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1 May 2008
Bandar Seri Begawan, 1May 2008 – With the support of Baiduri Bank, Western Union foundation in collaboration with HOPEworldwide (Singapore), will be awarding 15 education grants worth a total of B$7, 500 this year. Applications are open to all migrant workers in Brunei with school-going children. The grant program has no obligation for applicants to be customers of Western Union.
Now in its second year, the Western Union Foundation Education Grant Program aims to help migrant workers with the financial costs of educating their children. The B$500 grant covers as much as a year’s tuition fees and other necessities like books and uniforms.

“Migrant workers live and work overseas to build a better future for their families and for those who are parents, a priority is education for their children,” said Mr Andrew Ong, Western Union regional vice president of North Asia and a board member of the Western Union Foundation.

“The annual upfront cost of new school books, uniforms and lump-sum fee payments can add up to a bill as difficult to pay as it is important to pay,” he said. “That’s the thinking behind the Western Union Foundation Education Grants: they are practical, immediate, and needed.”

This stance is a product of the Western Union Foundation’s goal of facilitating global economic opportunity. Last year, Western Union introduced Our World, Our Family, a US$50 million (B$68 million), five-year initiative to empower migrant families worldwide, helping them stay connected, overcome barriers, and realize their dreams.

“This year, the education grants have been increased to 15 and will be disbursed through HOPEworldwide (Singapore) because they share our commitment to assist migrant workers with the education needs of their children and is able to provide the program with a wider reach through their various outreach programs and numerous volunteers,” Ong said. Last year a total of 10 education grants were granted.Founded in 1998, HOPEworldwide (Singapore) participates annually in community work as well as fund-raising. Ms Joyce Tan, CEO of HOPEworldwide (Singapore) said, “It is a privilege for HOPEworldwide (Singapore) to collaborate with the Western Union Foundation to help children of migrant workers stay in school through the Education Grant Program. We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to keep on learning. We are truly grateful for Western Union’s continued focused efforts as a global leader in helping families stay connected and reach their dreams together.”

The submission period for the Western Union Foundation Education Program is from May 1 to June 1 2008. Application forms can be found and submitted at any Baiduri Bank branch. The Bank also offers greater convenience through its extended hours branches located at The Mall and SupaSave Gadong, which opens 7 days a week.
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