Merali Foundation Renews Scholarship Program for Women in Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, and Vietnam

San Francisco, October 5, 2016 — Since the launch of the Merali University Scholarship Program for Disadvantaged Women in 2010, The Asia Foundation, in partnership with The Merali Foundation, has enabled nearly 500 disadvantaged female students, predominantly from underserved rural areas, to successfully pursue undergraduate degrees. Recently, the Foundation and The Merali Foundation renewed their commitment to provide scholarships to academically-gifted female students who are unable to continue their education at the university level due to financial constraints. The Scholarship program helps cover the cost of tuition, educational supplies, and books. The Merali Scholars are all women from low-income households who have been admitted into a four- or five-year undergraduate program and have demonstrated both academic achievement and a commitment to learning.

The Merali University Scholarship Program is unique in supporting a significant number of students majoring in the natural sciences and technical fields, where women are traditionally under-represented. In addition, a “Big Sister” mentorship component enables previous scholars to provide incoming or new scholars with advice on strategies for academic success, dissertation guidance, and job market preparation tips. With a focus on holistic development, in addition to the strong emphasis on academic performance, the scholarship program provides students with training in computers and information technologies; classes on research methods, soft skills development, and English language; and opportunities for community service and personal and professional development.

The Merali Foundation, formerly known as the Shirin Pandju Merali Foundation, was established by Pandju Merali in honor of his late wife, Shirin Merali. The Merali Foundation is committed to educating girls in developing countries. Together with The Asia Foundation, The Merali Foundation has launched women’s scholarship programs in Malaysia, Mongolia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. Education catalyzes a range of economic, social, and health benefits that reach far beyond individual transformation, benefiting families, communities, and entire societies. Providing girls and young women with opportunities to pursue an education is one of the most effective ways to promote gender equality and eradicate poverty in Asia.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

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Related locations: San Francisco
Related programs: Empower Women
Related topics: The Merali Foundation

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