“Education is a basic human right that works to raise men and women out of poverty, level inequalities, and ensure sustainable development,” Pillay said in a message. “Education is a steppingstone to other fundamental human rights.”
The scholarships have helped to equip churches and ecumenical bodies for several decades.
“In the WCC we have so many examples of scholarship beneficiaries that later played leading roles on many levels,” said Pillay. “From former WCC general secretary Rev. Emilio Castro, to former WCC deputy general secretary Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, the list is long and includes many bishops, ecumenical officers, scholars, and WCC staff.”
The interchurch scholarship programme has been a bridge builder, concluded Pillay. “It represents a crucial contribution to the work on reconciliation ecumenical rapprochement after World War II, an expression of ‘lived ecumenism’ supporting so many churches and institutions in the region,” he said. “We extend our gratitude also to the German National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation for its support to this initiative.”