2017: 256 Angolan students graduate in Cuba

“Cuba not only trains men of science, but also of conscience,”  Angolan student

This year, a total of 256 Angolan students graduated in Cuba…Granma spoke with some of them and found that almost all defined their studies in Cuba as one of the best experiences of their lives

Source:  Granma
August 21 2017

by: Darcy Borrero Batista | informacion@granma.cu

cuban trained angolan graduate 1.jpgEsmeralda de Fátima Damiao graduated with a high academic average of 5.03 points in Educational Psychology from the University of Sancti Spíritus. Photo: Darcy Borrero Batista

“It was all like a flash of lightning. It was a shock for me to come here. At first I didn’t want to. My father, as a former revolutionary soldier who adores the history of Cuba, wanted me to study here. My brothers had already done it; so I tried too, even though the first few days I didn’t feel like eating and was a little depressed.

I met wonderful teachers

“Then I started to interact with people and, in the end, I loved it. I fell in love with the province of Holguín, where I met wonderful teachers, a father, a mother, friends, who have offered me a life experience because we have shared everything. I learned the concept of fraternity, and that inspired me to write my thesis on local development.

“I was the first Angolan to write an applied thesis on local development!” Augusta Lopes Miranda explains, today a graduate of Economics from the University of Holguín.

Born in central Luanda, the capital of Angola, Lopes is mainly interested in politics. She is not the only one among the thousands of international students who graduated in different specialties in Cuba this year to have such an interest. Many leave the island wanting to change the world.

This year, a total of 256 Angolan students graduated in Cuba, among them psychologists, biologists, economists, architects, mathematicians, physicists, doctors, chemists, and engineers.

Granma spoke with some of them and found that almost all defined their studies in Cuba as one of the best experiences of their lives.

I would like to become the first female President of my country

“I arrived at just 20 years of age and here I became a woman, a professional, and I’m leaving ready to contribute to the development of my beautiful homeland. I would like to become the first female President of my country,” Lopes states, noting her desire to expand the social participation of women.

Esmeralda de Fátima Damiao is another Angolan graduate. At the University of Sancti Spíritus, she studied the specialty of Educational Psychology, and graduated with a high academic average of 5.03 points.

“From the time I arrived I was always very clear on the objective that brought me here. I did my degree in four years, even though it was five. I had the opportunity to do fourth and fifth year in a single course, due to my commitment and dedication,” she reveals.

I can consider myself a doctor today

International students on the island can opt for a range of careers in the university system throughout the country.

In the case of Angola, “There is a national cadre training program and an administrative institute for scholarships abroad. Through this body, scholarships are awarded to students who meet the requirements: to be healthy, not to be over 25 years of age, and have a good academic average,” explains Mauro Molose, who just graduated as a doctor.

Aged 30, he is the seventh of eight children in a family from the south of Angola. “I have always been very dedicated to my studies and, thanks to that, I can consider myself a doctor today.

The experience in Cuba was magnificent

“Our educational system is very different from that of Cuba. In fact, many of us have had certain difficulties entering universities here due to the change of evaluation system. Nevertheless, human beings have an adaptive capacity and we have managed to leave here as professionals,” he adds.

Back in his home country, Dr. Molose studied Agrarian Sciences, but “without giving up my dream of becoming a doctor someday. I knew that Cuba is a world power in this field and when it was announced in my country that they would grant scholarships to Angolans, at that very moment, without looking back, I suspended my agricultural studies and I came here.”

He now considers himself to be Cuban, more specifically from Santiago, and expresses with satisfaction that the experience in Cuba was magnificent. “We lived far from our families, but in Santiago de Cuba we were met with a very welcoming people, very similar to ours. As for seismic activity, Angola is a fairly quiet country. However, in Santiago we always had to deal with tremors. The one that marked us most was that of January 17, 2017, we were very scared.

I leave as a doctor, but also as a more humane person

“We experienced very important moments in the history of this country: the arrival of the Five Heroes, the death of our Comandante…

“We experienced many other events that marked our lives significantly, and I leave as a doctor, but also as a more humane person.”

Yuri Dos Santos, 27, graduated in Architecture at the University of Camagüey. Before coming to the island, he was already studying the third year of Architecture in Angola.

“But I left everything behind and started over here in Cuba. Until I came to Cuba, I felt an uneasiness that I could not explain. So, coming here and being exposed to a different environment, made me grow. Cuba has been exactly that, a school in terms of the development of my thought.

Studying here has been a privilege

“Studying here has been a privilege because being a graduate of a Cuban university is, for Angolans, synonymous with pride and respect.”

The most important thing for this young man, of everything he has learned here, is the philosophy with which degree courses are taught, at least in his case.

“We learn not only the technical aspect, but the social philosophy. The architecture I have learned is the product of a socialist system, and that is tangible when drawing. I can not create a 41-story tower; I have to think of buildings for the poor and the rich.”

WHAT DO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS FACE ON RETURNING TO THEIR COUNTRIES?

cuban trained Angolan graduate 2Yuri Dos Santos, aged 27, graduated in Architecture from the University of Camagüey. Photo: Darcy Borrero Batista

“In the case of Angola, we must enter the labor market and present our curricula to companies,” notes Yuri from Luanda, who studied alongside students from China, Djibouti, and several countries of the Americas.

“Spanish was the common language for all of us, even though the language was a barrier at first. I’m not going to lie. The early years were not easy, especially as I got sick, but the help of doctors and teachers meant I survived. Not only on the health side of things; also as a human being,” he explains.

The most successful international student

José Antonio Ferrera, the most successful international student in his graduation, is from the province of Kwanza Sul, Angola.

