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By ELLEN STOLZ
Six young women, who were chosen as winners of a Westpac programme which offered financial assistance to young women, will receive a financial boost in the form of a grant for their education.
The Westpac Women’s Education Grant required young women from three major categories; primary, secondary and tertiary school levels, to write a short essay on the question: “which girl or woman, past or present, inspires you and why.”
These essays were then judged on creativity and imagination by a team from Westpac and out of the 244 applicants, six winners, two from each category, were announced on International Women’s Day.
This is the second year that Westpac has run this programme. Winners from the primary school level received a $500 grant, a $1300 grant was awarded to the secondary school level winners and the tertiary level students received a grant of $3500.
Mary Brooke of William Cross Primary School and Arieta Marama from Namaka Public School won the primary school category.
While Sue Hannah Taganekurukuru, who attends Gospel High School and Joyce Nandan from Labasa Sangam College won the secondary school category.
For the tertiary category the winners included Drue Slatter, 19, who is a first year student at the University of the South Pacific studying Journalism and Sociology and Shayna Khan, 20, who aspires to be a pharmacist and attends Fiji National University.
Westpac acting general manager Gavin Kinnear said: “While we have in some ways contributed to create true gender equity in this country, we hope that by giving these girls and women a financial boost, we’ll at least give them a better chance to learn and strive for an opportunity to gain meaningful employment.”
He said almost 35 million girls the world over don’t receive basic primary school education and we congratulate our winners and thank all the women and girls who applied for a grant for their participation.