Regional parametric insurance organisation CCRIF SPC announced its 2018 scholarship winners a week ago, naming 14 Caribbean nationals who won a share of US$129,000 to pursue studies in areas related to disaster risk management.
According to information from the insurer, five of this year's CCRIF-UWI undergraduate recipients are pursuing degrees in geography or geology at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (The UWI); one is at the St Augustine campus reading for a degree in ecology with environmental science; and two others are at the Cave Hill campus reading for degrees in meteorology & computer science and environmental & natural resource management. At the postgraduate level, three students are pursuing degrees in natural resource & environmental management.
Under its own scholarship programme, CCRIF made awards to: Trisha Miller from Grenada, to complete an MS in Applied Meteorology at Mississippi State University; Faustina Wiggins from Guyana, to pursue an MS in Environment & Development at the University of Reading; and Christal Benjamin from Trinidad and Tobago, to pursue an MA in Disasters Adaptation & Development at King's College in London.
The CCRIF board of directors and chief executive officer recently met with some of the scholarship recipients when CCRIF held its quarterly board meeting in Kingston, Jamaica. On meeting them, CCRIF Chairman Timothy Antoine remarked: “I, too, am a proud Pelican and I am delighted to meet with you today. You are the future of our region and I am pleased that CCRIF had the foresight to invest in you as we seek to advance solutions for the sustainability of our region.”
Graduates of the The UWI are referred to as pelicans in reference to the bird at the crest of the university's coat of arms.
CCRIF provides scholarships through two programmes: the CCRIF-UWI Scholarship Programme, for postgraduate and undergraduate students who are pursuing study at any of the three residential campuses of The University of the West Indies in areas related to disaster management; and the CCRIF Scholarship Programme, for study in master's programmes in areas related to disaster risk management at universities in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada as well as universities in Caribbean countries (other than The UWI).
Since the inception of this programme in 2010, CCRIF has awarded scholarships to 68 Caribbean nationals totalling approximately US$1 million.
The annual scholarships and internships fall under CCRIF's Technical Assistance Programme which is financed in part by earned investment income. The programme has three components — the scholarship, internship and professional development programme; regional knowledge building; and support to non-governmental and community-based organisations for local disaster risk reduction initiatives.
“It has been designed to provide an ongoing mechanism for grant support within the Caribbean region for capacity building initiatives and the development and implementation of projects which have a strong potential for improving the effectiveness of risk management,” CCRIF said in a statement to the media.
CCRIF says it has provided resources of over US$2.2 million to support the programme since 2010.
The insurer is encouraging young people throughout the region to apply for the programmes in 2019. For information visit the CCRIF website: www.ccrif.org.