The winners of the 2018 OFID Scholarship Award were:

Abdishakur Ahmed from Somalia, who will pursue an MA in Sustainable Development, and Conflict Resolution and Coexistence, at Brandeis University, USA. Nji Atanga Desmond from Cameroon, who has been accepted onto an MSc in Health Economics at the University of East AngliaThokozani Chapomba from Malawi, who will pursue an MPH in Public Health – Health Management Planning and Policy, at the University of Leeds.
Mariana Javakhyan from Armenia, who will pursue her MSc in Sustainable Development at the University of Sussex.Amayaa Wijesinghe from Sri Lanka, who will be studying at the University of Oxford for an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management.Alazar Woldeyohannes from Ethiopia, who will be studying Structural Engineering at the University of Manchester.
Evelyn Changala from Zambia,  will pursue an MA in Development Studies at the University of Sussex.Maria Ines Cubides Kovacsics from Colombia, who will be studying at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, for an MA in Development Studies.Hayattullah Bayan from Afghanistan, who will complete an MA in Governance, Development and Public Policy at the University of Sussex.
Israa Mohamed from Sudan, who will study Public Health for Development at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine


Sarah Al-Furasi


Sarah Al-Furasi, Yemen, is attending the University of Birmingham, UK, for an MSc in Public and Environmental Health Sciences.

 Ahmed Khair


Ahmed Khair, the Sudan, is studying at Oxford University, UK, for an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies.

Alaa Mohamed

Alaa Mohamed, Egypt, is attending the University of Sheffield for a Master’s in Molecular Medicine. 

Anthony Musiwa 

Anthony Musiwa, Zimbabwe, is studying at the University of Bristol for an MSc in Policy Research.

Olive Musoni 

Olive Musoni from Rwanda is pursuing her MA in Social Work at the University of Alabama, USA.

Phuong Tran 

Phuong Tran, Vietnam, is working towards an MA in Global Health at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden.

Amgalanzaya Tserenbaljir 

Amgalanzaya Tserenbaljir, Mongolia, is attending the University of Glasgow for an MA in Adult Education, Community Development and Youth Work.

Christelle Umuhoza 

Christelle Umuhoza, Rwanda, is studying at the University of Bradford, UK, for her MA in International Development Management.

Vanessa Williams-Rodriguez 

Vanessa Williams-Rodriguez, Guyana, is attending the University of Sussex for an MSc in Social Development.




Noon Altijani


Ms Noon Altijani, from the Sudan, who will study for an MSc in Global Health Sciences at Oxford University in the UK.

 Collins Acheampong


Mr Collins Acheampong, from Ghana, who will pursue an MSc in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation for Water Resources and Environmental Management at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

Ms Beryl Ajwang'

Ms Beryl Ajwang'  from Kenya, who will study for an MSc in Environmental Management-Energy and Environment at the Yale School of Environment and Forestry in Connecticut.

Rahbar Ansari 

Mr Rahbar Ansari,  Nepal, who will pursue an MA in Public Policy at the Central European University in Hungary.

Baker Kasawuli 

Mr Baker Kasawuli,  from Uganda, who aims at obtaining an MA in Sustainable International Development at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, at Brandeis University in Massachusetts




Maldon Goodridge Aisuluu Abdyldaeva


Aisuluu Abdyldaeva from Kyrgyzstan has shown great courage and determination in the pursuit of her goals. She is passionately committed to the economic and social development of her country and hopes that a Master’s in International Management from the University of Roehampton, UK, will assist her to fulfil a dream: to establish her own organization developing and supporting future leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals. “I am convinced that our governance system needs an inflow of young forward-thinking people. That’s why one of the directions of my future organization’s activities will be supporting and educating young leaders, encouraging them to go beyond the scope of an issue and think differently.”

Alaa Alaizoki Doaa Althalathini


Doaa Althalathini works for an economic empowerment program advising and supporting Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip through the planning and start-up of micro-enterprises. As a local, Doaa knows the importance of empowerment and opportunity for her people: “Micro and small enterprises happen to be one of the best solutions toward self-sufficiency, growing employment, empowerment and poverty alleviation, especially for women,” she says. A Master’s degree in Poverty and Development from the University of Sussex, UK, will help Doaa learn innovative approaches and new concepts, which she intends to share with colleagues in the economic empowerment program and use to introduce “effective measures to ensure sustainable sources of income” for her people.

