UWI appeals for funds to aid Haitian students

UWI appeals for funds to aid Haitian students
Photo courtesy of UWI

The University of the West Indies (UWI) needs TT$3 million (US$470,000) more to bring and support 70 Haitian students to the St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad.

Corporate donors have handed over more than $97,000 to the UWI Haitian Student Fund.

Of the total sum of US$1.3 million for the project (students’ airfares, living expenses and study materials) the UWI St. Augustine Campus had already decided to contribute over $730,000 to the venture, UWI St. Augustine Principal Professor Clement Sankat said at the recent handing over of donations.

He said that the UWI’s decision to host 200 Haitian university students to complete their studies at the three campuses in Jamaica (Mona), Barbados (Cave Hill) and at St. Augustine following the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince along with its tertiary institutions.

Sankat noted that the Haitian Embassy reported in February that among those who died in the earthquake were 40 professors, 1,300 teachers and 4,000 students. Additionally, 13 university faculty buildings collapsed and 2,394 schools were destroyed.

It is expected that the students, who are mainly in their final year will return to Haiti to aid in the country reconstruction. Forty-one are engineering students, 12 are pursing science and agriculture, 11 dentistry students; one is pursuing management studies and five in veterinary medicine.

Sankat said that in addition to funds needed for the students, UWI St. Augustine was also working on three other projects for which he was also appealing for funds.

The projects involve urban physical planning and the training human resources “to bring a lever of order” in Port-au-Prince, reforestation of the Haitian landscape and introducing standards into the design of earthquake resistant houses.