Soko Fund is a registered charity organisation that was established in 2013. The organisation was formed with the aim of supporting young women at higher levels of education. The organisation begun offering scholarships in 2004 and these scholarships are geared towards needy students.
The scholarships offered by Soko Fund range from MK 55,000 to MK 400,000 depending on whether the recipient of the scholarship is self-sponsored or government sponsored. Since 2004, nearly 60 women have obtained degrees through the fund in various academic disciplines such as accountancy, nursing and midwifery, business administration as well as medicine. In addition to providing tuition fees, the fund also provides upkeep allowances to recipients of the scholarship. These allowances have been increased from MK 60,000 to MK 100,000.
On 12th May 2017, a Soko Fund meeting was held where previous beneficiaries of the fund presented on the feasibility of establishing a Soko Fund Graduate association in Malawi. The alumni of the Soko Fund scholarship program expressed their desire to becomes benefactors themselves as a way of appreciating the assistance that was provided to them that enabled them to obtain their degrees. Through this association, the alumni would like to provide role models to young women who are either easily discouraged by cultural expectations, lack of economic opportunity or expect few opportunities for their social or personal advancement.
In their feasibility study, it was found out that of those who participated, 47% are currently working, 50% are not working and 3% have found opportunities for further studies. Should the association be established, the alumni aim to provide counselling to those that are currently on a scholarship program on issues such as budgeting (surviving on limited resources), provision of stationery and food, motivational and career guidance talks, organising vocational and entrepreneurial trainings and much more.