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168 students receive KPA-USA scholarship

December 19, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai

One hundred and sixty-eight (168) students in the Koya Chiefdom, Port Loko district, were proud recipients of a scholarship scheme from the Koya Progressive Association (KPA), a non-profit making organization based in the United States of America.

The scholarship-award ceremony took place last Saturday 10th December, 2016 at the Masiaka Community Centre. It was a scene of joy and appreciation as many parents were expressing their gratitude to KPA for assisting them in the midst of the current economic challenge in the country.

Twenty-four (24) students from various tertiary institutions in Sierra Leone and six pupils from 24 selected secondary schools in the Koya Chiefdom benefited from the scheme.

One of the Trustees of KPA and paramount chief of Koya Chiefdom, Bai Kompa Bomboli II, said the association has always been helping people in need and that  despite most of the members were in the U.S, they always show interest in everything that happens in the Chiefdom.

He said the scheme was a clear manifestation of KPA’s desire to support the sons and daughters of the chiefdom.

“Most of the beneficiaries of this scholarship are coming from poverty-stricken homes and communities. The aid is timely because of the current economic hardship in the country. The students were given exercise books, cash, and other learning materials. This is a way of giving back to the community where you were born,” he said.

He called on all to work together for the progress of the Chiefdom.

Another Trustee, Abdul Kabba Kargbo, said KPA has been in existence for many years and it has been supporting the chiefdom in diverse ways.

He said KPA-USA was registered in USA and Sierra Leone, adding that its members were mostly based in USA and from Koya Chiefdom, Port Loko district.

“They are making strides in developing Koya through fundraising efforts from the Diaspora. The members have made tremendous contributions to education and other areas of need,” he said.

Highlighting some of the contributions, he said, KPA’s mission to support African children started in 2008, with the construction of schools, provision of furniture, and teaching and learning materials.

“In 2008-2009, KPA-USA built Tomlinson High School and an administrative building in Songo. In 2010, the association built an elementary school in Mamowa. 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 academic years, KPA awarded scholarship to 62 pupils in 18 secondary schools within Koya Chiefdom,” he said, adding that the scholarship covered full tuition and learning materials including text books in all core subject areas.

He recalled that in 2014, KPA-USA was the first non-profit making organization to respond to the Ebola outbreak in Koya by providing food and non-food items, sensitization, among others things.

He noted that Ahmadiyya School in Newton, Western Area Rural District, has also been one of the beneficiaries of all KPA-USA scholarships and programs.

One of the beneficiaries of the scholarship, Aminata Koroma, a second year student of Njala University, expressed her joy  over  the aid and noted that she felt blessed for being considered as one of the beneficiaries.

“This is my first time to receive such aid from KPA but others have been benefiting. This is timely because most of us have been grappling to pay our fees especially for us the girls. For a man to pay fees for you at this moment, he will demand so much from you. But thanks to KPA for this,” she said.

Abdulai B. Kamara, a student of Fourah Bay College, said he felt relieved after receiving scholarship, adding that he has been struggling with the economic hardship in the country.

“The APC-led government has been helping us with 70 percent of our fees. But with the austerity measures now in place, we have heard that students should now pay 50 percent of their fees instead of 30 percent. The KPA scholarship is like a saviour to the already college fees,” he said.

He said if the KPA scholarship continues, it would help many of the students who have got their university requirements but were struggling to be admitted because of poor situation.

Speakers including the president of KPA-USA, Head of the ceremonial chiefs in Koya Chiefdom Komrabai  Kargbo, among others, urged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the opportunity for a brighter future.

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