David Oyelowo Launches Scholarship for Terrorized Nigerian Girls
British Actor of Nigerian descent, David Oyelowo (Selma in Queen of Katwe) is paving a way for three Nigerian girls to continue their education with the announcement of a scholarship in his name starting this year. The David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship stems from the actor’s close partnership with the GEANCO Foundation, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization committed to transforming health and education in Africa.
The three scholarships will cover full tuition for one year (including room and board and summer tutoring) for three females who have been exposed to terrorism and gender inequality to attend Nigeria’s Anglican Girls Grammar School beginning in September. It’s the same school Oprah Winfrey generously donated $100,000 to in Oyelowo’s honor in 2015 through GEANCO to provide the school with educational supplies, a brand-new computer lab and a water filtration system, among other additional support.
“The new scholarship will directly impact young girls’ lives who have been devastatingly impacted by acts of terror and gender inequality, and so hopefully it’s a place to put that frustration instead of just becoming more and more numb to the terrible things we’re seeing in the world at the moment,” Oyelowo said.
Winfrey is the scholarship’s major seed funder. Oyelowo and his wife, Jessica, have personally donated to the scholarship along with Participant Media, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, Janus Funds and several other donors.
For GEANCO co-founder and chief operating officer Afam Onyema, the scholarship is just the beginning of providing support to women who have been rescued from being kidnapped and terrorized by the acts of Boko Haram as well as those marginalized throughout Nigeria. The organization, which Onyema founded with his father in 2005, also has received support from Forest Whitaker, Kimora Lee Simmons and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who supports a separate school in Nigeria with the organization.
See photos of the Anglican Girls Grammar School in Nigeria below.
Improvements to Nigeria’s Anglican Girls Grammar School included a new water filtration system. (Photo courtesy of GEANCO)
Students received new science lab equipment. (Photo courtesy of GEANCO)
Part of Oprah Winfrey’s donation went towards a new computer lab. (Photo courtesy of GEANCO)