UWCx Initiative Empowers 31 Student Projects to "Go Make A Difference"!
GoMakeADifference, a UWCx Initiative founded by UWC Atlantic College alumna and former Vice-Chair of the UWC International Board Jill Longson, and current Treasurer of the UWC International Board Colin Habgood, encourages UWC students from around the world to engage in meaningful service, giving out financial grants each year to impactful student projects across the UWC movement. In 2019, 31 projects will be supported through GoMakeADifference, as outlined in the article below (first published 4 April 2019 here):
GoMakeADifference is once again providing financial support to 31 projects around the world, to help UWC students live the UWC mission after they graduate this summer.
A significant number of applications were received from students representing almost all 17 UWC schools and colleges. This year students were encouraged to provide more specific information in their project submission and were given the opportunity to upload videos to demonstrate their passion for their projects. The quality and volume of project proposals submitted made judging very difficult.As co-founder Colin Habgood said, “The quality of applications we received made it very hard to decide who should be awarded grants this year. It was great for Jill and I to see so many well thought through plans. It was a real credit real credit to student’s initiative and the staff who promote and support students with their proposals”.
Students had taken time to ensure their applications met the GoMakeADifference criteria around personal development and the level of benefits the project will deliver. Most project plans came complete with comprehensive timescales, expenses and outcomes and it was good to see students had thought about their plans in more detail than previous years. The main reasons for a project not succeeding was either that they were not sufficiently innovative or that they didn’t provide the level of personal challenge and development when compared to other projects submitted.
Jill Longson (co-founder) added: “It was inspiring to see so many creative ideas from UWC students as to how they want to make a difference – with challenging project based solutions for a wide range of global issues. Reviewing applications was a really moving experience. Colin and I are delighted to distribute 31 grants of $1,000 per grant and we would like to thank two alumni for their additional support. Of course it is not possible to award every application a grant, but we hope that students who were not successful, can somehow use their planning as a springboard to deliver their projects in another way”.
The 31 UWC mission aligned projects will be supported in various countries and regions. They include a number of Education related activities covering awareness on mental health and sex education in Kenya; raising levels of education in a youth detention centre in Lithuania and construction of an electronic library in Madagascar. Renovation projects will be taking place in schools in Malawi, Ghana and Uganda. Migrant and refugee support will see students working in Spain, Germany and the UK. Sustainability projects will be run in the Lebanon, India and Uganda; and Healthcare projects will take place in Kenya, the UK, Thailand, South Africa and Mozambique. Finally, a number of Peace Building initiatives will be held in Mexico, Russia, Denmark, Morocco and Norway.
Congratulations to UWC Adriatic on 5 projects being awarded, the highest number from one college this year. And special mention to UWC RCN for their continued support in promoting these awards, with 12 applications from them, the highest number from any one UWC school/college.
As Jill added, “It is fantastic to see we have almost every UWC school/college participating and there was some great UWC collaboration with students from various UWC schools/colleges working together on one project. These projects will enable students to put the UWC mission in action. Colin and I wish all the students well in delivering their projects over the coming months.”
Projects will be delivered in Europe (Spain, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Norway, UK, Germany and Lithuania), in Africa (Kenya, Sierra Leone, Eswatini, Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, South Sudan, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Morocco) The Middle East (Lebanon), The Americas (Mexico, Jamaica) and in Asia (India, Thailand, Armenia).
Find out more about the winning entries here.