“What motivated me to come in principle were the results of Cuban education. My brother came before me and that also served as my inspiration. Now that I have graduated as a mechanical engineer, I do not regret having trained here. There I studied at a polytechnic, which would amount to a vocational course here, and I felt I had a solid base to study on the island.”

I am what I am now thanks to Cuba

“Angola is emerging from a civil war and we have had just a few years of peace, so our education system cannot be excellent. That’s why we are turning to sister nations to train the intellectuals and scientists who will build the country. We are going to involve them in the country’s social development,” notes José Antonio, who chairs the Assembly of Angolan Students in Cuba.

“I have spent more than half of my youth here and, throughout history, the island has offered its contribution to my country; and today Angola is what it is, thanks to the sisterhood of the Caribbean nation,” José Antonio stresses.

“Cuba not only trains men of science, but also of conscience,” he adds.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mauro, who graduated with an academic average of 4.92 points, notes: “In my town, we believe that he who is not thankful, is a sorcerer. That’s why I thank Cuba. Because I am what I am now thanks to Cuba.”

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Cuba offers 1,000 medical scholarships to Colombia peace process

 

March 16 2017
Source:  Granma

Cuban Ambassador to Colombia José Luis Ponce informed that the Caribbean nation will grant to the Colombian government and the FARC-EP a fund of 1,000 scholarships to study Medicine in the Island in the next five years

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Cuban Ambassador to Colombia, José Luis Ponce announced the opening of one thousand scholarships for Colombians in Cuba. Photo: Prensa Latina

BOGOTA .- Cuban Ambassador to Colombia, José Luis Ponce, informed that the Caribbean nation will grant to the Colombian government and the FARC-EP a fund of 1,000 scholarships to study Medicine in the Island in the next five years.

The Cuban diplomat made an offer to the Monitoring, Impulse and Verification Commission for the implementation of the Final Peace Agreement (CSIVI), while it was communicated in Bogotá to FARC-EP Secretariat member Iván Márquez and representatives Of the Government to the Commission.

A contribution by Cuba

Ponce explained that the distribution of the scholarships, at a rate of 200 per year -100 for the FARC-EP and 100 for the national executive- will be a contribution by Cuba to the implementation process of the Havana peace agreements and post-conflict peace in Colombia .

Students selected to receive such scholarships would begin in 2017-2018, according to Prensa Latina.

The program will be offered to young demobilized FARC-EP recruits, displaced persons, and other victims of the armed conflict, the latter chosen by the government. 


A pure gesture of humanity

The Embassy of the Republic of Cuba will provide the Colombian government and the FARC-EP with a document detailing the offer, which is being prepared by the Cuban authorities, said the diplomat of the island.

Cuba served as the venue for peace talks between the insurgency and the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos for more than four years until 2016, while – along with Norway – served as a guarantor of bilateral talks.

In his Twitter account, Márquez stressed that this contribution of Cuba to the implementation process of the Havana Agreement and post-conflict in Colombia is a pure gesture of humanity.

Thanks to Cuba

To Army General Raúl Castro (President of Cuba), our gratitude for filling Colombia with his love and solidarity and for supporting the peace process and offering doctors, added the insurgent commander.

For her part, Colombian lawyer and excongresista Piedad Córdoba thanked the gesture of Cuba.

Despite being blockaded, the Caribbean country not only has medicine that is among the best in the world, but it is also one of the most supportive, wrote the human rights defender and recognized leader of the Latin American left through his account in the social network Twitter.

Cuba’s great contribution to peace continues: it gives one thousand scholarships to government and guerrilla students, said Senator Iván Cepeda, one of the promoters of talks with the insurgency in the same social network.

Cuba Awards 8 Medical Scholarships to Jamaicans

Source:  Jamaica Information Service
June 26, 2016

by E Hartman Record

cuba awards medical scholarships to Jamaica 2016.jpgPhoto:  Donald Delahaye

Eight young Jamaicans have been awarded medical scholarships to study in Cuba for the 2016-2017 academic year, under the Cuba-Jamaica Cooperation Programme.

Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Bernardo Guanche Hernandez, presented the scholarships to the awardees on June 24, at the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba, in Kingston.

In his remarks, Ambassador Hernandez said the programme has helped to strengthen the friendship and cooperative ties between Cuba and Jamaica over the years.

He noted that Cuban institutions have kept that programme ongoing, despite Cuba’s economic challenges.

Cuba offers cooperation in countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean

“Cuba has also offered and continues to offer cooperation, mainly in the fields of health and education, in countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Not only Cuban teachers have rendered their services in many developing countries, but also many students from those countries have studied and graduated, free of charge, in Cuban universities,” he added.

The Ambassador congratulated the recipients of the scholarships and encouraged them to do their best.

Apart from studying medicine, Ambassador Hernandez said the awardees will learn the Spanish language and interact with Cubans.

In his remarks, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kevin Harvey, said that 300 students had applied for the scholarship programme.

Cuba is always there to stand by us

He noted that the cooperation programme had not only improved the relations between Jamaica and Cuba, but has augmented the service provided in Jamaica’s health sector.

Dr. Harvey pointed to many interventions and surgeries done by Cuban physicians over the years to assist Jamaicans.

“We have had this long-standing arrangement and relationship and sharing. Once we have an issue, Cuba is always there to stand by us,” he said.
Dr. Harvey told the awardees that acquiring the medical skills should not only be their main focus, but they should also learn how to communicate with patients, another aspect of their training.

“One of the challenges we have now in the health sector is the limited interaction between the physician and the patient. We do not talk to our patients as much as we should and we do not provide that counselling support that the patient requires,” he said.

“Learn about the medicine, learn the drugs to be prescribed, learn how to examine, and learn how to speak to your patients,” Dr. Harvey urged.