Partners for Development
Partners for Development

Anne Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund

Initially, PfD set a target of $20,000 for the Fund’s endowment. In September 2014, it provided that $20,000 as a loan to Gerewa, a longtime local partner operating community development activities in Bauchi State in northeastern Nigeria. With this loan of $20,000, Gerewa has in turn issued 182 microloans to help fund small enterprises – often kiosks for small-scale trading – and for agricultural activities. Sixty three (63) percent of the loans have gone to women, with the loans averaging $110 each. The great majority of borrowers do not have access to conventional bank credit because the banks view them as either too risky to lend to and/or too expensive to monitor. Thus, their only options for credit are moneylenders whose interest rates are typically over 100% per annum. Gerewa, on the other hand, charges about 3-3.3% interest per month on the small loans and also help the borrowers with businessdevelopment skills. Thus, Gerewa will pay PfD approximately $4,000 in interest annually on the $20,000 loan. Separately, PfD is working with another long-time partner, Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO), located in southern Edo State. LAPO, amongst its many community development activities, has operated a scholarship program for many years. In September 2014, PfD provided LAPO with $3,125 to fund ten girls with scholarships ranging from $220-500 each; those covered around 40-50% of a girl’s total cost to attend secondary school for a year. The range in scholarship size is needed because costs will vary by location and type of school (public or private). Thus, the separate loan to Gerewa of $20,000 serves as in effect a scholarship endowment, with annual scholarship funds being generated through the loan’s interest. Given interest rates on the loan and with one scholarship and attendant monitoring costs averaging $400, PfD can then provide an additional scholarship every time the endowment grows by $2000 beyond its initial $20,000 ($400/$2000=20%).

At inception of the partnership in 2014/15 academic session, the PfD supported 10 secondary school girls with scholarships. This was increased to 15 scholarships in the 2015/16 school year and for this current year, 2016/17 academic session; Twenty-three girls from low-income earning households were supported by the Anne Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund. These girls received between ₦28,000 to ₦80,000 for tuition and books.

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