The University of the West Indies is launching a crowdfunding campaign on August 1, to encourage its community of alumni, partners and friends regionally and internationally to support students whose finances, and that of their parents, have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This endeavor falls in line with the month of August being the Global Giving month at The UWI.
It is estimated that at least 10,000 of UWI’s current 50,000 students have been functioning in difficult social circumstances because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The university is asking for donations as small as US$10 via www.uwi.edu/giving. The collective proceeds will fund scholarships and bursaries for the students in need as the new academic year is set to resume at the end of the month.
The UWI said the move is part of its commitment to quality, and leadership in ensuring that no student is left behind at a time when education matters.
According to Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, “This is the time to embrace university education. It is not the time to retreat. One step back is to place their future, and that of their family, community and nation on the back burner. We cannot allow that to happen. We are seeking to ensure that every Caribbean student has the opportunity to boldly step forward into academic year 2020-2021 to access the quality education they deserve.”
August 1, is in many Caribbean territories the observance of Emancipation Day, marking the freedom of enslaved Africans who were victims of the transatlantic slave trade. While The UWI honours and pays tribute to that past, it recognises that education is one of the most critical means to freedom and propelling regional development. The UWI Global Giving is therefore themed “Emancipate, Educate, Donate.”
Chair of the Global Giving Campaign Committee Minna Israel, stated, “While we understand that this is a trying time for many, we are calling on the spirit of kindness of our Caribbean people in the region and in the diaspora to come together in this time of crisis to give whatever they can to assist our students.