OAS Partners with Antigua and Barbuda Development Bank To Help Students
WASHINGTON, DC – Students in the OAS member state of Antigua and Barbuda are set to benefit from an historic partnership, signed on Thursday between the Leo S. Rowe Pan American Fund of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Antigua and Barbuda Development Bank (ABDB).
The partnership will facilitate financial assistance to students who wish to pursue higher education studies. The Fund itself is part of an educational loan program designed to help citizens of OAS Member States to finance their studies or research in accredited universities across the United States. The loans, for up to US$15,000 dollars, are interest free.
OAS Assistant Secretary General, Albert R. Ramdin, said the agreement demonstrates the Organizations commitment to education in the hemisphere. “Building a society, a solid society with a strong foundation, cannot be done with uneducated people,” Ramdin said. He added that students who go back to their countries after pursuing higher education abroad appear to have a better chance of succeeding and creating jobs that contribute to development in their communities. “Ultimately society as a whole and certainly the business sector will profit from people who have something to give back to their societies,” he said.
The Chair of the Leo S. Rowe Fund Committee and Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the OAS, Deborah-Mae Lovell, said she hoped that this new partnership would inspire others in the hemisphere. “May this partnership forged today create the template, the pattern, for other countries which are underrepresented,” she said. “May it show the way, may it light the path so that we can ensure that the underrepresented countries do have the opportunity to give its talent, its young people, those who would not have a chance ordinarily to succeed in life, to provide that step up. May this serve the young people of the region; may this serve to build up the hemisphere; may this serve the OAS, Antigua and Barbuda and all concerned.”
The General Manager of the ABDB, Donald O. Charles, said he believed it was part of his institution’s role to contribute in this way towards social development. “As a development institution, we recognize that our role has to be more than what it traditionally was,” he said.
The signing ceremony was held in the Leo S. Rowe Room of Organization’s headquarters in Washington, DC.