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The UWC Refugee Initiative – Taking action for equality, justice and human dignity

To masses of cheering supporters around the world, 70 years ago today on December 10, 1948, the United National General Assembly adopted a landmark document enshrining principles of equality, justice and dignity for all – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UWC community has much to be proud of for their work in human rights and today we shine a spotlight on the UWC Refugee Initiative, which is changing the lives of young people living in the most dire of situations.

The UWC Refugee Initiative is a joint programme between the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and UWC with the annual goal of offering 100 UWC scholarships to students of refugee or stateless status. In 2017, UNHCR estimated that more than half of the world’s school-age refugee children don’t have access to education, and UNESCO found that this lack of access heightens the risk of violence and conflict, creating a vicious cycle of lost educational opportunities, conflict and displacement for decades.

The Refugee Initiative is rooted in UWC’s commitment to make education a force for peace. Currently, funds have been raised internationally to offer nearly 50 UWC Refugee Scholarships every year. The UWCSEA community has funded four refugees to attend a UWC, some scholarships are made possible by pooling together funds from tens or hundreds of smaller donations, whilst others are made from the generosity of a single large gift.

Meet some of the refugee scholars studying at UWCs:

Sharon, Class of ‘20, Refugee Scholar from Sri Lanka

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Despite living through the civil war in Sri Lanka which tore her family apart, with her father missing and the family internally displaced, Sharon’s horizons have dramatically changed as she is now studying for an IB scholarship at UWC Atlantic.

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Nancy, Class of ‘19, Refugee Scholar from South Sudan

Nancy, from South Sudan, is studying for her IB Diploma at UWC Dilijan.

“After I joined UWC I began to feel so different, my nature has changed, I began to think differently and care about everything.

It is just miraculous how I found myself engaging with people from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds – all of us embracing the same movement. This opportunity is not only fulfilling my dreams but also giving my family and my community hope of future change.”

Mahmoud, Class of ‘19, Refugee Scholar from Palestine

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Palestinian refugee, Mahmoud, was overwhelmed to have been selected by the UWC National Committee for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon. In mid-2017, he flew to Europe to begin his new life at UWC Mostar, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“UWC has expanded my knowledge and given me different perspectives on issues. It changed me to be more understanding and encouraged me to look at each side of the story…I feel that I am the voice of all of those Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, who are still deprived of their basic human rights and have no one to hear their suffering.”

Lydia, refugee scholar from South Sudan, Class of ‘20

Lydia, another refugee from South Sudan, will soon be starting a fresh chapter of her life in Bosnia and Herzegovina at UWC Mostar.

Today, let us honour the monumental achievement that is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and keep working to create more opportunities for some of the world’s most needy young people; join us in supporting the UWC Refugee Initiative and help to shine a light in the darkness to transform young people’s lives.

Show your support for refugees. Make a donation today.

Home, Scholarship programme, UWC Refugee Initiative

UWC Refugee Initiative – one scholar’s journey from camp to campus

The UWC Refugee Initiative aims to support at least 100 students, per year, of refugee or stateless status to attend a UWC around the world. UWCSEA is a proud supporter of this vital initiative and through the support of the College community, is currently supporting two scholars to attend UWC Dilijan and UWC Mostar.

They are two of many refugee scholars currently living and learning the UWC values, below is the story of Bachir a UWC Costa Rica alumnus (2011-2013) who grew up in a refugee camp called Smara, in the Tindouf province of Algeria. After receiving a UWC scholarship to Costa Rica he received a further scholarship to study Engineering at Brown Univesity in the US.

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UWC Refugee Initiative – scholarship gives South Sudanese refugee fresh chance

The UWC Refugee Initiative aims to support at least 100 students, per year, of refugee or stateless status to attend a UWC around the world. UWCSEA is a proud supporter of this vital initiative and through the support of the College community, is currently supporting two scholars to attend UWC Dilijan and UWC Mostar.

They are two of many refugee scholars currently living and learning the UWC values, below is the story of Emmanuel, from South Sudan who is studying at Adriatic College in Italy. His scholarship was created by Anna Illy, of the famous Italian coffee roasting company Illy.

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Scholarship programme, UWC Refugee Initiative

Scholarships can create a better future for refugee students

Mahmoud, Class of 2019, is one of the two scholars supported by the UWCSEA community in 2016/2017 to receive a scholarship through the UWC Refugee Initiative. He joined UWC in September after being selected by the UWC National Committee for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon.

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Scholarship programme, UWC Refugee Initiative

#Givingtuesday in support of the UWC Refugee Initiative

Today is #GivingTuesday, a day when people around the world are coming together to give back. It has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy.

Today, we ask you to join this movement by making a monthly gift in support of the UWC Refugee Initiative – a global programme which aims to offer 100 scholarships to individuals of refugee or stateless status each year.

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