*Actor David Oyelowo has teamed with the LA-based nonprofit organization, GEANCO to create the David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls which aims to ensure that young Nigerian girls have the necessary tools to excel in society. The scholarship will specifically support female victims of terror attacks and gender-based inequality.
Oyelowo told The Huffington Post that his scholarship was inspired by Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.
“For me, being of Nigerian descent myself, being a father to a daughter, I just feel so drawn to this particular group of girls in Nigeria who have been disenfranchised, who have been attacked, and having their very basic rights stolen from them,” Oyelowo said. “And so, forming this partnership to start this scholarship that is going to have actual direct impact to girls who have been displaced through these acts of terror, is something that was kind of a no brainer for me, because I’ve been looking for places to be effective rather than just be angry about some of the injustices that I see in the world.”
The scholarship has been funded by: The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, Participant Media and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon.
Three recipients will be awarded this year with a full scholarship for the 2016-2017 school year at the Anglican Girls Grammar School in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja.
“My dream eventually is to have this scholarship be regarded in the same way that the Rhodes Scholarship is,” Afam Onyema, GEANCO co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, told HuffPost. “I want these girls to become the president of Nigeria, and I want their bio to be, ‘and she was a David Oyelowo Leadership scholar.’”
“I want to instill that sense of dignity into these girls and say, ‘whatever you wanna do we’re gonna help empower you to do it. And we’re gonna walk with you for as long as we possibly can to help you live the life that you deserve to live,’” Onyema added.
Oyelowo is also committed to addressing human trafficking and gender inequality.
“I have a daughter and I want the world that she goes on to grow up in to be a leveled playing field,” he said. “And so, those are the issues that are close to me and hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to do my part.”
For more information on David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls head here.