Five Jamaican students will be heading to Cuba in September to pursue medical degrees, having been awarded full scholarships under the Cuba/Jamaica Bilateral Programme.
The recipients are: Delli-Ann Green, Donya-Gaye Chin, Jamie Lindsay, Darrieux Gordon, and Jason Scott.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, held Friday June 8, at the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba, in Kingston, Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Yuri Gala Lopez, encouraged the recipients to do well in their studies, and make a meaningful contribution to Jamaica’s development when they return.
He noted that over time, the recipients will be able to master the Spanish language, and implored them to use the opportunity to explore and enjoy the Cuban culture and history.
“They will also be able to get to know the Cuban people and see our achievements and challenges. They will quickly realise that for Cuba, a developing and blockaded country, it is not about giving others what we have to spare, but to modestly share the little resources that we have,” he said.
He said that co-operative ties between Jamaica and Cuba have strengthened over the years, and informed that during 2011 and 2012, over 160 Cubans have been participating in bilateral programmes implemented in Jamaica, mainly in the fields of health, education and energy saving.
“Cuba’s scholarship programme has graduated close to 600 Jamaicans so far, while more than 200 Jamaicans are currently studying in universities in my country,” he said.
The Cuban Ambassador said that since the inception of the ‘Miracle Operation’ Eye Care Programme in 2005, more than 65,000 Jamaicans have been screened, adding that more than 7,500 patients have undergone free eye surgery, including over 2,600 at the Cuba-Jamaica Ophthalmology Centre located in Kingston.
For his part, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, praised the Cuban Government for their continued support and investment in the development of Jamaica’s health professions.
Expressing appreciation on behalf of the recipients, Delli-Ann Green said she was extremely humbled to have been awarded.
“These scholarships embody a long history of brotherhood and of the principle and practice for solidarity between two sovereign states. We today commit to beat our education into weapons against oppression and our characters into servants of humanity,” she said.
The courses will last for seven years, with the first year dedicated to the study of the Spanish language.
Under the full scholarship, tuition, accommodation, meals, clothing allowance, study materials and medical care are covered.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter