Royal visit enhances the power of life changing sustainable agriculture scholarships
Seventeen agriculture students from nine developing countries met Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal at a sustainable farming seminar at Harper Adams University this week, where they are nearing the conclusion of a 10-week scholarship, funded by the Marshal Papworth Fund, an agricultural development charity solely managed by the East of England Agricultural Society, based in Peterborough. Two of the students are on a longer Masters scholarship at the university.
The students also had the opportunity to meet with the High Commissioners for Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. The students were accompanied by Fund co-ordinator Sandra Lauridsen, Fund chairman Tom Arthey, and East of England Agricultural Society chairman Charlie Reynolds. HRH the Princess Royal, who is also the Chancellor of Harper Adams University, was joined by the university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Ken Sloan.
Professor Ken Sloan commended the 15 Marshal Papworth students for “filling me with optimism that solutions to providing equitable sustainable food and water to everyone will be found.”
He continued: “The Marshal Papworth Fund students teach us to share our learnings, and to listen and learn from them and their challenges. My deepest thanks to the Marshal Papworth Fund, the East of England Agricultural Society, students and all charity partners.”
One of this year’s alumni, Isaac Vanderpuye, from Ghana, said: “Words cannot express the feeling of our encounter with Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal. I was honoured to meet her with a handshake and to be able to engage her in a short and memorable dialogue. I believe the knowledge we have gained from this course, supporting field visits, and the privilege of meeting Her Royal Highness will help transform our communities and the countries we live and work in at large.”
Fellow student, Isaac Ogutu, from Kenya, said: “Todays Royal visit was incredible, we had a rare opportunity to shake hands with the Princess Royal and share with her what we are doing in our countries to help communities be food secure and the contribution we are making in the communities where we work. Her visit came along with other privileges that we would have missed if she did not visit, for example, High Commissioners from our countries came and that provided us the opportunity to meet them and share with them more about Marshal Papworth short course scholarship and the impact it is going to create in our communities and towards national development.”
Rwandan students from the Marshal Papworth Fund meet His Excellency Mr Johnston Busingye, High Commissioner for Rwanda
The students from Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia, were selected by the charity partners of the Marshal Papworth Fund, including ADRA Ghana, Hands Around The World, Leprosy Mission, Ripple Effect, Teyapi4Peace and Tree Aid.
Tom Arthey, chairman of the Marshal Papworth Fund, said: “It was an honour to be able to address such distinguished guests at the Sustainable Agriculture Seminar at Harper Adams University, alongside our sustainable farming students, who have made the incredible commitment to the sustainable future of their communities by travelling here from India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana and Burundi.
“We are delighted to have had this wonderful opportunity to highlight to both Her Royal Highness and the High Commissioners the work of the Marshal Papworth Fund and our alumni network, now stretching across an incredible 31 developing countries and positively impacting thousands of lives through our 243 students to date.”
Tom Arthey addressed the audience, including Her Royal Highness and the High Commissioners, before a talk from Dr Ed Harris on making use of data in the dairy industry, leading to some challenging questions to Dr Harris from three of the Marshal Papworth Fund students. Students also performed a song they composed in Swahili in thanks to the Marshal Papworth Fund, East of England Agricultural Society and Harper Adams University.
The Marshal Papworth Fund provides scholarships for students from developing countries, including year-long Masters MSc scholarships to leading UK agricultural universities and colleges, and this bespoke 10-week short course, developed with Harper Adams University. To date, 243 students have been educated at UK agricultural universities as part of the Marshal Papworth Fund scholarship schemes.
To find out more about supporting the Marshal Papworth Fund, please contact Sandra Lauridsen on 01733 961024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.