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UWC Students Will Propose New Humanitarian Projects

15 February, 2018 | 12:11

Aurora Humanitarian Initiative continues to partner with UWC to tackle humanitarian challenges.

YEREVAN, ARMENIA – MAY 27: Co-Founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Noubar Afeyan, Chair of the Board of Governors, UWC Dilijan Veronika Zonabend, 2016 Aurora Prize Laureate and Founder of Maison Shalom Marguerite Barankitse, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Co-Founder Vartan Gregorian, Vice Chair UWC Atlantic College Jill Longson, Human and Labour Rights Activist Syeda Ghulam Fatima, Nobel Laureate; Liberian Peace Activist and Women’s Rights Advocate; Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member Leymah Gbowee, Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member Ernesto Zedillo and students from UWC Robert Bosch College, UWC Mahindra College and Waterford Kamhlaba during the Young Leaders Addressing the World’s Most Pressing Humanitarian Challenges Session at the Aurora Dialogues, a series of discussions between leading humanitarians at the United World College at Dilijan on May 27, 2017 in Yerevan, Armenia. (Photo by Victor Boyko/Getty Images for Aurora Humanitarian Initiative) *** Local Caption *** Noubar Afeyan; Veronika Zonabend; Marguerite Barankitse; Vartan Gregorian; Jill Longson; Syeda Ghulam Fatima; Leymah Gbowee; Ernesto Zedillo

Applications for the 2018 Aurora Humanitarian Project for UWC Schools and Colleges are now being accepted. The project, a partnership between the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and UWC (United World Colleges)), encourages UWC students to design projects aimed at creating positive change in communities surrounding UWC schools and colleges. It is open to all 17 UWC schools and colleges worldwide. The winning group will be awarded a US $4000 grant toward their project’s implementation.

“We are committed to motivating students to care about the communities in which they live and try to bring positive change around them,” said Veronika Zonabend, founder of UWC in Dilijan, Armenia. “Our aim is not only to alert UWC students and alumni to the urgency of specific humanitarian issues but to motivate them to go deeper, take responsibility, and propose solutions through innovative and economically, socially and environmentally sustainable approaches.”

This is the second year of the Aurora Humanitarian Project for UWC Schools and Colleges (AHP). Fifteen of the then 16 UWC schools and colleges participated in the first year. The project proposals addressed a broad and diverse range of humanitarian issues identified near their schools and colleges and often proposed close collaborations with local communities.

“The Aurora Humanitarian Project for UWC Schools and Colleges challenges UWC’s diverse student body to think about concrete ways to make positive, meaningful and sustainable change in the world,” said UWC International’s Executive Director Jens Waltermann. “It encourages our students to put the UWC mission for peace and sustainability into concrete action through selfless leadership, initiative and teamwork – and gives them the chance to learn from some of the most well-regarded humanitarians.”

After a highly competitive selection process, three teams were chosen as finalists and UWC Robert Bosch College was announced as the winning team in 2017 with their DoGood project addressing the refugee crisis. Thanks to generous donations from anonymous donors, the two other finalists, Waterford Kamhlaba UWC (BraveGirl project) and UWC Mahindra College (Kriya Iron project), also received $4,000 each towards the further development of their respective projects.

“Being AHP finalists was a truly incredible experience – very few young people can say that they discussed humanitarian issues such as the refugee crisis and education with some of the most successful business owners in the world. The Aurora Prize itself is far more than the normal humanitarian award,” said Ravindra, a team member from UWC Robert Bosch College.

“I think the most important thing I could say is that AHP encouraged us to put more thought into BraveGirl, to create a structure and a timeline, and most importantly to visualize the impact it could have. It’s the vision of what BraveGirl could become that inspired all our efforts, and I think – I hope – that through AHP more people will realize it’s possible to turn their visions into reality,” said Ike, a member of the BraveGirl team from Waterford Kamhlaba UWC SA.

“I would like to encourage students to apply for AHP as the chance for learning through the entire process are incredible. I can honestly say that as an educator with over 20 years of working experience in various fields, the AHP is probably the best project that I have ever had the privilege of being a part of. It made a massive impact on me and it is something that I will always cherish,” said Kate Doyle, faculty advisor to the BraveGirl from Waterford Kamhlaba UWC SA.

Proposed projects must address a concrete humanitarian concern identified by the project team which is relevant to the UWC school or college’s geographic location and propose concrete steps to reduce it in or eliminate it. Projects must be student-initiated and student-led. Each UWC school or college can only nominate one project to the AHP.

The three short-listed finalists will be selected based on their creativity, sustainability, quality of research, impact, commitment, self-reflection and format. The finalist teams will have a chance to present their projects during the Aurora Prize Weekend on 8-10 June  2018 in Armenia. The winning project will be announced after the presentations and will be awarded USD $4000 towards the further development and funding of the project.

All details about the Aurora Humanitarian Project for UWC Schools and Colleges can be found here.

 

Photo caption: Finalists and Selection Committee members of 2017 Aurora Humanitarian Project for UWC at the Aurora Dialogues. May 27, 2017, UWC Dilijan, Armenia.

 

About the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative

Founded on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative seeks to empower modern-day saviors to offer life and hope to those in urgent need of basic humanitarian aid and thus continue the cycle of giving internationally. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is Gratitude in Action. It is an eight-year commitment (2015 to 2023, in remembrance of the eight years of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1923) to support people and promote projects that tackle the needs of the most helpless and destitute, and do so at great risk. This is achieved through the Initiative’s various programs: The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, the Aurora Dialogues, the Aurora Humanitarian Index, the Gratitude Projects and the 100 LIVES Initiative. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is the vision of philanthropists Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan who have, already in the second year, been joined by several dozen new donors and partners. The Initiative welcomes all who embrace a commitment to our shared humanity.

The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is represented by three organizations – Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Foundation, Inc. (New York, USA), the 100 Lives Foundation (Geneva, Switzerland) and the IDeA Foundation (Yerevan, Armenia).

Further information is available at www.auroraprize.com

 

About UWC

UWC (United World Colleges) is a global education movement that makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.

Central to the ethos of UWC is the belief that education can bring together young people from all backgrounds on the basis of their shared humanity, to engage with the possibility of social change through courageous action, personal example and selfless leadership. To achieve this, UWC schools and colleges all over the world deliver a challenging and transformational educational experience to a deliberately diverse group of young people, inspiring them to become agents of positive change.

Today, UWC has 17 schools and colleges on 4 continents, the majority of which focus exclusively on the 16-19 year-old age group: a time when young people’s energy and idealism can be guided towards empathy, responsibility and lifelong action. These colleges teach the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma as their formal curriculum, a qualification that UWC played a major part in developing, while also emphasising the importance of experiential learning, community service and outdoor activities.

UWC college students are selected domestically based on demonstrated promise and potential, and independently of socio-economic means, in more than 155 countries, through UWC’s unique national committee system. Admission to UWC schools and colleges is competitive and based on each student’s promise and potential only, enabled through UWC’s extensive scholarship system providing over 65% of students in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme with scholarships.

UWC fosters a lifelong commitment to social responsibility and, to date, it has inspired a worldwide network of more than 60,000 alumni, who believe it is possible to take action and make a difference locally, nationally and internationally.

For more information about UWC, please visit UWC.org.

 


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