The first year of the Dowswell Scholarship Fund was one of fundraising and program preparation. Because of the support by the Dowswell family and numerous other donors, Winrock was able to raise more than USD 55,000 for scholarships for female agricultural extension agents. These scholarships will be advertized, awarded, and mentored in collaboration with the Sasakawa Fund for Extension Education Program (SAFE). One of the strategies of
SAFE is to ensure that agricultural faculties and colleges broaden their admission criteria to provide opportunities to female candidates with backgrounds in non-agricultural production fields, such as home economics, nutrition, food science and development studies. SAFE aims at addressing faculty gender imbalances in agricultural extension education. By targeting female candidate students the Dowswell Scholarship Fund will help improving the gender balance in rural advisory services.
During the next SAFE staff retreat in June, the specifics of scholarship such as distribution, selection, duration, and size, will be finalized in order to be able to make the first awards before the next academic year, i.e. September 2013. The scholarships will be awarded in the three countries, Ethiopia, Mali, and Nigeria. Collaborating institutions are Haramaya University, Hawassa University, Bahir Dar University, and Mekele University in Ethiopia; Rural Polytechnic Institute, and Samanko College in Mali; Ahmadu Bello University, Bayero University, Adamawa State University, and Ilorin University in Nigeria.
On behalf of Winrock, the Dowswell family and our partners in the SAFE program, we thank donors for their generous support.
Stay tuned for more updates!