Jersey Mylne, a wealthy British lady with many investments, died in 1945 and a under her will a trust was established in 1948. After leaving behind considerable funds she wanted that money to be used to support Anglican missionaries. The original focus of Mylne Trust was that the sum would be used to support individuals who are undergoing training for missionary work.
Roy Perkin, the current chairman of the Trust, says the money left behind has now been invested in stocks and investments. The dividends of which are used to fund grants for scholarships. This was a move to ensure posterity of the Trust’s charity work in years to come.
As such, the Mylne Trust does not fundraise in the manner of traditional charities and organisations. The income that they support the students with comes entirely from the interest generated from their investments. “Therefore, the trust is entirely dependent on the annual dividends given out by companies on their investments. As these are based upon such interest rates, opportunities for growth are often very minimal. Plus, if the economic situation is poor, such as in 2009 with the collapse of interest rates, grants are no longer available for scholarships,” clarifies Roy.
The Trust’s scholarship budget is largely used for applications in Africa and the UK, with the maximum grant that can be awarded per student standing at £500 a year. “The budget per year is £250,000 and that means only 500 students from across the globe can be sponsored in a year. Yet, the number of applications has greatly increased in the last 5 years.” States Robin who is the Trust’s Administrator based in the UK.
For all applicants from Africa, the Mylne Trust has a memorandum of understanding with CMS-Africa whereby it is the appointed partner to receive all these applications. CMS-Africa then makes the initial checks before forwarding the applications that meet the set criteria to the Mylne Trust administrators in the UK for further reviews. Within a week or two, the best are then forwarded to the board who then make the final decision on awarding grants
Since its inception, the trust has made some changes and is now supporting students who are in their second year of studies in colleges and universities. This was a move aimed to ensure that with or without the Mylne Trust, which really aims to act as minimal support to academic costs, students are still able to go through their courses. As such the Trust does not provide full funding but awards these scholarships twice a year based upon the applications received. The applications forms are also considerably long and detailed, where 18 pages and must be clearly filled in by all applicants if they are to be considered.
“It is incumbent upon the student to demonstrate the Protestant Christian faith and how the courses they are undertaking will help advance God’s Kingdom during the application of the scholarships,” adds Robin.
As the administration receives a considerable number of applications at these two points during the year and due to the increasing number of those showing interest in the scholarships, the management of Mylne Trust is considering capping the number of applicants. This is particularly due to the fact that the funds that can be given are already fixed to £500 per beneficiary in a year.
Most of the applications from Africa in the last couple of years have been received from African International University (AIU), the International Leadership University (ILU), St Paul’s University and Carlile College. All are in Nairobi, Kenya but serve a wide range of students from across the African continent who chose to study there.
Applications for Mylne Trust are submitted twice in a year and it is not necessary for colleges to submit applications twice as a student can only benefit from the scholarship scheme once in a year.
Robin, Roy and his wife, Vivian visited Kenya early this year and made stopovers at various theological colleges and universities where beneficiaries of their scholarship scheme for Africa attend as well as CMS-Africa.
By John Ndeta