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Wrapping Up the UWC Pledge in a Year Like No Other

21 January 2021

As we continue with our final reflections on 2020, we are pleased to share the results for the UWC Pledge 2020.

The UWC Pledge is the global engagement initiative launched in 2018 to reach the UWC movement’s strategic goal to “Encourage UWC alumni [...] to give to UWC according to their circumstances in terms of time, treasure and talent: Get what you need as a student and give back what you can as an alum.” As part of the UWC Pledge, graduating students are encouraged to think of ways they can pass on their future time, treasure and talent to future generations of UWCers.

This past year, the challenges that we all faced due to COVID-19 perhaps caused the most upheaval, stress and disappointment for our Class of 2020. The abrupt campus closures at the outbreak of the pandemic meant that many were unable to share the final stages of their UWC experience in one place with their co-years and teachers and on their beloved UWC campuses. 

As a UWC movement we should therefore be all the more grateful that despite all the difficulties that tarnished these last moments on campus, already more than half of the UWC Class of 2020 from participating schools have signed the UWC Pledge. In doing so, these students make a powerful commitment to pass on their future time, treasure and talent to future generations of UWC students, thereby helping to ensure that more students from all backgrounds can access the same - and perhaps an even better - UWC experience.

What’s even more remarkable is the gratitude and love for their school communities that emerged from students across the UWC movement in response to the UWC Pledge roll-out in the midst of a global pandemic, as shared with us by our communications colleagues across the UWC schools:


"A few days ago, a friend sent me the UWC pledge. When I signed the document, I had a big smile on my face. I was thinking that, even if there was no such thing as the UWC pledge, I would not forgive myself if I don't give something back to the movement at some point in my life. I mean...UWC has given me everything. It started as an educational opportunity but ended up giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. It gave me an amazing experience, a better future, friends, family...UWC gave me a home.

Even now, having still not been able to go back to my home country because of coronavirus, [UWC Costa Rica] is going above and beyond to make this place a paradise for those of us that cannot reach home yet. Seriously, where else can you find a school that organises a beach trip in the soccer field, FIFA tournaments, and a party with broomsticks so we can have fun while maintaining physical distance? 

When my official two years at UWC Costa Rica ended, I already loved and called this place home. Now, as someone who is experiencing the pandemic as a UWC student, I have a new perspective on this place. This is not only a community that takes care of you for two years. This is a community whose commitment to their students does not have a finish line. I have no doubts that I will give back to the movement because, now, I do not think it is a choice, I think it is a responsibility. And yet, I know that it will never be enough considering all that UWC has given me."

- Xamantha Laos from Peru, UWC Costa Rica, 2018-2020


"As we closed for lockdown, and students had to leave in a rush, we were not able to present the UWC Pledge to the students as we normally do. But as the students prepared to leave, they requested for the UWC pledge to be taken to their residences to sign and contribute, as the admin offices were closed at the time. It was heartwarming that in the midst of all the chaos, they still wanted to be part of ensuring the UWC mission continues into the future.”

- UWC Thailand Alumni Engagement team

 Thank you UWC Class of 2020 for your generosity and ongoing passion for the UWC movement and - most importantly - the UWC mission. We look forward to seeing where it will take you!