On Thursday July 17, 2014, the Taiwanese embassy hosted its presentation ceremony for the awarding of Taiwanese scholarships at the Union Orchid Garden. Out of over one hundred young persons submitting applications, eighteen have been given the opportunity to further their studies. Among them, nine applicants are Taiwan Scholarship awardees, six are International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) Scholarship awardees, and three are Taiwan Medical Scholarships awardees. New awardees of the scholarship this year will serve as youth ambassadors to further strengthen relations between Saint Lucia and the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Along with the recipients of scholarships, present at the ceremony was the Taiwanese Ambassador James Chang, the Minister for Education Dr. Robert Lewis, as well as parents of the young scholars and past Taiwanese scholarship awardees.
During the ceremony, the education minister delivered a short lecture to the recipients, in which he reminded them that they are the privileged students for this year. He encouraged them to embark on this new chapter with the utmost determination, to be ambassadors for themselves and for their country, and to return as good investments, ready to make dividends in the form of service to country.
Among the 18 scholarship recipients were 2013 Carnival Queen Amy Stephens, and Handel Mathurin, actor in the local soap opera ‘Island Secrets.’
Dr. Robert Lewis offered some brief remarks on the proceedings.
STAR: Comment on the significance of today’s event.
RL: Today’s event is very significant for us as a country. We are grateful as a country to receive these scholarships from Taiwan. The government of Saint Lucia has received during the last six to seven years, scholarships on behalf of the people of Saint Lucia who have gone to study in Taiwan. We recognize that educational development is a very important aspect of our own development as a country and we are indeed grateful to all those countries that continue to provide us with scholarships that our people could develop and to come back to serve our country.
STAR: How has Saint Lucia been able to source scholarships from these countries?
RL: Our benefactor countries have been good to us because our students have always aspired for excellence and continue to produce great results. Every country that provides us with scholarships, wants to know that our students become graduates and because they have continually been able to do so, we continue to receive their assistance.