Two students who grew up in a charity-funded community in East Africa have embarked on life-changing university degree courses thanks to SThree.
The pair – Christina and Sangalatsani – who spent their early years in an SOS Children’s Village in Malawi, have been fully funded by the global recruitment consultancy.
Christina’s and Sangalatsani’s journey
The life-changing initiative came about when SThree Chief Executive Officer Gary Elden visited Malawi in 2013. Gary, whose trip also took in Zambia, met Christina and Sangalatsani on his first day in Africa.
He said: “I met two older children who were desperate for a scholarship but, due to the lack of opportunities, were struggling. I asked them to send across their CVs as I was keen to help them in their quest to be a success. In the village there was a lack of technology, which makes you worry for the children and how they will miss out on job opportunities.”
Embracing Gary’s vision and determination to support these students, SThree has worked alongside SOS Children UK & SOS Children Malawi to organise their scholarships outside the charity’s existing programmes.
The plan has taken some time to be realised, not least because the students had to work hard to secure offers from their chosen universities, having been unsuccessful in their first attempts in 2014.
Their efforts – and those of SThree – paid off when the two students recently secured university places. Christina is studying Business Administration at Blantyre International University, while Sangalatsani has embarked on a degree programme in the same subject at the Catholic University of Malawi.
The scale of support offered
SThree is covering the full costs of Christina and Sangalatsani’s four year courses, including tuition and boarding fees, travel, books and materials, laptop, examination fees and spending money. The total investment costs come to more than £50,000.
Christina said: “It is a great privilege to have my scholarship, since it will motivate me to work hard. I am very happy. I can now see that my dream to become what I want has started to be realised. I don't take this for granted because I know that this opportunity will change my life and drive me towards the highest level to be an example to other people and stand on my own.
“I will look back and say 'Without the scholarship I would not be where I am today'. I will try to get the best grades so that I can work towards fulfilling my goal of having my own organisation, where I can lead.”
SThree CEO as inspiration
Sangalatsani made his feelings known in no uncertain terms: “I am extremely happy, as in wow!”
“I have been depressed and afraid that I wouldn’t make it. It is so awesome because I know that my problems are done. Gary Elden is my inspiration. Thanks for being there when I needed you.
“I love the school. So far I’ve been learning courses like Micro-Economics, Introduction to Pure Maths, Critical Thinking, Communication and Study Skills, Business Maths and Anthropology.”
SOS Children’s Villages Malawi’s national director Smart Namagonya said: “I would like to sincerely thank SThree for the university scholarships given to Christina and Sangalatsani. Your support towards the two young people will really help them achieve their ambitions.”