It was moment of jubilation on Friday 27th January 2017 when Makerere University MasterCard Foundation (MCF) Scholars of Academic Year 2016/2017 received laptops. The 199 laptops were handed over to the Cohort Three Scholars by the Chairperson of the MCF Steering Committee, Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang on behalf of the Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu at a highly colorful ceremony.
Makerere University entered into a partnership with MasterCard Foundation to offer Scholarships to 1000 academically bright but economically disadvantaged youth in Africa to study at Makerere University from 2013 to 2024. The aim of the project is develop the next generation of African Leaders, who will contribute to the development of the African continent.
MasterCard Foundation (MCF) Scholars Program provides a comprehensive financial, academic and social support to each and every Scholar. This include; tuition and functional fees, a laptop, books and other learning materials, accommodation, beddings and meals medical insurance, stipend, transport to and from home, psychosocial and mentorship support as well as career education. A laptop therefore is an entitlement to every scholar.
In a speech read by the Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang, the Vice Chancellor said that the laptops received will enable Scholars to have easy access to information, improve on their writing and typing skills as well as having more interactions with the MasterCard Foundation.
“I now expect you to be more efficient, have better accessibility to the Internet, and to present timely assignments to your lecturers,” he said.
According to Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu, the laptops offered give the Scholars a comparative advantage towards their academic pursuit especially when they are combined with International Computer Driving License (ICDL) that covers the key concepts of computing and its practical applications. He therefore urged scholars to properly manage and take good care of their laptops. “This is a resource in your hands. Use the laptops in the most effective way during your studies,” he said.
He reminded the Scholars that the laptops remain the property of Makerere University until when the Scholars have satisfactorily completed their study program. “These laptops have therefore been engraved and occasionally you will be required to personally present them to the program office to ascertain that you still own them,” he explained.
He applauded the Development Partners for assisting the Ugandan youth to access quality education; a foundation to stability and prosperity in Uganda and Africa as a continent. The Vice Chancellor thanked the Program Implementation Team led by Dr. Florence Nakayiwa for the commitment and success thus far.
Speaking to the cheerful audience, the Chairperson of Mak-MCF Steering Committee Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang urged Scholars to use their laptops as gadgets for solving problems.
“A computer is a facility that can help you manage your business, do you work and so many other things in a favorable timeframe. I therefore challenge you to make this computer work for you in this era of the 21st century,” he said.
Mr. Enock Muwanguzi, a third year student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering tipped the Scholars on the advantages and disadvantages of computers as well as the proper management of laptops.
In the presentation, Mr. Muwanguzi highlighted that laptops provide access to free and useful information, facilitate research, interactivity and networking. “Computers play an important role in our lives. However, we must use them properly and effectively,” he said.
Mr. Muwanguzi also cautioned Scholars on thugs who can take advantage of their innocence and steal their laptops. “Moving with these laptops from class to class and at the night is very risky. Take care of your laptops because if you handle them carelessly someone will take them from you,” he said.
Pellusce Kabarokole- a third year student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Science with Education shared a personal life story that touched many people.
“I never thought of being an important person in the future because I had no hope of continuing with my studies after the death of my father in a fatal accident. However, I am so happy that I have managed to reach this far because MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Program has supported me,” she happily testified.
Kabarokole said that she focused on science courses to change the attitude that sciences were meant for boys. “Many girls in my village fear to pursue science courses thinking that they are meant for boys. So I want to prove to them that even girls can do science courses and excel,” she said.
The Senior Public Relations Officer, Makerere University, Ms. Ritah Namisango reiterated the need for the Scholars to use the laptops for the best purpose. “Many students would like to have personal laptops, but they don’t have the required financial resources. You are lucky to have a scholarship with a comprehensive package that includes a laptop. Please use the laptops to excel in academics, research and networking,” she said.
During the occasion, the Vice Chancellor also launched the “AlumNet” a Scholar’s Magazine that provides a platform to all Scholars to express their views and opinions about the MCF Scholars Program and other topical issues.
The MCF Communication and Web Officer Mr. Bernard Buteera Butare, highlighted that the AlumNet is an Annual Scholars Magazine that focuses on providing vital information on the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program Network at Makerere University and the alumni of the Program after they have completed their studies.
“In this maiden issue of 2016-2017, you will find stories and activities undertaken. In here, you will also find the scholars stories, testimonies in forms of writings and pictorials. So flip through all the pages and you will be treated to a lot of infotainment,” he explained.
The Award Ceremony was graced by important people including: MasterCard Foundation Mentors, Members of the MasterCard Steering Committee, College Principals, Acting Director of Makerere University Gender and Mainstreaming Directorate Ms. Florence Nyachwo, Acting Director of Makerere University Directorate of Legal Affairs Mr. Goddy Muhumuza, Acting Director of Makerere University Internal Audit Mr. Patrick Akonyet and Manager, Makerere University Counseling and Guidance Centre, Mr. Henry Nsubuga.
Written by: Mak News Reporters
Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District
By Bernard Buteera
On Saturday 2nd December 2023, all roads led to Achukudu Community Primary School in Napak District, Karamoja sub-region, as the Scholars and Alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University commemorated their Scholars’ Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback). The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service was held at Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District in the Karamoja sub-region. Established in 2013, Achukudu Community School serves two ethnic communities—The Iteso and Karamojong.
