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Your gift changes lives and enriches our community

Your gift changes lives and enriches our community
Your gift changes lives and enriches our community

Gaining a scholarship to attend Aiglon is a life-changing opportunity granted only to the very best candidates – one made possible with your support.

I first met the young girl I'll call Hope when I went to interview potential scholars at a school in Kenya this year. When she walked in wearing a sweatshirt with Chinese characters on, her warm, composed presence just filled the room. I was with Assistant Head Jack George and, as a Mandarin speaker, he leaned over and whispered: “Her sweatshirt says: ‘There’s always hope.’” Hope and I started talking, and I asked her one of our standard questions: “What would your friends at school say about you?” She answered: “They probably say I’m pretty strong when it comes to facing challenges.” So I asked her to tell me about some challenges she faced with strength. This is what she told me.

When the pandemic hit Kenya, all schools were closed for a year. Hope’s mother caught Covid and died from an underlying heart condition – which could have been prevented if she had been able to access the right treatment. Hope was sent to live with a relative but, when schools reopened, she caught a blood infection and missed another three months of her education. Despite all this, she aced her exams. Then, when she sat Aiglon’s exams, she achieved 94.7 percent on her IB math exam. She had never even studied IB math.

We take our Kenyan scholars after they finish high school. So Hope was spending her days taking care of her stepmother’s small children and her nights volunteering at a local church. She had no money and no future plans. When Mrs Sparrow and I interviewed her again, online, Hope was afraid to turn on the video because a friend of hers had bought her a SIM card and she didn’t want to run out of internet access before the interview was over. She told us that she was trying to save money to go on a beautician’s course. After that interview was over, Mrs Sparrow and I agreed that there had been other candidates who might bring more, academically, to the school. But if we wanted to change a life, we knew we had to give the scholarship to Hope. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried with happiness.

To me, Hope’s story encapsulates everything that is good about our Scholarship Programme. We can take these young people and open a million doors for them. While lifting themselves up, they lift the whole school with them. And because we make a point of only taking scholars who we believe will be able to achieve further scholarships in higher education, many go on to do great work in their home countries and lift them up, too. Hope is now considering becoming a doctor, she tells me. But her biggest ambition is to make as much money as possible – so she can go back to Kenya and use it to open health clinics.

Hope’s story is just one of many from the Aiglon Scholarship Programme – which is only made possible through the incredible generosity of our donors. If you want to join them, please consider donating to the Aiglon Scholarship Fund. We are profoundly grateful for any amount, big or small. The impact of their generosity on the lives of these young people – who have lived through challenges most of us cannot imagine – is tangible and lifelong. Hope is just at the beginning of her Aiglon story. With your help, we can start a new chapter in the lives of other people around the world. As her sweatshirt said: there’s always hope.

Read the full 2023 Annual Review



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