A Chinese-trained Liberian, Mohammed Lassana Sanoe has launched the Mohammed Lassana Sanoe (MLS) Study Abroad Scholarship scheme for high school graduates and university students, who are desiring of studying abroad.
Speaking during the formal launch at the YMCA in Monrovia, Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Sanoe says his decision to bring the MLS Study Abroad to Liberia is to help strangulating students achieve their dreams by obtaining quality education through the MLS scholarship program that will enable them to further their education.
He explains after his graduation from the St. Michael’s Catholic school on the Somalia Drive, he went to Accra, Ghana where he obtained a scholarship to go to China and pursue further studies, adding that upon completion, he thought it wise to return home and extend similar opportunity students that are desiring of attaining higher education.
Mr. Sanoe continues that before he started sending people, he faced the issue of trust, so his mother served as guarantor so people will believe him and that his dream to help young Africans becomes a reality.
The CEO also notes that initially, his own mother did not believe him until when he sent two young Liberians to China for studies.
“That was when my mother decided to take the bond and because of that, we have helped 63 African students go China for further education, 80 percent of whom are Liberians,” he discloses.
He says the program was only registered in China, but he decided to legalize it in Liberia, saying, “Today marks the official and grand launch of our company.”
According to him, the major challenge is getting people to trust someone they don’t see or know, but the company overcame that and today they are at the point where some beneficiaries or applicants have received admission, some visa and others waiting on results.
He says the scholarship is merit based, and candidates should be “A” or “B” students. “We are working with 23 universities in China both government and private universities, these universities have scholarship slots for students and our company engaged them and students buy these slots and go for their studies but the scholarship also includes benefit such as allowance per month, accommodations and other scholarship benefits,” he details.
He says the higher a person paid for the scholarship is US$4,500 for the entire four years of studies, which covers visa, flight, slot and other fees.
Sanoe however notes that on many occasions, his company has tried to get the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Education to intervene and see how they all could help the young people get quality education, stressing that the authorities here yet to come in.
He explains that his company is not in the position to offer free scholarships, but hopes to do so in the future if funding is secured to help smart students further their education abroad and get the knowledge and experience required in order to give back to society.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne