British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo encouraged the creation of a scholarship to aid girls who have been terrorized and disadvantaged by gender inequality. Many Nigerian girls are being raped, kidnapped and – if they make it back home – shunned by their families. GEANCO Foundation has announced the first ever David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls to help victimized young girls get an education.
“We cannot stand idly by while thousands of innocent girls remain under serious threat,” Oyelowo in a press release. “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.”
According to Shadow and Act, the 40-year-old screenwriter and producer has long supported GEANCO. He was honored for his commitment to providing Nigerian youth with educational opportunities in 2015.
His commitment extends further with the Leadership scholarship. It will have initial financial support from famous sources. They include Oyelowo’s wife Jessica, Oprah Winfrey and pro football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon. Capital group Janus Funds and entertainment company Participant Media will also fund the grant. Additionally, the actor will actively participate in providing funding, administration and promotion for the grant.
Three leadership scholarships will be provided for the 2016-2017 school year. Offers for subsequent years will be determined by the amount available and total funding received. Anglican Girls Grammar School in Abuja, Nigeria will educate this year’s recipients. The all-girls boarding school emphasizes science and math in its courses. It also provides a safe, nurturing environment for students. Other renowned schools will be chosen for future scholarship recipients.