Jennet Druscilla Buck
Sierra Leone

Jennet Druscilla Buck from Sierra Leone is a pharmacist working at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. She says: “There is a huge gap in the healthcare delivery system in the country. There is also a daily problem dealing with the high influx of fake and substandard drugs bought into the country both legally and illegally, which claim the lives of many.” With the support of the OFID Scholarship, Jennet will study for a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Science with Management Studies at Kingston University, UK. She told OFID: “The development of our country depends on us Sierra Leoneans … I want to see development in every sector, but especially in the health sector … I want to be part of the force behind the change.”

Khaled Mohamed
Myriam Castaneda

Myriam Castaneda from Guatemala plans on using her education to tackle the challenges of health and education which she describes as the “pillars of development.” With the help of the scholarship she will be pursuing an MSc in Social Policy and Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Myriam is passionate about working to overcome illiteracy and malnutrition in her home country which affects women and children especially. She told OFID that her “will power will help in the transformation of the current despair, felt by over 14 million Guatemalans, into a promising future.”


Maldon Goodridge Maldon Goodridge 


Maldon Goodridge, who hails from Barbados, has completed a Master’s in Sustainable Energy Technologies at the University of Southampton, UK. Since completing his degree, Maldon endeavors to implement energy efficient programs in secondary schools back home. He has the wider hope to contribute to the development of optimal energy solutions in his country and in the Caribbean nations.

Maja Pecanac Maja Pecanac


Maja Pecanac, from Bosnia-Herzegovina, completed her degree – an LLM in Human Rights, Conflict and Justice at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, UK. During her studies, Maja provided pro bono assistance to the Minority Rights GroupInternational. Moreover, she assisted the US-based NGO Global Youth Connect in their work on post-genocide reconciliation and human rights exploration programs in Rwanda and Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has returned home and hopes to make a significant contribution in her country by raising awareness and promoting opportunities for victims of conflict and poverty.

Alaa Alaizoki
Alaa Alaizoki

Alaa Alaizoki has completed his MSc in Food Safety, Hygiene and Management from the University of Birmingham, UK. Before completing his Master's, Alaa worked for over two years at the Department of Health Control in the city of Hama. He also worked as a volunteer with the Aga Khan Foundation, in cooperation with UNICEF, helping distribute food baskets. The OFID scholarship allowed Alaa to pursue his passion to bring safe and healthy food to his country.

Alaa was one of the top in his class and has been awarded an Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship to complete his PhD at the University of Birmingham's School of Chemical Engineering. His thesis will build upon his Master's dissertation topic on meat safety as a critical issue of health and safety in his country.

Khaled Mohamed
Khaled Mohamed 

Khaled Mohamed from the Sudan is passionate about environmental engineering and is eager to assist his country. He has completed his Master's in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Development at the Imperial College in London, UK.


Preety Baboo
Preety Baboo 


Preety Baboo developed a passion for sustainable energy and environmental development. A national of Mauritius, Preety studied for a Master's in Electrical Engineering and Renewable Energy Systems at Leeds University, UK. She returned to her country with the hope of contributing to the development of the energy sector through the knowledge she gained during her studies. 

Bhushan Guragain
Bhushan Guragain


Bhushan Guragain, from Nepal, is a medical doctor for the NGO Center for Victims of Torture. After completing his Master's in Global Health at Harvard School of Public Health in Massachusetts, USA, he returned to Nepal. Bhushan is currently working with victims of violence in the field of peace building, human rights and mental health. He was active in providing relief support and psychological aid for victims of the Nepal earthquake in 2015.

Farah Hijjawi
Farah Hijjawi


Farah Hijjawi completed her Master’s in Development Finance at the University of Manchester, UK. During her studies, Farah managed local and international funding campaigns for the relief of the Syrian people. She has returned to Amman with a “better understanding and a clearer vision of how to contribute to the development of her country.” 

Sonel Pyram
Sonel Pyram

Sonel Pyram is passionate about economics and is eager to serve his country, Haiti, and contribute to its economic development. He has completed his Master's in Economics at the Université Laval in Québec, Canada and hopes to become a university professor.


Ana Potoroca
Ana Potoroca


Ana Potoroca from Moldova has completed her Master’s degree in Development Economics from the University of Sussex, UK. After completing her degree, she returned to her home country. She is currently working as a Monitoring and Evaluation officer for a US-based consultancy supporting projects in Africa and South Asia. Ana intends to expand the reach of her work in impact evaluations to further benefit her own country and Eastern Europe.

