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UWI, UNESCO sign cultural agreement


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UWI, UNESCO sign cultural agreement

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Bridgetown – The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Open Campus has signed an agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, (UNESCO) to collaborate on its Transcultura Programme.

The programme which integrates Cuba, the Caribbean and the European Union through culture and creativity, aims to harness diversity and build bridges between people and cultures from different linguistic areas. The programme is being implemented by UNESCO and funded by the European Union.

It will be implemented in two phases with the first phase focusing on improving the skills and capacities of young cultural professionals, while the second phase will focus on expanding opportunities through knowledge transfer and exchanges.

“These activities will be accomplished through the establishment of a regional Cultural Training Hub in Cuba that will be linked to relevant Caribbean institutions. The programme will foster entrepreneurship, socioeconomic projects, and collaboration in the cultural and creative sectors, heritage, and tourism throughout the Caribbean region and within the EU,” according to a statement issued here.

It said prospects from 17 Caribbean countries, namely Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Montserrat, Dominican Republic and Cuba – will be targeted for this programme.

Interim principal of the Open Campus, Dr Francis O. Severin, said that “the Open Campus continues to demonstrate its Pan-Caribbean commitment and thrust, as well as its sensibility of inclusivity which this initiative so elegantly operationalise”.

“This is what I call authentic cultural activism,” he said.

UNESCO’s Transcultura Programme Coordinator, Alessandra Borchi,  said “we are pleased to partner with The University of the West Indies on this pioneering initiative”.

“This is fully in line with Transcultura’s strategic objective to support the professionalisation of the cultural and creative sectors in the region, while in parallel empowering youth.”

The programme will include selected courses from the Open Campus Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) offerings modules in Small Business Management; Effective Management and Leadership; Project Management; Finance for Non-Finance Managers; Introduction to Small Business/Entrepreneurship; Effective Business Communication as well as Financial Monitoring and Evaluation; Sales and Marketing Management; Brand Management; and Grant Proposal Writing.

These modules will be offered in both phases of the programme, with the first phase commencing September 2021 and the second phase in January 2022.

The expected number of beneficiaries will be approximately 330. The programme will also include a Blended Teacher Training course which will expose 180 Cuban and Caribbean professors to a variety of learner experiences that incorporate the use of technology.

“It is our pleasure to implement the Transcultura Programme in partnership with UNESCO. We hope that this programme will strengthen the relationship between Cuba and the rest of the Caribbean, therefore enhancing the process of regional integration,” said Anneshia Welsh, who heads the UWI Business Development Unit.

“The UWI Open Campus is proud to announce this collaboration with UNESCO which aligns seamlessly with The UWI’s Mission Statement, ‘to advance learning, create knowledge and foster innovation for the positive transformation of the Caribbean and the wider world.’ The Transcultura Programme will bring together creative abilities which will lead to cross cultural fertilisation for all those involved,” Welsh added. (CMC)