With a total population of 1,907 pupils only three government-paid teachers, and nine community-paid teachers, the School faces a plethora of challenges. Key among the challenges is the lack of Classrooms, decent Ventilated Pit Latrines, and Desks. Therefore when the Scholars identified the School as one that deserved to be given a gift of a classroom block, it was a befitting choice!
The Scholars with support from the alumni, the Program Team, Members of the Steering Committee, and partners of the Scholars Program at Makerere University intervened by constructing a two-classroom block, which was supervised by one of the alumni who is an Engineer. Alongside the classroom block, the Scholars also provided 40 desks, helping the school meet UNEB Center eligibility criteria.
While presiding over the event, the area member of Parliament, Hon. John Bosco Ngoya, thanked the Scholars and alumni community at Makerere University for supporting the young pupils of Achukudu Primary School and the entire community by gifting them with a two-classroom block.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University for the Christmas gift of a classroom block to the young people and the entire community of Achukudu. This classroom block will go a long way in improving the learning environment of the young children of Achukudu primary school.” Hon. Ngoya pointed out.
Hon. Ngoya called upon other people to emulate the Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation in embracing the spirit of giving back to the vulnerable people in the community. On his part, he donated One Million Five hundred shillings (1,500,000/=) to help the School purchase more desks, and he had earlier contributed One million shillings (1,000,000/=) towards the construction of the classroom block.
The District Education Officer (DEO) for Napak District, Ms. Joyce Nakoya, praised the Scholars Community for embracing and practicing the spirit of giving back to other people at an early age.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation at Makerere for embracing the spirit of giving back to other people at such an early age. If all people gave back to the less privileged in our communities, we would have a better world for everyone.” Ms. Nakoya pointed out.
Ms. Nakoya further pointed out every child deserves to study in a decent environment, therefore it was a befitting cause for the Scholars to construct a classroom block for the young pupils of Achukudu community primary school, who were studying in open grass thatched classrooms.
The Program Manager of, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, Ms. Jolly Okumu who led the team of Scholars, alumni, and staff to Karamoja thanked the community of Achukudu for supporting the Scholars to deliver the class block by contributing to the construction sand.
“We come here today to join with you as a community driven by a shared commitment to education, empowerment, and ethos of giving back. Today is a historic occasion as we celebrate the completion and commissioning of the classroom block, which is a remarkable testament to the transformative power of education and our unwavering spirit of community service.” Ms. Jolly remarked.
The President of the Scholars Association, Mr. Godfrey Okello, thanked all the Scholars and alumni, and all stakeholders who contributed to the construction of the classroom block, which was a dream that became a reality.
“I would like to thank my colleagues and people of goodwill who supported us to realize our dream of constructing this classroom for our young brothers and sisters of Achukudu Primary School. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our fellow young people in Uganda and Africa as a whole.” Mr. Okello remarked.
The Headteacher of the School, Mr. Eryebu Raymond, who was visibly very excited was full of praises for Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation, for what he termed as an iconic classroom block they had gifted to his School.
“This day is very special to us, we will not see this day again. We are delighted to receive the Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation from Makerere University, thank you for considering supporting our School” Mr. Eryebu excitedly remarked.
The Headteacher revealed that one of the major challenges the school was facing was an acute shortage of classrooms for his 1,097 pupils. He was therefore grateful to Mastercard Foundation Scholars for choosing to construct a two-class block for the School.
“This donation of a classroom block and Desks is a testament to your commitment to education and empowering the lives of the vulnerable people in the community. This classroom block and desks will go a long way in improving the quality of teaching and learning at our school.” Mr. Eryebu further remarked.
The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback) was punctuated with a lot of joy, pomp, and fanfare, as the pupils and the entire community of Achukudu danced and ululated at the commissioning of the classroom block. The construction of the classroom block and purchase of desks for Achukudu Community Primary School was made possible by generous contributions by the Scholars, alumni, the Program Team, and members of the Steering Committee.
Among the Partners who made financial contributions towards the class block construction included; DFCU Bank, Post Bank, URA, Katumba Estates, Footsteps Furniture Ltd, and Sion Travels Ltd.
The Scholars and Alumni Day of Community Service (Give back) is an annual event, where Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation go out into the community to give back by providing solutions to challenges that a particular community is facing. Over the years Scholars have given back to the communities in numerous ways that range from offering professional services and erecting major projects like classroom blocks.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications and Public Relations Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
Innovations using low cost locally available materials for point of use water treatment system unveiled
The College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) conducted a Research Dissemination of two studies aimed at the Development of Materials for point of use water treatment systems.
The investigations were conducted by a team of researchers comprised of P. W. Olupot, H. M. Kalibbala, E. Menya, G.M. Wangi, J. Jjagwe, J. Wakatuntu, M. Turyasingura, R. Walozi, C. Kanyesigye and R. N. Kulabako.
The dissemination event held on Wednesday 29th November 2023 follows the successful completion of two MakRIF supported Research projects namely; Development of rice husk based granular activated carbon for point-of-use water treatment systems and Development of zeolite-based nanocomposite filters for drinking water treatment.
Apac District gains from CEDAT’s Research on Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model and Efficacious patient management system
The School of Engineering at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) shared findings of research that was conducted in Apac Districts through two projects namely Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model (RCBM) and Efficacious patient management system (EPMS).
The findings of the research sponsored by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University research and Innovation Fund(MakRIF) were disseminated during a dissemination seminar held in the College on Friday 24th November 2023, where it was revealed that Apac the host District greatly benefited from the services that not only led to the increased uptake of internet services but also gained through other socio economic areas.
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