Monrovia — It was moments of joy and a sense of fulfillment on Saturday when the Cummings Africa Foundation (CAF) awarded 20 full scholarships to prospective students to pursue tertiary studies in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and agriculture.
The event was marked with an honoring and award ceremony graced by CAF’s Founders, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings and his wife, Mrs. Theresa Cummings who inspired the awardees to be steadfast in their pursuit of excellence.
“The future of the world is all about technology and so, we are committed to supporting Liberians in pursing their aspirations in their studies,” Mr. Cummings said in a brief remarks at the event held at CAF’s head office in Oldroad, Sinkor.
Speaking further, he called on the students to work harder to stay on the scholarship, adding Liberians are exceptionally talented and smart.
“I have the blessings of living and working in many countries in Africa and around the world. And I say to you that those people [non Liberians] are not any smarter than you are, as Liberians. It is all about giving you the opportunity to pursue your goal and if given that opportunity you will do well. And we will support you because you represent the future of Liberia.”
Also speaking, CAF’s Co-founder, Mrs. Cummings said the CAF was founded in 2015 by her family with a vision to empower Africa and Africans in the sectors of education, health and agriculture, and with its core values of fostering a strong commitment to giving back to Liberia, drive results, collaborating and exercising a high degree of professional integrity and ethics in the discharge of its duties and responsibilities.
She thanked parents of the scholars for their continued support, adding they do not only need financial support but emotional and moral support as well.
She said: “It is our firm belief, that the education of the youth is the future for a better nation. By supporting the education of our young people, we are helping to create future doctors who can help build our healthcare system, technology specialists who can create apps that will improve our livelihood, engineers that can improve our infrastructure, scientists who can invent the next cure for future diseases and pandemics.”
She then recounted that Since 2016, some of the impactful contributions of the foundation include the paying of WAEC feed and providing tutorial support for over 4,000 students from over 40 schools across Liberia at the cost of US$106,000; a donation of a 350 KVA generator to the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) valued at US$67,000 and a monthly contribution of US$10,000 for the operation of the Alexander B. Cummings Model Science and Technology School in Duport Road, Paynesville.
In addition she revealed that the foundation distributed medical equipment to six referral hospitals across Liberia including the C. H. Rennie Hospitals in Kakata, Margibi County, C. B. Dunbar, Gbarngar, Bong, Government Hospital in Buchanan, Grand Bassa, J.J. Dossen in Harper, Maryland County, Gbeapo Health Center in Fish Town, River Gee and Star of the Sea Health Center in Westpoint, Montserrado County all valued at US$565,000.
For her part, CAF’s Country Director, Dr. Wede Elliot-Brownell stated the scholar program began in 2017 and has since awarded nearly 200 scholarships covering approximately US$100,000.
Dr. Brownell said “The Cummings Africa Foundation values education and believes that financial constraints should not limit a person from pursuing higher education. This program focuses on STEM and agriculture disciplines because we want to see more Liberian doctors, engineers, scientists and agriculturalists. This program support the vision of CAF and we want to expand it in the future.”
Speaking further, she said scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence, potential leadership skills, and demonstrated need, and as such, students who are awarded scholarships through the CAF scholarship program must maintain a “B” average and remain active in their communities. The program, she noted, has grown significantly since its inception, and over the next few years, as scholarship recipients graduate from college and enter the workforce, CAF expects to see measurable and impactful results.
On behalf of the current and past beneficiaries, Musulyn Ville (current) and Dolokelen, in separate remarks, thanked CAF for the support and called on foundation to reach out to more Liberians who are willing to pursue higher education but cannot afford.
Meanwhile, beneficiaries of the program are from 11 tertiary institutions including the Adventist University of West Africa, African Methodist Episcopal Zion University, Bluecrest University College, Bong County Technical College, Cuttington University College and Graduate School, Mother Patern College of Health Sciences, Smythe Institute of Science and Technology, Starz College of Science and Technology, Stella Maris Polytechnic University and United Methodist University, University of Liberia.
CAF’s Beliefs and Commitments
The Cummings Africa Foundation said it believes and work from a position that if every person, in every community is given the right opportunities for better healthcare, better education, and the ability to earn a meaningful income, he or she can reach his or her full potential.
Since its creation in 2015, the organization said it has invested in US$1.5 million implementing education, health and entrepreneur programs. The foundation’s programs and initiatives have impacted communities in almost every county in Liberia. CAF remains committed to having a positive impact on the lives of people in as many communities as possible. The organization can be reached at www.cummingsafricafoundation.org.