THE Rita Marley Foundation celebrates the 76th birthday of founder and reggae icon Dr Alferita "Rita" Marley, OJ, OD, LITT, by opening the 2022 Rita Marley Scholarship fund. Following the success of the initial launch last year, the foundation is investing $4 million to help women overcome obstacles to pursuing higher education and achieving their dreams.
The long-term development of a nation depends on how enabled all its citizens are to pursue the best quality of life possible. Educational advancement is one of the fundamental ways to achieve this life and Dr Rita Marley and her foundation are thankful to have the ability to help make higher education more accessible to women living on the lower socio-economic end of the spectrum. The foundation is charged with this mandate.
"Through the Rita Marley scholarships, we can continue to motivate and uplift the financially challenged youth â€” especially women," states Cedella Marley, daughter of Rita and Bob Marley and an accomplished singer, author, fashion designer, and entrepreneur in her own right. "With schools reopening for face-to-face classes, there is still a general energy of uncertainty surrounding education at this time, and mom is so pleased to be able to help our women reach their full potential."
Aimed at empowering women, the scholarships will be awarded to 10 women currently enrolled in university for the 2022-2023 period. Of the 10 awardees, one will be a woman pursuing a career in nursing and another a single mother who experienced teenage pregnancy. This single mother will be selected from applicants currently enrolled at the Women's Centre of Jamaica Foundation (or similar institutions that enrol pregnant women).
Beloved globally as an entertainer and humanitarian, Marley was herself originally training to be a nurse before meeting (and later marrying) Bob Marley. Their joint passions for music, spiritual self-actualisation, and the upliftment of disenfranchised people became the basis for a vision that fuelled the careers of Bob Marley & the Wailers, I-Three, and Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers. This vision also inspired the various enterprises that comprise the Marley Group of companies, including the Rita Marley Foundation.
A call for applications will be conducted through the Rita Marley Foundation's website. Participating applicants, parents, or guardians should submit applications for the programme via the online portal only. This online portal will guide the selection process by utilising a means test. Interviews of the shortlisted applicants will also be conducted to evaluate potential beneficiaries. Upon completion of the selection process, the foundation will make the disbursements directly to the institutions where the awardees are enrolled.
The deadline for submissions is Sunday, July 31, 2022. Full details and applications are online at www.ritamarleyfoundation.org.