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22nd June 2011

Bandar Seri Begawan, June 22, 2011 - Western Union today awarded education grants worth a total of B$7,500 to 15 migrant workers in Brunei. The winners are from Indonesia, India and the Philippines. The event was managed by Western Union’s agent Baiduri Bank.

Now in its fourth year, the Western Union Education Grant Program aims to avail funds that will help aspiring individuals and their families overcome barriers and journey to a better life through higher education. Each grant of B$500 covers as much as a year’s tuition fees in countries such as Indonesia or India or the Philippines, and other necessities like books and uniforms.

Ratheesh Kumar, Western Union’s Regional Vice President for South & South East Asia while announcing the grants said, “Western Union has continued with its Education Grants program to help extend a helping hand to migrant workers in Brunei. The Education Grant allows individuals to realize their tremendous potential with scholarships supporting literacy.”

He added: “Now in its fourth year, these education grants continue to lend a helping hand to families of migrant workers from countries such as Indonesia, India and the Philippines. In these economic times, the program is more relevant and needed than ever before. Among the hundreds of submissions, we short-listed and interviewed 50 applicants to select the 15 deserving winners. Through their stories, we learnt that their incomes are not sufficient enough to support their family, let alone the hefty costs of education. Yet, for all of them, their main concern is for their children to have a better education and a better future.”

The Western Union Education Grants were open to migrant workers in Brunei from all countries with school-going children.  The final 15 recipients were determined based on criteria including number and ages of children, marital status and income.  The short essay developed by the applicant about why he or she should be selected for the grant was also taken into consideration. The judging panel consisted of members from Baiduri Bank, Arman Arfiq and Remittance @ Seconds.

Western Union has given a total of 50 (including the 15 from this year) education grants worth B$25,000 (includes B$7,500 from this years grant) to migrant workers in Brunei since the launch of the Western Union Education Grant Program in 2007.

Since 2001, the Western Union Foundation has awarded more than $73.4 million in grants to more than 2010 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in 104 countries and territories. Through programs such as the Education Grant, The Western Union Company embraces the hopes and dreams of the more than 215 million people around the globe who live outside their country of origin1.

1 World Bank Migration and remittances Factbook 2011
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