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Supporting Africa, One Student at a Time

newsSince 2008, Holman United Methodist Church (Los Angeles, CA) has been providing a female student at Africa University (Mutare, Zimbabwe) with a full four-year academic scholarship.

The cost?  $5,700 (U.S.) per year, which includes tuition, books, room and board.

The scholarship was initiated through the leadership of Rev. Henry Masters, Africa University Board Member and Senior Pastor of Holman United Methodist Church at the time, who was aware of the need.  Members of Holman UMC then formed a ministry to provide the scholarship to a female student in particular because their research indicated that female students have more difficulty accessing higher education opportunities.

“The annual scholarship, for one female applicant at Africa University, is our way of helping to rebuild the infrastructure that is critically needed to help transform Africa and the world,” Sandra and William Hardy, Co-Chairs of the Africa University Scholarship Program.

A fundraiser is organized every February as needed, which involves both members of Holman UMC and the surrounding community, to raise funds for the scholarship.  And, through this effort, Holman UMC has been able to experience the United Methodist connection both locally and globally.

“Education to advance nation building is an integral part of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” says Senior Pastor Kelvin Sauls.  “This missional commitment has impacted my family directly. Prior to my appointment at Holman, my niece, Elaine Sauls, was a recipient of this scholarship. Currently an elementary school teacher in Johannesburg, Elaine is in the process of completing her masters degree. The Sauls family has been deeply touched by this investment from Holman UMC.”

The California-Pacific Conference, for years, has reached 100% apportionment in the Africa University Fund.  In addition, the Western Jurisdiction’s investment in Africa University has been exemplary.

africa-univ-yembaOn a recent visit to Africa University, California-Pacific Conference Resident Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño met Martha Yemba, a student scholarship recipient.

“Africa University is OUR United Methodist school on the continent of Africa. Our California-Pacific Conference’s vision is that together with other United Methodists we would inspire the world in the powerful name of Jesus Christ to become all that God lovingly intended it to be. We believe that Africa University is a powerful agent for the making of disciples of Jesus Christ who can lead us to transform the world. Our investment in Africa University comes from our connectional commitment and our hope for the future that AU inspires in us,” says Bishop Carcaño.