Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Friday, April 22, 2016. UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, has expressed deep concern over the situation in Ecuador following the magnitude 7.8 earthquake which struck the country on April 16.
Extending his condolences to the Government and people of Ecuador, Vice-Chancellor Beckles stated, “We in the Caribbean have been following the aftermath of this tragic incident that has affected our neighbours. Our prayers go out that they are restored to near normalcy as soon as possible. We are deeply concerned for those who have been left vulnerable, including our current students and our University is keen to provide any assistance they need during this difficult time”.
The UWI Cave Hill Campus in Barbados administers the Teach English Caribbean programme (TEC) which has 129 Ecuadorian English teachers enrolled as students. Fifty of these students currently attend classes at the Campus and are preparing for mid-term examinations.
While none have lost relatives, they have all accounted experiences of having neighbours and friends who perished as a result of the earthquake. The parents, relatives, friends and neighbours of many of these students have lost their homes and all their belongings.
In response, the Ecuadorian students are working with the Office of Student Services at Cave Hill, the Campus Guild of Students and the Office of Business and Internationalisation and have organised a number of activities to support recovery efforts.
A counselling session for the students was organised by the Office of Student Services on April 18, during which Campus Principal, Professor V. Eudine Barriteau visited to support the students.
Classes were cancelled on that day and many students used the time off to plan their strategy to assist others back at home.
On April 20, a relief church service was organised by the students and the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) of the Guild of Students. A donation drive was also launched to collect food and other relief items as well as monetary contributions to be sent to Ecuador.
Monetary donations may be made at any branch of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank in Barbados to account #1001148181, which has been specially set up to receive contributions.
Persons wishing to assist otherwise may contact the Office of Business and Internationalisation at Cave Hill at 1 (246) 417 4541 until April 29, 2016.