Keith Mudadi
Keith Mudadi


Keith Mudadi from Zimbabwe has completed his Master’s in Finance and Development at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. After graduating, Keith pursued a career in development. He moved to Tunisia to work as a consultant in the African Development Bank, examining the role of state in economic development and the dynamics of institutions in structural transformation.  Keith is currently working towards a PhD in Economic Development and Growth in Turkey. 

Michelle Palacios

Michelle Palacios from Guatemala, graduated from the University Complutense de Madrid in Spain to pursue a Master’s in Environmental Development. Following her degree, Michelle began her PhD research, which focuses on using econometric measurements to determine the impact of women in rural areas of Guatemala. Read more about Michelle and some of our other scholars.

View video clips of OFID's interview with Michelle.
Article written by Michelle Palacios: Using the past to secure the future, published in the Oct 2014 issue of the OFID Quarterly


Didier Kadjo
Didier Kadjo
Côte d’Ivoire


Didier Kadjo from Côte d’Ivoire, received a Master’s in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. After completing his graduate studies, Kadjo won the Borlaug LEAP fellowship from USAID to pursue PhD research. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Agricultural Economics and is a graduate research assistant at Purdue University. Read more about Didier and some of our other scholars.

Anthony Bayega
Anthony Bayega


Anthony Bayega from Uganda completed his Master’s in Biomedical Sciences from King’s College London. Since graduating, Anthony is pursuing a PhD in Microbiology. He is interested in dedicating himself to work on infectious diseases, specifically HIV,  which is particularly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. Through his research, he aims to develop alternative monoclonal antibody-based therapies against Hepatitis C virus.


Robert Pwazaga

Robert Pwazaga from Ghana, received his Master's in International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Robert currently works at World Vision International as an area development program manager. Since graduation, Robert has undertaken a number of research activities in the fields of governance, political economy and accountability, taxation, and foreign aid. Read more about Robert and some of our other scholars.


Sameen Shahid
Sameen Shahid

Sameen Shahid from Pakistan, pursued a Master’s in Public Administration in International Development at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Since completing her Master’s, Sameen was project manager for a two-year national media campaign for education reforms in Pakistan. Following this experience, she has been teaching at a school to get a better understanding of the issues within the education sector. Read more about Sameen and some of our other scholars.


Ismat Lotia

Ismat Lotia from Pakistan, completed her Master’s degree in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA. Since graduating from the program in May 2009, she has returned to work as an epidemiologist and program managerat the NGO “Interactive Research and Development” (IRD) in Karachi. IRD is a non-profit institute that seeks to bring together scientists and entrepreneurs with a view to maximizing the impact of health interventions in poor communities.

Further reading: Second OFID scholarship recipient graduates


Leah Manuzon Mejia
Leah Manuzon Mejia

Leah Manuzon Mejia from the Philippines, who was granted OFID's first-ever Scholarship Award to pursue her Master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of Southern California, USA. She graduated with honors in May 2009 and made the Dean's list by achieving a nearly perfect grade point average. Read more: First OFID Scholarship recipient graduates.

In solidarity with Syrian women


In solidarity with Syrian women, Jusoor is an NGO of Syrian expatriates aiming at supporting Syria’s development and helping Syrian youth to have access to better opportunities.

Five of the 2016 OFID Scholars are being sponsored through Jusoor’s “100 Syrian Woman, 10,000 Syrian Lives” program which explicitly targets young Syrian women with the proven potential to serve as global leaders. The program operates under the motto “When you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”

Since its establishment in 2012, Jusoor has enabled more than 300 young people to continue their studies at colleges and universities outside Syria. Research shows that young Syrian women are approximately three times less likely to access higher education in exile than their male counterparts.

Led by Jusoor, the program is administered as part of the institute for International Education (IIE)-led Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis. Key partners are Jusoor, IIE, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Education USA, and Monmouth College. 

The five scholars awarded in cooperation with Jusoor are highly motivated individuals, who already have shown their commitment to the community.


Zelfa Hamadieh, will pursue a Master’s in Environmental Engineering at New York University.

Alaa Marrawi  is anticipating completing her Master’s in Urban Planning and has been accepted at the New York Institute of Technology.

Marianna al Tabbaa,  is grateful to be able to begin her Master’s studies with the Politics Program offered at New York University.

Lama Ranjous has been accepted at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and is excited to do her Master’s in International Policy and Development there.

Hannen Almohammad  will pursue a Master’s in Architecture at Boston’s Northeastern University in the USA.