As the pandemic stretches on, thousands of the University’s students and their families continue to face economic uncertainty, and the need for financial aid is greater than ever. Despite these challenges, in crisis, our Pelicans continue to ‘give back’, demonstrating the exemplary leadership qualities needed to shape the post-COVID Caribbean.
Over 400 regional students at The UWI, Cave Hill Campus were hailed as heroes in May 2021, for their courageous fieldwork at the height of a COVID-19 resurgence in Barbados earlier this year.
Hundreds of others at Mona, St Augustine, Five Islands and the Open Campus have volunteered in arranging donation drives, conducting contact tracing, providing supplementary support for doctors and nurses at hospitals, among other activities across the region. Our students embody the ideology that fine universities are not established and funded to serve themselves, but to engage the challenges facing their host communities; they are the Caribbean’s future problem solvers, researchers, innovators and philanthropists.
Against this background, there is a growing risk of education inequality brought on by the onset of the pandemic, and the University needs the support of its alumni, partners, donors and friends to stem this emerging problem. With a renewed sense of purpose and urgency, on August 1, The UWI launched its annual crowdfunding campaign, UWI Global Giving, which will run for two months.
Grounded in our vision to facilitate an access revolution in higher education in the Caribbean region, the University remains committed to leaving no student behind. We are calling on regional and international alumni, partners, the diaspora and friends to give to this important campaign. Every gift counts, you can contribute as little as US$10 online via www.uwi.edu/giving.
Over the past five years, this giving campaign has become part of The UWI’s culture. Commenting on its significance at this critical time, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles says, “This is an invitation to our graduates, corporate partners and friends to participate in providing resources. We urge you to give, not only to support the University to function with sophistication in teaching and learning, but particularly during this time towards helping students who may fall by the wayside through no fault of their own, but because of poverty and marginalisation. Let us do our best to avoid the risk of young people retreating from higher education as a result of the impact of COVID-19.”
In many Caribbean territories, August 1 is observed as Emancipation Day, marking the freedom of enslaved Africans who were victims of the transatlantic slave trade. As the region takes small cautious steps to recover economically, The UWI recognises that education is one of the most critical means to freedom and propelling regional development by ensuring the future of the Caribbean’s human resource capacity, so UWI Global Giving is themed “Emancipate, Educate, Donate.”
The UWI had an extraordinarily successful fundraising year in 2020, during which the international and regional community stepped up to contribute over US$500,000 to support affected students. The 2021 campaign will focus once more on funding scholarships and bursaries for students in need. With The UWI’s new academic year and classes set to resume at the end of August, these contributions represent the foundation of academic continuity and will impact the lives of many students.
Throughout August and September, persons interested in giving to The UWI are invited to visit www.uwi.edu/giving; those seeking more information, or who wish to make an alternative contribution to UWI Global Giving can contact the Institutional Advancement Division in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor at 876-977-0052 or email [email protected].