the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft, the Netherlands, under a strategic partnership between the Institute and The Rotary Foundation.
The partnership, formed in 2011, seeks to address the world’s water and sanitation crisis by increasing the ranks of trained professionals needed to devise, plan, and implement solutions in countries that bear the brunt of the problem. Under the partnership, The Foundation provides packaged grants to Rotary clubs and districts, which select and sponsor up to eight students a year for scholarships to any of three 18-month Masters of Science degree programs at UNESCO-IHE, the world’s largest postgraduate water education facility.
This year’s scholars include: Temesgen Adamu (Ethiopia), Godfrey Peterson Baguma (Uganda), Kenechukwu Okoli (Nigeria), Annet Ahimbisbwe (Uganda), Rafiu Jimoh (Nigeria), Bernice Asamoah (Ghana), Juma Haineni (Kenya) and Gonzalo Duró (Argentina).
"By identifying high-quality, high-potential candidates for these scholarships, Rotary clubs help the countries most impacted by the water and sanitation crisis increase their capacity to identify and implement solutions. It is a strategic, long-term investment with long-term benefits,” said Rotary Foundation Chair Wilfrid J. Wilkinson.
Rotary clubs and Rotarians are mentoring the students both in their home country as well as during their stay at UNESCO-IHE. Relationships and networks are built that enable the students to effectively implement their skills upon return to their home country.
“My academic program and future career will predominantly help toward addressing my community’s water and sanitation issues by embarking on groundwater exploration, organizing training at the local government … making available well-designed disposal facilities, and carrying out routine water quality assessment,” said Jimoh, one of the eight scholars, from Lagos, Nigeria.
Under the Foundation’s new grant model, Rotary is forging strategic partnerships with established organizations that have expertise in Rotary’s areas of focus. Packaged grants support scholarships and service projects with sustainable, high-impact outcomes in one of the six areas of focus.