The new WISE scholarship allows young Africans to pursue a university education



OTTAWA, February 17, 2022 – In partnership with the Steele Family Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages Canada is launching the Global Impact Scholarship and Education (WISE) program to ensure that talented African high school students who have grown up in SOS care have the opportunity to study at top African universities.

Scholarships will be available for students studying at SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College (HGIC) in Ghana, who grew up in SOS Family Care or Family Strengthening programs across Africa. Despite their perseverance, academic excellence, and community leadership, many of these students are forced to turn down offers of study at top universities simply because they lack the financial means.

This new scholarship program invests in today’s leaders. They are outstanding students who have the right to study and pursue their dreams. Financial challenges should not prevent students from reaching their full potentialsaid Thomas Bauer, President and CEO of SOS Children’s Villages Canada. “Together with the Steele Family Foundation, we are building on the great work being done at the HGIC school to prepare vulnerable youth to pursue post-secondary education.”

The HGIC is a center of academic excellence located in Tema, Ghana, which provides students from over 12 African countries with the highest quality education in the spirit of Pan-Africanism. The HGIC aims to develop students into confident, resilient adults who can thrive in a rapidly changing world. Students are instilled with critical and analytical thinking skills and encouraged to become lifelong learners and leaders in their community.

The first round of WISE Fellowships will be awarded in April 2022. Fellows will have overcome personal challenges and demonstrated leadership and active involvement in their community. They will receive financial support, as well as career advice, life skills, and key mentorship, internship and volunteer opportunities to support their personal and professional development.

Education is the best way out of poverty. This scholarship will not only benefit the student but will also have a ripple effect on their community, country and the continent as a whole.said Michael Steele, president and director of the Steele Family Foundation. “Africa has many top universities, so instead of a scholarship that sends students abroad, we wanted to focus on the exceptional learning opportunities available across the continent.added Stacey Coote, Director of Communications, Steele Family Foundation.

The WISE Scholarship uses the WISE Portal, a web application developed by the Steele Family Foundation. Scholars use the portal throughout their post-secondary education to manage their scholarship funds, engage with peers, and report on their academic experiences.

Lessons learned from the 2-year WISE program will enable SOS Children’s Villages and its partners to expand the project and reach more students in need.

More details on the WISE program are available online:


For more information:
Tanja Kisslinger, Program Communications, SOS Children’s Villages Canada, [email protected]

About SOS Children’s Villages:
Founded in 1969, SOS Children’s Villages Canada is a member of the SOS Children’s Villages International Federation. SOS Children’s Villages is dedicated to protecting children and promoting their rights in 137 countries and territories. We believe that children deserve more than just survival. They have the right to grow up in a safe and caring home environment, which gives them the best chance for a secure future. Using a holistic approach, we work to empower vulnerable children, families and communities to ensure children’s rights are upheld. Through programs focused on child protection, education, health, nutrition, women’s economic empowerment and humanitarian responses, SOS Children’s Villages serves more than one million people each year. Learn more:


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