This is currently the flagship activity of Maendeleo. Established in 2009 at Weill Bugando Medical School it consists of a $500 award to the top ranked student in each of the medical school classes. Maendeleo has decided to give the award to the top students as a way of encouraging excellence in medical training. Since its establishment, 14 awards have been made and the award has been gaining prestige at the medical school as it gets more competitive and visible each year. The funds for the award are collected in an annual fundraising drive Maendelo organizes in the United States that allows Tanzanians in the diaspora and other supporters to contribute towards this important effort. The fundraising drive for the award typically runs from June to September.
Eligibility for the award is based on academic excellence. The winning students are selected by the medical school and the award is presented during the annual graduation ceremony in November. Since 2011, we are actively reaching out to the awardees to get their reflections on their medical training and what the award means to them.
At the 2012 annual Board meeting, the Board decided to expand the award program to Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College (KCMC) starting in 2012. This expansion has been made possible because of the generous contributions that Maendeleo has received from Tanzanians and other supporters during the annual fundraising drive.