Syngenta, a global agricultural company, will sponsor $375,000 as scholarship fees for five students of the Asian University for Women (AUW) from January 2022 to December 2026.
The Asian University for Women (AUW) and Syngenta Asia Pacific announced the scholarship on Wednesday, said a press release.
These five students are selected from the smallholder communities of Bangladesh and India.
This initiative is in recognition of the significant economic contributions of women in agriculture and is aligned to the commitments of AUW and Syngenta in expanding opportunities to help rural women succeed.
Syngenta's scholarship will cover tuition, room and board, health coverage, textbooks, and supplies for five students. Scholarship recipients are chosen from among interested students from farming communities based on academic excellence and demonstrated leadership.
Of the five-year scholarship period, students will devote an entire year to learning English under AUW's rubric of 'Pathways for Promise'. They will spend the second year at the Access Academy for further academic preparation in all core academic subjects, and the last three years will be devoted to completing a US accreditation-eligible undergraduate program.
Pamela Gonzalez, Head of Asia Group and APAC Head of Diversity and Inclusion, said, "Rural women are key to achieving the transformational economic, environmental, and social changes required for sustainable development. But limited access to credit, healthcare, and education are among the many challenges they face, which are further aggravated by the global food and economic crises and climate change. Empowering them is key not only to the well-being of individuals, families, and rural communities, but also to overall economic productivity, given women's large presence in the agricultural workforce worldwide."
"Syngenta and the Asian University for Women are empowering these rural women to become leaders of tomorrow with right access to quality education. I personally look forward to the possibilities of this scholarship with internship opportunities and more for these young students at Syngenta," added Pamela Gonzalez.
A M M Golam Towhid, Managing Director of Syngenta-Bangladesh said, "the scholarship programme will enable our female students from the farming community a chance to explore their possibilities and empower them to make contributions to the community."
Kamal Ahmad, Founder of the Asian University for Women, said, "Even in our small countries, we are separated by one divide after another: the poor vs the rich, those with access to power and privilege and those without." In the midst of all of these divides, it is the rural-urban divide that is probably most decisive in predicting the future of those born across them. By dedicating scholarships to the daughters of landless agricultural workers, AUW joins Syngenta in lifting the curtain against that great divide and creating a pathway to discover and nurture the teeming talents that the tyranny of our divided societies otherwise suppresses."