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UWI Global Giving Week is a ‘Go’

For Release Upon Receipt - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cave Hill raises close to BDS$3 million for theEmancipate. Educate. Donate. Campaign at the Campus Launch event.

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) continues to build support from its friends, alumni and partners for its inaugural fund-raising initiative. On May 27, 2016, The UWI launched its Global Giving Week campaign at its Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. The distinguished guests at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination included former Barbadian Prime Minister the Rt. Honourable Owen Arthur, who is the local Patron of the Giving Week: Emancipate. Educate. Donate Campaign.

The former Prime Minister has set himself a fund-raising target of BDS$10 million to assist the cause, saying action was necessary to protect the future of the regional institution. Addressing the evening’s gathering, he noted, “…this university is more seriously significantly needed now than at any other time in our history because unless we are determined and resolved to convert the entire Caribbean into a new learning society and a new learning economy we are destined to fail.”

Arthur, who was the first in his family to benefit from a university education, continued, “…it is incumbent upon those of us who have benefited from (it)—in my instance escaping the clutch of poverty by access to this institution—not to kick down the ladder of opportunity but to raise a new ladder for the benefit of those who come behind us.”

In her remarks at the ceremony, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Cave Hill Campus, Professor V. Eudine Barriteau reflected on funding as the “… the lifeblood that enables higher education to drive economic development…paying for student tuition and enabling the undertaking of research to advance industry and entrepreneurship.” She encouraged attendees to see her as the product of a first-class UWI education whose accessibility was based on the generosity of others; and she proved her commitment to the campaign by announcing a personal donation in the amount of BDS$5,000.

Further demonstrating that charity begins at home, the Guild of Students of the Cave Hill Campus joined in with a contribution of BDS$1,000. Other landmark donations received on the evening included BDS$2,000 from the Executive Committee of The UWI Alumni Association Barbados Chapterto start their alumni giving drive, as well as a gift from Jordan’s Supermarket in the amount of BDS$10,000 and an endowment of BDS$2.8 million from Mr and Mrs Eddie Edghill, towards the advancement of agricultural education in Barbados.

With uncertainty plaguing the future of state financing from regional governments hard-hit by economic downturn, The UWI is making concerted efforts to create innovative and sustainable funding channels. The annual UWI Global Giving Week initiative is intended to be a frontline programme in a campaign aimed at developing the culture of philanthropy toward regional development. A series of campus specific launch events have successfully set the stage for the August 01-07 Giving Week, engaging and introducing community members, alumni, friends of The UWI, donor organisations and private sector organisations to the Emancipate, Educate and Donate theme for the programme which coincides with region-wide activities marking Emancipation.

Speaking on the initiative birthed out of his office, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said, “This is our attempt to place this philanthropic impulse on a systematic and sustainable basis. The UWI Giving Week rests upon decades of generosity and giving that has been a part of our survival culture. As we journey across the region, on landed campuses, in our Open Campus societies and beyond, replicating these launches and creating a regional footprint, the message is the same—One UWI, one Caribbean. In formulating Giving Week, the University has made two important decisions: to connect the importance of higher education to the ideology of self-reliance and self-help; and to forge an understanding of giving to the process of self-emancipation. As we celebrate emancipation, and take pride in the justice it represents, we must also celebrate the principle of self-empowerment through education.”

Vice-Chancellor Beckles called upon UWI’s network of over 150,000 graduates, its sponsors, partners, friends, at home and abroad, and all who believe in the empowerment of young people to “join with us in strengthening the financial footing of this great university so that it may serve even more effectively in the future. If we are going to make all of those achievements possible that we have identified in our strategic plan, we must have your support and your assistance.”

Proceeds of The UWI Global Giving Week programme will go toward funding students, research, facilities and equipment, construction and maintenance of residence halls as well as faculty and sport programmes across the institution. For more information on the annual UWI Global Giving Week visit


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