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Education grants

Filipe Naigulevu
Friday, March 09, 2018

WITH empowerment as part of their sustainability strategies, a commercial bank operating in Fiji has launched its annual grant scheme specifically to financially assist women and girls' education.

The bank, Westpac Fiji, yesterday announced it was giving a total of nine grants under its Women and Girls Grants program, an initiative which has been running since 2012.

Westpac Fiji general manager Brett Hooker said out of these nine grants, there would be three grants for each of the three categories — primary school, high school and tertiary students or adult worker wishing to return to study.

"Our aim with the education grants is to financially assist and encourage women and girls to take a positive step towards fulfilling their educational potential," Mr Hooker said.

"We have witnessed that for girls, it helps with the cost of their schooling and for women it helps them to return to, or continue tertiary studies."

And it wouldn't have been a better day to launch the grant scheme than on International Women's Day which is celebrated globally on March 8.

"Like every year, we have linked the Westpac Women and Girls Education Grants essay question to the International Women's Day theme which is #PressforProgress and applicants need to answer that question," Mr Hooker said.

For applications to be considered for the grants, each applicant should write an essay: primary school 200 words or less, secondary 400 words or less and 600 words or less for tertiary students around the question "What can be done to remove barriers to women and girls progress?"

Meanwhile, Westpac Bank also hosted women from the corporate, private and public sector to a lunch at Paradiso Ristorante to celebrate International Women's Day.

This saw and heard inspiration speeches from leading women speakers which include UN Women representative Fiji Multi Country office Aleta Miller, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Salaseini Daunabuna, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts Alison Burchell and permanent secretary for Civil Service Bernadette Welch.

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