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Faith Abiodun Executive Director, UWC InternationalDear friends of the UWC movement,

A year ago today, we awoke to the news of the devastating attack on Ukraine and the subsequent war which has severely disrupted countless lives and livelihoods. As an educational movement for peace, we chose to respond as we are best positioned to do – by supporting our national committees and expanding scholarship offerings for deserving young people from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. Our mission compels us to continue to seek young changemakers from across the globe, and to facilitate their access to transformational opportunities that develop them into peacebuilders and advocates for a united world.

Despite the innumerable challenges of the past year, it was with great delight that I received the news that the UWC Ukraine national committee has successfully conducted its selection activities to nominate 18 exceptional young people to attend UWC schools and colleges this year. My hearty congratulations and thanks go to all the volunteers who have worked tirelessly for this outcome, especially Violetta Karpenko, Head of the UWC Ukraine national committee and Vlada Trofimchuk, Head of selections.

As we share the burdens of Ukrainians, our hearts are drawn at the same time to Türkiye and Syria following the unimaginable loss of lives and decimation of communities that accompanied the earthquakes earlier this month. We stand in solidarity with those who are on the ground offering humanitarian assistance and supporting the rebuilding of societies in both countries. Across UWC schools and colleges, there are concerted efforts largely led by students and staff to mobilise support for citizens of both countries. We acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of students at UWC Atlantic to raise funds in support of the Disasters Emergency Committee and students at Li Po Chun UWC to raise funds through ACT Alliance.  These are only a few avenues through which support can be extended.

As a global movement, we know that several of our alumni are involved in direct work through other humanitarian organisations and we thank them for their service. We invite our extended community to demonstrate their support for Türkiye and Syria through trusted organisations including UNHCR, UNICEF, Oxfam & Doctors Without Borders.

It is a common feeling when disaster strikes around the world to feel powerless and incapable of making a difference, but we must be propelled by the UWC values of action and personal example, compassion and service and personal challenge. This is one more opportunity for us to live up to our mission. May we rise to the challenge.

With unbounded gratitude for all that you do all across the world in service of the UWC mission.

Faith Abiodun
Executive Director, UWC International

UWC Students Selected as Earth Prize Scholars! 

The Earth Prize is an annual, global 200,000 USD environmental sustainability competition for students aged between 13 and 19, which rewards the team whose projects have the most potential to address environmental issues. This year, three teams from UWC schools have reached the shortlist with their projects deemed as ‘outstanding’. The teams from Li Po Chun UWC of Hong Kong, UWC Costa Rica and UWC Maastricht have been named as ‘Earth Prize Scholars’ and they will now go forward to a final adjudicating panel who will decide on ten finalist teams. The event will be live-streamed on Monday 27 February. 

New Head to Join Li Po Chun UWC of Hong Kong

Li Po Chun UWC of Hong Kong’s Board of Directors have recently announced the appointment of Spencer Fowler as the new Principal of the college. Taking over from current principal Dr Arnett Edwards from 1 August 2023, Spencer will move with his family from Pearson College UWC where he is currently serving as Deputy Head and Vice President for Education and Learning. Spencer brings a wealth of teaching experience to the role, having taught in education settings across the world, including in China where he served as the Head of an international school in Beijing.

UWC Patrons, Shelby & Gale Davis, visit UWC Campuses 

UWC Mahindra College (MUWCI) and UWC East Africa were delighted to welcome visits from two of the movement’s most active and transformative supporters, Shelby and Gale Davis in recent weeks. The Davis’ involvement with UWC began in the 1990s, and their extraordinary generosity has enabled thousands of young people from diverse backgrounds to access a UWC education. Their campus visits provided a wonderful opportunity for staff and students to offer their heartfelt thanks with colourful student performances, interactive talks and through the sharing of local dishes

Anniversary Celebrations Continue Across the UWC Movement

As the year-long celebrations for UWC’s 60th anniversary continue, individual schools and colleges are also celebrating their own milestone years with many different events and initiatives. For Li Po Chun UWC of Hong Kong it’s a double celebration incorporating 30 years since the founding of the college, and 50 years since the creation of the UWC Hong Kong National Committee. The college hosted the first in a series of ‘fireside chats’ this month to encourage open discussion about the future of Hong Kong inviting prominent industry leaders and changemakers as speakers. UWC Dilijan is continuing with its 10th Anniversary Perspectives series in the run up to 2024, when the college will mark its first decade. Their most recent talk "Sustainability and Me" was delivered by impact investor, Richard Arzania. While Waterford Kamhlaba UWC of Southern Africa marked its 60th year with its annual Stern Lecture delivered by Outgoing Head of Visual Arts, Ramila Patel.

Don’t forget to make use of this digital toolkit to help plan any upcoming anniversary events or initiatives, and be sure to register them so that they can be added to the dedicated anniversary page.

Historical Figures at UWC

As part of our series of impact stories celebrating the prominent figures who have helped shape the UWC movement in the last 60 years, we spoke to Peter Howe (Rettore of UWC Adriatic, 2008-2011; Head of UWC Maastricht 2012-2017; Principal of UWC Atlantic 2017-2021) about the importance of student leadership, UWC’s commitment to deliberate diversity and the evolution of the movement over the last six decades. (Did you know: in UWC’s 60 years, only two people - Peter Howe and Pelham Lindfield Roberts - have led three UWC schools and colleges!).

Thank you for continuing to let us know about the people who’ve helped to build the movement; we’re now particularly keen to feature more women. So, if there’s someone you know who has played an important role, whether that be as a teacher, student, alum, parent or volunteer - please let us know. 

UWC University Scholarship Partners: Application Deadlines 

UWC has a growing number of partnerships with universities and higher education institutions, which offer UWC graduates the chance to further their education in a number of different settings around the world. Three of the partner universities have deadlines coming up for 2023 admissions: SUMAS, IE University and ESADE - please be sure to take a look and share with anyone who you think might be interested in applying.

Callout for Volunteers

United in the belief that education is the means to create a more peaceful and sustainable world, UWC would not be where it is today without the passion and commitment of its volunteers. Might you, or someone you know, be interested in joining this growing network of over 4,000 volunteers? There are lots of ways you can support UWC’s work, whether that’s by getting involved in your local national committee, or by becoming a Global Selection Programme (GSP) selector. Click on the buttons below to find out more.

Community corner
Young Aurora Finalists 2022-2023

Ten UWC schools and the African Leadership Academy put forward proposals for Young Aurora, and after careful deliberation the pre-selection panel settled on UWC Dilijan, UWC SEA (East campus) and UWC East Africa as this year’s finalists. The student teams had to address a pressing humanitarian need within the vicinity of their school, and all three finalists’ projects have a strong sustainability focus this year. Two of the schools chose to tackle the challenges associated with biowaste, and the third looks at innovative ways of regenerating a coral reef ecosystem. The teams will now present their proposals before a final judging panel and guest speakers on 23 March 2023, and the winners will receive 4,000USD to go towards the development of their project.

The Boy Who Carried Books

We are incredibly proud of UWC alum, James Magok Achuli (UWC Dilijan, 2019-2021), who has  been sharing his inspirational journey in a series of news articles. James describes his childhood growing up as a refugee and child soldier, and how a love for books and learning eventually led him to a scholarship at UWC, and then on to study at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. James’ story demonstrates the transformative power of a UWC education, and shows incredible determination and perseverance.

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