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Mastercard Foundation Renews Partnership With EARTH University Supporting Students and Graduates from the Global South

Program Will Improve Outcomes in Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Agriculture

Published 04-21-20

Submitted by EARTH University

Above: Chi Brenda ('21, Cameroon)

EARTH University and the Mastercard Foundation  have renewed their partnership to provide educational opportunities to academically talented young people from disadvantaged communities in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

EARTH University has been an institutional partner of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program since 2011. Over the next ten years, EARTH, an international, non-profit university in Costa Rica with an innovative four-year program in Agricultural Science, with a concentration in natural resource management and community development, will offer comprehensive scholarships to 125 of its students with the Mastercard Foundation’s support. 

The extended collaboration includes several new provisions aimed at enhancing learning opportunities for students and graduates. First, 75 percent of the scholarships will target African students and of those, 75 percent will be awarded to women. There will also be a concerted effort to recruit students from refugee communities in both Latin America and Africa.

Second, the two organizations will offer an innovative Fellowship Program to enhance and facilitate the transition of African students back to their home communities following graduation. The fellowships will provide graduates with a living stipend, mentoring, and support for one year following graduation (and in some cases to recent graduates who have already returned to home). Through the ongoing development of EARTH’s strong network of African partners, African graduates will have support in finding opportunities in one of four tracks:

  • Agricultural employment

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Agricultural education

  • Science and research 

One hundred and forty fellows will be supported over the life of the project, approximately half of them from EARTH University and the others from additional Mastercard Foundation partner universities.

A third component is the development of a series of online resources--webinars, courses and curated resources on entrepreneurship that will benefit EARTH graduates and others.

Lastly, for the first time, EARTH will have staff on the ground in Africa to support the project, as well as a new position on EARTH’s Guacimo campus, dedicated to supporting the institution in its monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and learning processes.

These new programs align with EARTH’s strategic plan to increase its impact by providing ongoing resources and support to its graduates, empowering them to succeed.

About EARTH 

EARTH University is a private, non-profit, international university based in Costa Rica and created with support from the Costa Rican government, U.S. Agency for International Development and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. EARTH’s mission is to prepare leaders with ethical values to contribute to sustainable development and to construct a prosperous and just society. Since 1990, EARTH’s innovative educational experience has prepared nearly 2500 young people from over 50 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and other regions to act as enlightened and effective leaders for rural areas. Nearly 81% of EARTH students come from rural areas, 49% are women, and 81% return after graduation as change agents in their home communities. EARTH’s holistic approach to preparing young leaders for the sector touches on all aspects of the sustainable agricultural value chain as well as emphasizing the critical role of entrepreneurship.

For more information, please visit https://www.earth.ac.cr/en/   Follow EARTH on Twitter @EARTH_Uni 

About Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

The Mastercard Foundation believes that all young people, no matter their starting point in life, should have an equal chance to obtain a quality education and pursue their aspirations.  We are providing education and leadership development for over 30,000 bright, young leaders with a deep personal commitment to changing the world around them and improving the lives of others.  Through a network of universities and non-governmental organizations, the Scholars Program ensures that students whose academic talent and promise exceed their financial resources, are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to become the next generation of ethical leaders. These young people will create change that matters within their communities and will usher in a new era of inclusive prosperity in Africa and beyond.  

About Mastercard Foundation  

Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. Through its Young Africa Works strategy and Canadian EleV program, the Foundation works with partners to ensure that millions of young people, especially young women, access quality education, financial services, and dignified work. Mastercard Foundation was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. The Foundation is independent with its own Board of Directors and CEO.  

For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit http://www.mastercardfdn.org/ Follow the Foundation on Twitter at @MastercardFdn 

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EARTH University

EARTH University

EARTH University, established in Costa Rica at the close of the Central American civil wars in 1986, was founded on the premise that local leadership would be key to achieving peace and shared prosperity among rural communities struggling with poverty and limited futures. With this transformative premise in mind, EARTH set out to train and prepare future generations of values-driven leaders for rural areas. Over the past three decades, the University has consolidated an established platform for rural leadership education that has provided holistic undergraduate education in agricultural sciences to more than 2,400 students from 50 countries around the world.

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