Bursary Scheme

Since 2016, the Conservancy underwent administrative and leadership revolution that saw new energetic and focused youth assuming the leadership of the Board and injected in fresh blood and ideas to steer forward the organization. Flaws on operations and revenue collections were assessed and intricately reviewed to deliver results.

That saw the conservancy doubling revenue from the Year 2017 and by 2019, the revenue was up by over 400% compared to 2016. This offered the Board avenue to initiate community social benefits projects and Bursary Scheme was among them.

In 2017, the first KES 3.2M was disbursed to 290 high school students, and 110 tertiary students and every year the figure has been growing, and on average the Conservancy would allocate between KES 5-6M for the programme. The allocation per student is rated as follows:-

  1. High School - KES 5,000
  2. Colleges - KES 7,000
  3. University Undergraduate KES 10,000
  4. University Postgraduate KES 15,000
Currently, we support about 600 high school and at least 250 tertiary students.

Scholarship Proposal

The Board and the Conservancy Management are planning to expand the Bursary Scheme by creating a sustainability programme of scholarship. Bursary is relieving but to some students, it isn't enough thus exposing them to the vulnerabilities of dropping out of school.

The scholarship programme will be very competitive and aimed at top-performing students seeking to further their studies.

But also a combined analysis of factors would be considered when determining the beneficiaries like gender balance, and severity of poverty, among other variables.

The Conservancy Board will be at the center of selection as they have to involve the community in their respective zones. At least each of the 15 settlement zones, should provide one beneficiary. 

The beneficiaries will be supported throughout their education to the end. 

Regular monitoring of the beneficiaries' status at their learning institutions will be conducted and mentorship offered for high levels of personal responsibility to ensure they don't trash the opportunity prematurely.

The cycle of beneficiaries will be between 3-4 years but not annual. When the first group is through, the next is adopted.

Procedures of Bursary Scheme

The following are the step-by-step processes:
  1. The Board checks the Board Calendar to determine the Bursary Window
  2. The Board allocates funds for the scheme from various sources of revenue
  3. The Manager is tasked to write a notice to the members of the public/students to make written applications. Normally 45 days windows is allowed.
  4. Pre-printed application forms are offered to Board members to distribute to their zonal beneficiaries, also softcopy is made available on online sources or town cybercafes 
  5. The application forms are well designed with informative notes for all the requirements needed like attachments to the form
  6. After the expiry of the application window, the Manager assembles all the received application forms and instructs computer data entry clerks to input the forms data in Bursary Software - a bespoke tool for Bursary Management
  7. Once data entry is done in about a week, the manager generates various reports from the system, like zonal lists of beneficiaries, and presents them to a full Board for vetting
  8. Once the vetting is done, the final list is determined
  9. The Manager generates reports categorizing beneficiaries in schools and presents the final report to the full Board
  10. Once the final list is ratified by the Board, the Manager publishes the list online on local Social Media platforms, and printed copies are posted on public walls/notice boards for access by the public/beneficiaries
  11. The Manager instructs the Finance Department to prepare the cheques as he finalizes generating Cover Letters for every institution that will accompany the cheques
  12. The Manager prepares a form where students/parents that collect the schools' cheques on behalf of others append their details and signature. This helps in tracking the cheques when they disappear or if they get sequestered by crafty handlers
  13. The Manager will despatch personnel at convenient locations to distribute the cheques procedurally 
  14. The Manager would expect to receive receipts of payments from every recipient institutions, a staff would be despatched to collect them where necessary 
  15. The Manager generates a Bursary Scheme Report for the year to the Board and stakeholders

Bursary Software

The Conservancy realized that managing the scheme was very tricky. Using manual and basic means like Excel Spreadsheets was taking a lot of energy, and time and was prone to errors. The first 2016 and 2017 bursaries were distributed after a very work-intense process.

In 2018, the Conservancy developed a bespoke tool using VB.NET Programming Language which resulted in very robust software that made Bursary Management very convenient, increasing efficiency, reducing errors, blocking crafty students from making multiple applications using different profiles, and much more.

Since then, the scheme has been operating optimally during its timelines.

Its report generation is very professional and makes backups. An analytical tool is being developed to update the application to compare the performance of the scheme with the past years.