More than 110 students from Africa will receive comprehensive scholarships to live and learn at UBC thanks to a $25 million grant from The MasterCard Foundation. The Program offers secondary and university education to academically talented students who come from economically disadvantaged communities in Africa so they can lead change in their communities when they return home.
In September, our Faculty welcomed MasterCard scholarship recipient Patrick Munyurangabo. Munyurangabo, an undergraduate in our FNH program, is from Rwamagana, Rwanda and was visited at home earlier this year by LFS Assistant Professor Judy McLean. There, McLean saw how Munyurangabo learned about sustainable agricultural systems, though Rwanda’s “one cow per family” program, which provides a cow for nutrition, fertilizer and fuel for a biogas converter. Munyurangabo’s family also uses a tiered “kitchen garden” and grows bananas and medicinal herbs to round out the family’s nutrition and health needs.
Munyurangabo was drawn to our Faculty in part because LFS complimented his value system and also because we offer an International Nutrition (IN) Major. The IN Major, created by McLean, is the only program in North America that focuses on applied nutrition and food security in an international context.
McLean has worked in Rwanda for a number of years and is aiming to initiate a landmark national program that will allow mothers to fortify their children’s food with vitamins and minerals from home. Financial support is being sought from the Dutch government, which, together with a green light from Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, UNICEF, and NGO partners, will enable Rwanda to become the first country in Africa to have a national home fortification program for young children. The scale-up will start with 250,000 children in 16 of Rwanda’s 31 districts.