Research & Public Advocacy Committee Highlights - November 2016

It’s been quite a hectic season for the Research & Public Advocacy (RPA) Committee, but this group of phenomenal women continue to rise to any challenge. Committee meetings have proven to be inspiring, ground-breaking, progressive and yet fun! At the heart of the RPA Committee is the drive to educate; to dismantle gender-bias and cultural norms that prevent women from self-actualising, and to champion the cultural and legislative change that is needed to truly live up to the Association’s motto - Making Women Winners.

We are currently working on some important and exciting projects. We have finalised our bursary recipients and delivered their cheques to them. We are continuing to add our voices to the Coalition Against Child Marriage and to the Government as it relates to the draft legislation on the marriageable age. We are working on relaunching our ‘Ask AFETT’ newspaper column to address issues that professional women face, and we have already begun fleshing out our National Research Project.

RPA Committee November Meeting – Team having fun whilst working hard to create the change we need!!!!

Clockwise from bottom right – Donna Thomas (Director), Ortinique Cumberbatch, Lara Quentrall-Thomas (Founder), Candice Fermine, Debbie Estwick

Missing – Cavelle Jospeph (Past President), Debra Murray, Dawn Lafond, Sherleen Young.

Each year, commencing from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25th) to the International Human Rights Day (December 10th), the world joins together for 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in a united effort to galvanise action to end violence against women and girls around the world. In light of the current 16 Days of Activism, AFETT will be hosting international speaker, Indrani Goradia, on December 5th, to discuss the economic and social impact of gender-based violence.  


The RPA Committee, and by extension, AFETT, joins in supporting this important cause as well. Our Immediate Past President and current RPA committee member, Cavelle Joseph, has also been involved in sharing her expertise on this issue too. So our hands are full and hard at work …but we love each moment that we can change the world for the better! We are always looking to expand our team, so email if you are interested in becoming a part of this dynamic committee. The following is one of the highlights on the RPA Committee's work this month:

AFETT’s Women’s Development Fund

The pursuit of further education and training is important to women as it affords them greater opportunities to fulfil their potential, pursue their goals, widen their contribution to society, enhance their social and personal growth and development, gain more respect and boost their self-image and self-esteem. To the nation as a whole, it ensures a more balanced supply of learned human resources to better sustain its present and future survival.

In its bid to Make Women Winners, AFETT has had a long history of promoting the development of female executives and has also seen it fit to support the personal and educational advancement of girls and young women. In this regard, in 2012 AFETT launched its Women’s Development Fund (WDF) in commemoration of its tenth anniversary. This Fund has as its main feature an academic undergraduate Bursary.

The principle aim of the WDF Bursary is to provide financial support to competent and financially-deserving female students registered at the University of the West Indies (UWI) - St. Augustine, as they pursue quality, effective, academic and practical education that is relevant to the needs of society and the job market.

The bursaries were developed in consultation with the University of the West Indies (UWI), and the  eligibility requirements include the following:

1) Recipient must be a full-time 2nd year undergraduate female student at the UWI St. Augustine Campus,
2) She must be a national of Trinidad and Tobago,
3) Must demonstrate a need for financial assistance,
4) Must have demonstrated the attainment of an academic performance of a minimum GPA of 3.5,
5) Must have participated in voluntary community work or have a strong extra-curricular background.

Each year AFETT is represented at the selection meeting of the Campus Committee for Undergraduate Awards at the UWI St Augustine Campus by the RPA Director or her designate. Award recipients are selected and later approved for inclusion on the official list of bursaries, grants and scholarships available for each academic year. This year, AFETT was represented by Donna Thomas, our current Director - Research and Public Advocacy.

We are happy to announce that we have provided two ambitious and promising young ladies with bursaries to complete their academic careers. An enormous and well-deserved congratulations goes out to AFETT's 2016 Bursary Award Recipients, Varuna Ramjit (Geography & Environmental Natural Resource Management), and Caitlyn Kewley (Medicine & Surgery).  These young ladies were each presented with their $5,000 Bursary by our RPA Director at UWI's Annual Scholarship and Bursary Undergraduate Awards, as well as free Associate Membership with AFETT for one year. AFETT is proud to be able to support young women in developing their careers and their futures.

AFETT’s Research & Public Advocacy Director, Donna Thomas (left) presents Ms Caitlin Kewley with her bursary of $5000. Caitlin is currently pursuing studies in Medicine & Surgery at UWI. We are excited to see more women enter this still male-dominated field. Congrats to the future Dr. Kewley! We look forward to hearing great things from you.  #BreakingDownGenderBarriers.

AFETT’s Research & Public Advocacy Director, Donna Thomas (left) presents Ms Varuna Ramjit with her bursary of $5000. Varuna is currently pursuing studies in Geography and Environmental Natural Resource Management. We are excited to see more women enter a  field that is so critical to our sustainability as a nation, and yet still so underrepresented. Congrats to Varuna! We look forward to hearing great things from you.  #SustainabilityGoals #BreakingDownGenderBarriers.

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