September 25, 2020
Winners of the Commonwealth Scholarship 2020 in Sierra Leone at the predeparture lunch hosted by the Deputy British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Mr. Alistair White.
11 people in Sierra Leone were awarded scholarships by the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission for the 2020/2021 scholarship awards. The awardees were hosted to a pre-departure briefing held by the British Council, at the British Council auditorium, Freetown. At the event, the Deputy British High Commissioner, Alistair White congratulated the winners on the feat and elucidated the opportunities the scholarship will offer the winners.
Commonwealth Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development and are offered to citizens from low- and middle-income Commonwealth countries. Scholarships are funded by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The prestigious Commonwealth Scholarships is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated intellectual ability, leadership potential and a commitment to development of their countries.
The 11 scholars will not only be supported through their programmes in the UK but were also introduced to the vast and highly connected alumni network where they will have opportunities to access networking and mentoring support from previous scholars through the Sierra Leone Commonwealth Scholars Alumni Association. They also get the opportunity to access the global Commonwealth scholars’ alumni network which currently has a membership of over 28,500 people from across 53 countries that make up the commonwealth.
Some of the winners have already commenced online study options from their universities waiting on when the international travel restrictions are lifted as a result of the pandemic. This year, the winners will be studying courses ranging from international public health, law and globalisation, disaster management, gender and international relations and environment development. These courses are in schools spread across the UK like the University of Oxford, University of Leeds, University of Glasgow amongst others.
Speaking on their scholarships some of the beneficiaries of the awards had quite an interesting feedback to give. Zenobia Fatmata, who got a scholarship to study Gender and international relations at the University of Bristol had this to say “Commonwealth is a great opportunity and I am so lucky. I am encouraging young girls to go for it .” Also speaking on the scholarship, Joanna Favour Tom Kargbo, who got the scholarship to study Global Health at the University of Nottingham stated “It is an exciting opportunity to be a commonwealth scholar. It is a platform to meet other students, acquire education from top universities and contribute positively in the area of health”
So far 467 Sierra Leoneans have benefited from the Commonwealth Scholarship since its inception in 1960. Globally, over 28,500 Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows have been funded by the UK government through the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission since 1960. Commonwealth Scholarship alumni include highly influential and notable figures, including prime ministers and cabinet ministers, Nobel Prize winners, academics, diplomats, writers, and leaders in major NGOs and businesses.