1000 Sierra Leonean youths selected for SOS-Nekotech masters degree programme with $100m loan
No fewer than 1000 Sierra Leonean youths with Bachelors’ Degrees stand to benefit from the SOS-NEKOTECH USA-Canada work and study Masters Degrees programme launched on March 28, 2023 by the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr Alpha Timbo.
The work and study pilot programme was approved by Cabinet on April 20, 2021, under the auspices of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in collaboration with the SOS Labour Ghana under the Transfer2Transform initiative.
Till date, young Sierra Leoneans are already successfully pursuing their master’s degrees in top universities of the United States of America such as the Colorado School of Mines, Duquesne University in Pennsylvania, Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey and others through the pilot programme.
Upon completion of their two-year Master’s Degrees, the youths will be placed in the USA Practical Training programme and allowed to work for three years earning salaries legally ranging from $60,000 to $150,000 per year.
In order to reach more Sierra Leoneans to benefit nationally, the Transfer2Transform programme, dubbed: Level Don Change now offers an 80 percent preparatory school scholarship award voucher amounting to $2000, which is automatically applied to the preparatory school admission process upon pre-qualification.
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In addition, the programme offers a no-collateral educational loan- up to $100,000 per student – paid directly to the University in the USA and Canada to cover students’ tuition, books and accommodation.
“This unique contribution levels the playing field to enable Sierra Leoneans, who could normally not afford to send their children overseas an opportunity to do so through the partial scholarship and educational loan package approved by Cabinet and offered under the Transfer2Transform Initiative,” Timbo said.
Students are responsible for other financial costs such as 20 percent of the preparatory school fees after the 80 percent scholarship is applied, which leaves them with a balance of $499 to pay out of the original fee of $2500. Candidates must also pay US visa and USA Embassy Service fees payable to the US Embassy amounting to $510, medicals, as well as tickets and pocket money to the USA.
The SOS-Nekotech USA Canada Work and Study Fair Registration is open until April 18, 2023, and pre-qualification can be done online at the link stated below, while the virtual prep classes will commence on April 25, 2023. Seats are going fast since the program launched on March 28.
The programme is being organised by Educo USA, Nekotech Center’s African STEM and Sports Institute of Excellence (ASSIE), SOS Labour Ghana, SOS Global Investments Sierra Leone, SOS Women Transfer2Transform Malawi, Royal Return Ghana and the Journalists International Forum on Migration (JIFORM) in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
The programme was originally launched by its CEO, a US Trained Engineer, Rev. Dr Princess A.K. Ocansey- as a pilot programme in Ghana in 2018, and then in Sierra Leone in 2021, Malawi in 2022 and Zambia in 2023 with Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon and Tanzania joining recently.
The five-year master’s degree programme aligns with the Government of Sierra Leone’s human capital development mandate, as well as the UN SDGs 2030 #8 and the African Union Agenda 2063.
The programme is run in Science, Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM), Sports Science and Sports Management, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Healthcare and Multimedia.
The programme prep school provides students with private counsellors, virtual lectures, admission assistance, industry-led strategic course selections to ensure employment upon completion in the USA and school loan application assistance, among other services for human development spiritually, physically and professionally.
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