British-Nigerian Hollywood actor David Oyelowo is ready to give back to his fatherland, Nigeria through a foundation he is funding alongside other celebrities to bring succor to marginalized females in Nigeria. Oyelowo is giving back through a new foundation, the GEANCO Foundation, which is creating special scholarships for female victims of acts of terror and victims of gender inequality. Speaking with Broadway World Nigeria’s Afam Onyema, the GEANCO Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, said: “Through these scholarships, we will bring fresh hope to Nigeria’s most precious and vulnerable souls. This is a powerful, heartwarming response to an urgent, challenging crisis.”
According to a statement shared by Yahoo, the foundation focuses mostly on the girls who escaped or were rescued from terrorist groups and have been put through psychological torture, which include isolation by their families and communities, disrupted education, and more.
Read excerpt of the statement as published on Yahoo: GEANCO’s special scholarship will benefit this vulnerable group of girls, in addition to girls severely disadvantaged by Nigeria’s pervasive gender inequality. It is named in honor of acclaimed British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo (Selma, A United Kingdom, Disney’s Queen of Katwe), a strong GEANCO supporter who encouraged the scholarship’s creation and plays an active role in its funding, administration and promotion. Last year, David received GEANCO’s “Global Promise” Award at the foundation’s annual Hollywood gala in recognition of his commitment to providing better educational opportunities for Nigeria’s youth. Speaking on the foundation coming to Nigeria, Oyelowo said: “We cannot stand idly by while thousands of innocent girls remain under serious threat. With our help, these bright and resilient girls can blossom into Nigeria’s most inspiring leaders in government, education, business, entertainment, and so much more. The way to combat oppression and injustice is to be intentional in calling it out and then seeking to affect sustainable and long-term change. That is what these Leadership scholarships are all about. We seek to nurture a generation of strong female trailblazers whose positive impact will be felt across Nigeria and around the world.”
Three scholarships will be awarded for the 2016-2017 school year. The number offered in subsequent years will depend on capacity and available funding. This year’s recipients will attend the Anglican Girls Grammar School (AGGS), a secondary school for students aged 10-15, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city. AGGS is an academic center of excellence known for its emphasis on science and math. Future scholarship recipients will be placed at other high-achieving schools in Nigeria. David and Jessica Oyelowo, Oprah Winfrey, Janus Funds, Participant Media and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon provided the seed funding for this scholarship. GEANCO’s leadership actively seeks additional major gifts to increase the scholarship’s reach and impact.