The Co-operative Bank Foundation is the Co-operative Bank's vehicle for social responsibility.
The current flagship project of the Foundation is an education scholarship scheme for bright but less fortunate children who are facing difficulties in paying school fees for secondary education.
Co-operative Bank Foundation was established in 2007 as a registered trust in recognition of the need to enhance the existing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives by the bank.
At that point, the bank felt it was a duty that it should not only grow financially but also develop a deeper commitment to help the growth of the community. We believe that our role goes beyond profit-making to include promoting the long-term economic prosperity and quality of life for everyone in our communities. If our people prosper, we also proper as a bank.
In the year 2007, Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited successfully rolled out Education program to pay school fees for needy secondary school students. In 2011, the foundation also launched the university and vocational internship program. The program will continue in the days ahead, to enable these children to achieve their full potential.
To add value to the communities where we operate through partnerships, enhancing their lives and leaving them better equipped to succeed.
Education and Training
Inequality in education opportunities continues to present a major barrier in the realization of people’s potential within the country. Good education is critical to improve income, employment and enterprise opportunities.
For girls, education makes a difference to employment opportunities, marriage age, health and their capacity to make better decisions about their lives and those of their children. Poverty prevents literally many people from enjoying the advantage of formal schooling at every level in the educational system.
Despite the fact that education is compulsory and free through primary school and subsided in secondary school, the children especially those from disadvantage backgrounds continue to miss out in secondary school education due to financial or academic problems and many opt out of secondary education altogether, which often occurs during the transition from primary school to secondary school.
Kenya has made some progress over the past few decades in making higher education more accessible, however disparities still persist in student access to colleges and universities. These disparities limit the workforce opportunities, democratic participation and life chances of poor needy students. Co-op foundation is contributing toward this end by supporting the government increase access to education for the young people both at secondary school and university level.
Provide access to education for children/young people particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Provide access to secondary and university education for bright needy young people
- Providing sponsorship to bright but needy students in secondary school
- Providing scholarship to bright students in the university
- Providing guidance/counseling and mentorship for secondary school and university students
- Create forums for collective mentoring sessions to enable students acquire life skills lessons and share experience amongst them
- Identify needy cases in need of follow up for mentorship and counseling through discussions with schools, parents and progress reports review
- Identify key mentors to support the students with encouragement, career guidance, confidence and an opportunity to gain a positive role model
- Provide bright students with opportunities that will help them become agents of positive change in the world through internship with the bank
- Vocational internship with the bank for the best performing students in the Kenya certificate of secondary education
- Impart and nurture leadership skills among the students through mentorship
- Create a poll of mentors who can inspire continuing secondary school students
The scholarship program is currently focusing on 4 areas as per the list below.
- Secondary School Sponsorship
The secondary scholarship program was initiated in the year 2007 and has grown from an initial sponsorship of 30 students per region, to 60 students per region and 5 students per county for the 47 counties in Kenya. A total of 655 students per year from 2014.
- University Scholarships
In the year 2011, the bank rolled out the University scholarship and vocational internship program targeting 28 students each year that excelled in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination. The scholarship is renewable for up to 4-5 years of undergraduate study depending with the course. 84 students are currently receiving this scholarship at a public or private university in Kenya approved by the Commission of Higher Education. The university scholarship covers tuition, accommodation and meals
The vocational internship program was also rolled out to expose the pre-university and the university students to a real life job situation and hands-on industry training. As interns, they get exposed to the banking industry and participate as members of the workforce of one of the country’s most recognized bank. The bank has also committed, on a best endeavor basis, to recruit from this pool in the event that any of them is interested in pursuing a career in banking.
- Secondary School Sponsorship
Co-op Foundation sponsorship program supports secondary school thus helping families and their children fulfill their dreams and have a future. For $1,165 per year for 4 years, a high school sponsorship provides support to a needy qualified and carefully selected students with full tuition and boarding fee. The support also covers the costs of school uniform, books and stationary.
- Secondary school students
Mentoring workshops are designed to provide our high school scholars in with essential psychosocial support to boost their academic performance and ensure that they possess the skills to succeed in university and beyond. We invite outstanding Kenyan entrepreneurs, university students and counselors to lead these workshops in a way that is both culturally relevant and fun for our students. Co-op foundation encourages students to think critically and to take ownership of their own education and personal development in high school and beyond through 7 regional mentoring workshops.
You can sponsor one regional workshop for $13,920 and this will enable 50 students to attend the workshop for free and provide transport, room & board, meals and supplies for the 5-day workshop.
- Pre-university students
The period between the end of high school and the beginning of university is typically along one sometimes extending to one year for some universities in Kenya. This is an extremely risky period in which many former students become pregnant, addicted to drugs or engage in criminal activity – all of which ruin their chances of continuing their education.
To address these challenges the foundation organizes a week long workshop for pre university students to learn about careers options, educational opportunities and entrepreneurship skills.
You can sponsor a pre-university mentorship workshop for only $13,941 for a 6 days long workshop normally held in Nairobi. This will enable 28 pre university students attend the workshop for free and provide transport, room & board, meals and supplies for the 6 days long workshop.
- Secondary school students
- Vocational Internship Program
The vocational internship program was also rolled out to expose the pre-university and the university students to a real life job situation and hands-on industry training. As interns, they get exposed to the banking industry and participate as members of the workforce of one of the country’s most recognized bank. The bank has also committed, on a best endeavour basis, to recruit from this pool in the event that any of them is interested in pursuing a career in banking.