News Releases

Belize prepares for 2010 WELEARN Conference: UWI Open Campus may host next WELEARN Conference

For Release Upon Receipt - November 19, 2009


A group of Belizean activists are preparing to attend an international conference promoting women’s literacy as a tool to foster empowerment and equity for women.


Themed “Community, Leadership and Activism,” the 7th Annual (Net) Working Gathering & Conference on Women & Literacy will be held at the University of Rhode Island on March 5th to 6th, 2010, hosted by the Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network (WE LEARN), a US-based non-profit educational organisation.


A roundtable discussion recently hosted by The University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus aimed to finalise the participation of selected Belizean adult educators working with women’s literacy programmes in Belize. Discussions at the roundtable meeting highlighted the work that has been done and which continues around the country of Belize in women’s adult literacy, and it was agreed that a paper will be presented at the conference by the Belizean contingent. The meeting also agreed to formally establish a Belizean Network of Adult Educators working in the area of women’s literacy and to draft a proposal for the Open Campus Belize site to host a WELEARN conference in 2011 or 2012.


Participants at the roundtable, held at the UWI Belize Centre last Friday, included: Mrs. Jane Bennett, Head, University of the West Indies (UWI), Open Campus Belize; Mrs. Alma Eiley, Programme Director for Curriculum Development, Eglah’s Training Center, Belize City; Mrs. Cynthia Ellis Topsey, DOE Champion, Mentor, Duke Of Edinburgh's Award Of Belize; Dr. Gilda Lewis, President, Girl Guides Association of Belize; Ms. Marlene Myers, Youth Enhancement Services (YES), Lord’s Bank, Belize District; Ms. Maggie Patchett, Youth Enhancement Services (YES), Lord’s Bank, Belize District; Senator Pulcheria Teul, Executive Director, Toledo Maya Women's Council, Punta Gorda Town; Mrs. Jennifer Smith, Young Women Catholic Association (YWCA), Belize City; and Mrs. Myrna Willoughby, Executive Director, Eglah’s Training Center, Belize City.


To find out more, please visit or contact Ms. Suzette Wolfe, Marketing & Communications, Open Campus, at 876-927-1201 or or visit the Open Campus website at


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Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.