Investing in the Ugandan Future. One student at a time.
Barcelona – 12 January 2018
2013 – SWIFT Conference in Kampala, Uganda. Matteo Rizzi (at the time working for SWIFT and present that day for a speech) had a peculiar encounter with a young Ugandan student. The conversation stood out to him because it was the only one with a non-banker that day. It gave him a glimpse of what the life of the local people was made of and this student left a strong impression on him.
Some months down the road, and after few exchanges by email, the same student shared with Matteo that she needed help. Makelele University, in Kampala, just accepted her application but she missed 500$ for the tuition. Now, stories of scheme of this sort are well known but Matteo decided to trust her. She has since graduated.
Two years after, Matteo co-founded FinTechStage with Lazaro Campos and Mariela Atanasova. An opportunity to help more students became clear and quickly a sponsorship program came into place. “At each FinTechStage conferences, for ten speakers joining the panels, we will finance ten students of the University (…)” proposed Matteo. The project came into place with the first conference in March 2015, 10 grants were sent to 10 students looking for financial help concerning their tuitions.
Patricia Ninsiima, the Ugandan student Matteo met back in 2013 and the first FinTechStage’s grantee, accepted to be the grant manager on site and is today in charge of the application process. In total, FinTechStage sponsored 30 students in the past 2 years. The students are between 20 and 25 years old and study various subjects. From BioLab Technology to Urban Planning and Development passing by Business Administration.
Helping 30 students will not change the grand scheme of things, a drop in an ocean… But those 30 young Ugandans were given a chance to pursue their education, and who can tell towards which height they will now go? Investing in education will always yield positive returns. Even if it is one person at a time. Join us at the next FinTechStage Conference and help us give a chance to more young students!
Here are four of our grantees: