Learning and experiencing things from every corner of the globe has become a burning desire for most. Kenyans are no exception. Exposure to different cultures broadens horizons and may provide an edge in an increasingly clogged job market. But what happens when this dream is manipulated for personal gains?
The recent scandal involving the Uasin Gishu Senator involves an alleged “Finland scholarship” scam highlighting the lengths to which Kenyans are willing to go to ensure a better future for their children.
It also shows an ugly side of some who are capitalizing on these hopes, using them as a means to swindle desperate parents out of millions.
For most in Kenya, an education abroad is a good step in the path to economic freedom, better employment or experience.
But I personally think these aspirations are deeply rooted in a societal belief that overseas education, especially from the Western world, is superior and guarantees a better life.
Among other accomplices, the Uasin Gishu Senator Offered scholarship opportunities to young scholars from Uadin gishu to study in Finland, among other nations overseas known for their world-class education system.
The offer seemed too good to refuse for many struggling parents. They believed that by investing in this opportunity, they were paving a way for their children to live freely and prosperously in Kenya after obtaining a foreign degree.
But as millions disappeared and dreams shattered, it became apparent that the promise was nothing more than an elaborate scam. Leaving the scholars without guidance and the parents devastated for the wealth squandered.
Now recently during a forum in the area, young scholars took it upon themselves to respectfully communicate their grief to the leaders who were directly involved and invested in the scholarship programme.
The party, currently being probed by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), gave no credible response to the claims other than a promise to refund duly.
Just like many, this incident highlights the need for vigilance and due diligence when presented with seemingly golden opportunities. However, beyond the justified outrage and disappointment, there’s a deeper lesson here.
While the aspiration for a global education and exposure is commendable, it would be phenomenal if Kenyans recognized and invested in the potential of their homeland. Kenya, with its rich culture, history, and resources, has the capacity to offer world-class education, opportunities and legacy. The foundation for a prosperous future can be built right at home. Rudi Nyumbani.