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

This time of the year is typically filled with new beginnings and great energy as we welcome new students, faculty, staff and families into our global community. I have been overwhelmed with joy seeing pictures of student arrivals and faculty orientation sessions across UWC schools and colleges; these images represent renewal and continuity, providing a timely reminder that the UWC mission must be passed on from one generation to another. On behalf of the UWC International Board and the staff of the UWC International Office, I extend a very warm welcome to every new member of the UWC movement.  

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of joining one of our partner organisations, Rise, for the culmination of a three-week residential programme for their inaugural cohort of global winners in Cape Town, South Africa. From a pool of about 50,000 applicants, Rise selected 100 exceptional young people from 42 countries for a lifetime of benefits, supporting them as they work towards solving humanity’s most pressing challenges. It was most heart-warming to see UWC excellence on full display throughout the programme with Rebecca Warren (UWC Atlantic 1995-1997) leading the design and delivery of the programme alongside other UWC alumni. I was also thrilled to meet several participants who are recent UWC graduates, current students and incoming students.

One of the central themes from my talk with the Rise global winners is that growth happens in community. As I looked at them, it was abundantly clear that these young people will be the leaders of the world: transforming lives, transforming sectors, and transforming nations. But, they can only achieve so much by building true collaborations with each other. Drawing inspiration from the partnership between UWC and Rise, I stressed that we can collectively reverse systemic inequalities in the world by finding, educating, connecting and supporting young leaders from all backgrounds, cultures and continents. We know that talent is universal, but opportunity is not.

I took this message even further when I spoke at the 27th Youth Assembly in New York, which opened with an International Youth Day celebration at the United Nations headquarters attended by more than 500 young people from over 60 countries. Again, I was thrilled to be joined by UWC alumni, including Junita Sangare (UWC ISAK Japan 2019-2021), whose tireless advocacy for sexual reproductive health in her home country of Liberia earned her a grant from the Davis Project for Peace. Junita, who is a first-year representative on the Student Senate at Luther College, Iowa, shared how her time at UWC ISAK Japan shaped her into the leader that she is today. Her story was a perfect reminder of the importance of the UWC value of action and personal example – the basis of the theme for this year’s UWC Day celebrations: Peace Begins with Us!

Wherever you find yourself on 21 September this year, I hope that you will join one of several activities organised in commemoration of the UWC mission and values. For the many members of our community who are at the start of the new school year, I wish you a fabulous year ahead.

With deep appreciation for all that you do in your communities each day.

Faith Abiodun
Executive Director, UWC International
Welcome to our New Heads of Schools & New Chairs
New Heads of Schools & New Chairs

We wish a very warm welcome to Khalid El-Metaal, who takes on the role of Rettore of UWC Adriatic. Khalid is originally from Egypt and was raised in the UK, & was previously deputy headteacher of the Toronto French School in Canada.  We also welcome Nick Alchin, who has a long-running association with UWC South East Asia and he is now taking on the position of Interim Head at the school. Gaurav Chopra also takes on an Interim Head role at UWC Mahindra College (MUWCI). Gaurav has been actively involved in the College since its founding, and is one of the longest serving members of the Founding Board of Governors at MUWCI. We are also delighted to welcome Pelham Lindfield Roberts as Rektor of UWC Red Cross Nordic (UWC RCN). Pelham has extensive experience as a teacher and head of boarding schools, and was previously the Head of College at UWC Mahindra College for 7 years, and later Head of College at UWC Changshu China. Meanwhile, we are happy to announce that Elizabeth Sellevold has taken on the role of Chair at UWC RCN, and Aly Kassam-Remtulla the role of Permanent Chair Proxy of UWC-USA.

Success of UWC Short Courses
UWC Short Courses

The COVID-19 pandemic inevitably affected many of the UWC short courses, with some either having to be switched to being run solely online or deferred. However, we’re delighted to report that since restrictions have eased, in-person UWC short courses have resumed, and have proved even more popular than ever. (Re)Imagining Community UWC Cyprus short course organiser, Lara Savenije, says “it was great to finally organise the first EU-funded residential short course in Cyprus and return to the joy and connection of an in-person programme. Between our workshops and discussion sessions, we danced, explored different parts of the island, stargazed, welcomed guests and had a karaoke party - making unforgettable memories and lasting friendships. The short course brought together 35 participants from Cyprus and abroad, marking another important milestone of the EU Programme for Cypriot Youth at UWC.“ 

UWC Mahindra College was also happy to return to its in-person short courses, offering four programmes: Outdoor Ecological Education (OEE), Youth for Social Change (YSC), Youth, Environment, Sustainability (YES), and Slavery Studies. Overall, the College exceeded its enrolment targets, with parents and students displaying tremendous enthusiasm for the different programmes. Overall, 92 participants from 15 countries experienced what it was like to be part of a UWC classroom and how it felt to live and learn on the MUWCI campus. Here's a sample of some of the positive feedback received: "YES is a beautiful programme for young people who are looking for how they can genuinely incorporate sustainability into their lives. It’s a value-based rather than fact-based programme, and the facilitators are very supportive and experienced. It helped many students break out of their shells and step outside of their comfort zone."

Huge congratulations to all of the facilitators and organisers who put so much work into making UWC short courses such a resounding success in recent months!

UWC Day 2022 is Nearly Here!
UWC Day 2022: Peace Begins with Us

The community is busy planning for UWC Day on 21 September 2022 around the theme of Peace Begins with Us! A chance for us to come together and celebrate our mission and its commitment to peacebuilding in all its myriad forms. If you haven’t started yet, don’t worry, it’s not too late - just head to the resource platform for all the help you need in planning a celebration to remember. And then don’t forget to register your event so that we can help you to promote it!

Community corner
Sign Up for the Next Cycle of Young Aurora!

Young Aurora Project PassportSchools and colleges have until 15 September 2022 to email confirming their participation in the next cycle of Young Aurora. This is a fantastic opportunity for your students to gain invaluable experience in project management, as they focus their efforts on meeting the needs of a pressing humanitarian issue in their community. The finalists will receive detailed feedback from the selection panel, with the winning team receiving USD 4,000 to develop their project. Please make sure you download and save the latest version of the project passport below, which details the eligibility criteria and project timeline.

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