January 11, 2017

Jubilee Fund – Support Us

January 11th, 2017|

September 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the opening of UWC Red Cross Nordic and provided us with the opportunity to celebrate the history of the College and its commitment to peace and a sustainable future. As part of the celebrations we established an RCN Jubilee Fund with a view to providing financial support for some key projects.

Larry, our Rektor, and Tøve Veierod, the Chair of the Board, have written to all our friends and supporters. Please find below the text of their letter and also a short video introduction by Arne Osland (Director of Development) to the purpose of the Foundation Year Programme:

Re: UWC Red Cross Nordic Jubilee Fund and the Davis-UWC Impact programme

Dear UWC RCN supporter,

This year is UWC Red Cross Nordic’s 20th anniversary year and it provides us with opportunity to celebrate the history of the College and our commitment to peace and a sustainable future. Following on from the annual Council Meeting in April 2015, we have decided to create an RCN Jubilee Fund.

We have been encouraged and inspired by the genuine enthusiasm for RCN and its future that is shared by alumni (circa 1900 worldwide), parents, former staff and supporters. Members of the RCN family are our ambassadors across the world, our network, our voice beyond the fjords. Indeed we meet so many engaging and engaged supporters – often asking how they can give back in a tangible and helpful way.

At the heart of the new design for RCN’s Strategic Plan is financial sustainability. As the College moves into its third decade, we need to lay important foundations for the future development of this College. Each UWC has its own distinctive identity, character and atmosphere – and it is important that we work together to ensure the future of the unique educational opportunities RCN offers to students from across the world. All this, however, comes at a cost and the reality is that, as a College, we receive in income from the Nordic region less than needed to offer a first rate educational experience to the next generation of students.

At an event in Hong Kong last November, a parent of a former student kindly gave the Rektor an envelope with a cheque inside and asked him to direct the donation to something special. After consulting student representatives, we decided to spend the money on buying Christmas presents for all students unable to go home for December and who were on our Winter Programme. The Christmas before, the College received a card from a Malaysian alumna with some Norwegian bank notes tucked inside with a note saying: ‘note for alumni: don’t forget what RCN gives you and try to give back when you grow up’. Both examples illustrate the willingness of our network to support the College and its projects – but it is imperative that we enable financial support of the College by providing a coherent and coordinated fundraising programme.

With this in mind, we are establishing an RCN Jubilee Fund with a view to providing financial support for some key projects. Marianne Andresen, a dedicated supporter of the College since it was founded, has generously offered to launch the Jubilee Fund by donating a building to partner the Silent House as part of the ‘Nordic Tun’ on the south side of the campus; this building will contain a baking oven and will be an educational resource – and a source of enjoyment – for our students, Red Cross summer camps, and other visitors.

Every gift makes a difference and is vital to our success. Your support will have an immediate impact on the lives of our students. All donations will be attributed to the RCN Jubilee Fund with the option for donors to be acknowledged on the Jubilee website and in the next edition of the RCN Annual Report. Our current fundraising priority is:

Provision of Jubilee Scholarships: financial support for a Foundation Year for those from conflict / refugee backgrounds who are unable to complete the IB programme in 21 months due to disrupted learning and / or language difficulties;

Your donation whether it is a regular or a one-off gift, combined with those of others, makes a significant impact upon the quality of the RCN experience of current students and is much valued and gratefully received.

UWC International announced at the beginning of August a USD $15,000,000 funding boost through a gift by American philanthropist, Shelby M C Davis. Mr Davis’ gift acknowledges the continuing appeal of UWCs’ internationally recognised education model, which has deliberate diversity of the student body and education for community leadership at its heart. In practice for RCN, under the Davis-UWC Impact programme, new and increased charitable donations from alumni, parents and friends up to the value of one million dollars will be matched dollar for dollar, thereby doubling contributions. The programme is designed to stimulate a significant increase in giving from supporters to UWC boosting our capacity to meet the demonstrated financial needs of gifted students from financially less advantaged families and further increase the socio-economic diversity of our UWC campuses.

We value the engagement with our supporters and we have lifted our level of connection through the development of our Facebook page, website, a monthly newsletter and regular alumni events. Over the past three years, we have held events in London, Helsinki, Malmø, Reykjavik and Hong Kong, and we are planning further events in London, Stockholm and Oslo before the end of this Jubilee year.

Please find attached our Annual Report – a printed encapsulation of our work which serves both as a reflection on the year gone by and the direction in which we are going – and please follow us on the newly launched Jubilee website. There are clear instructions on the Jubilee and College websites as to how to donate.

We sincerely hope that, for the years to come, you will continue to contribute to the architecture and future of RCN and, in the spirit of both the founders of the UWC movement and RCN, you help to enable the next generation of students to benefit, in turn, from the stimulating and challenging education we hope you received at this College.

Thank you.

With best wishes

Richard D A Lamont                                Tove Veierød
Rektor                                                      Chair of the Board

Our current fundraising priority is:

Provision of Jubilee Scholarships: financial support for a Foundation Year for those from conflict / refugee backgrounds who are unable to complete the IB programme in 21 months due to disrupted learning and / or language difficulties.

Here, Director of Development Arne Osland explains the purpose of the Foundation Year Programme.

Book Book Tuk Tuk – Cambodia

January 11th, 2017|

The employees at Red Cross Haugland Rehabilitation Centre decided that this year their Christmas presents from their workplace – with a total sum of 30,000 kroner – would go to the project ‘Book Book Tuk Tuk‘ in Cambodia:

Playing a central role in the project are our current Cambodian students Pring Mean and Sreythai Seng. Being part of the Survivors Of Conflict Programme they are also having much co-operation with the Rehabilitation Centre. On behalf of RCHR staff Kirsti Hellesøy handed over the gift to these two and fellow RCN student Helen Pörtner (Germany). Director Inger Johanne Osland said that they had been impressed by the presentation our student group had made for the project submitted to the Aurora competiton saying, “It is a well-organised project that is realistic to carry out for the benefit of many.”

The Winter Programme

January 10th, 2017|

One of our students has written this account of the College’s Winter Programme.

The experience I had of the Winter Programme was one of the best experiences in RCN. I am so glad that I chose to be part of the programme – it is designed and run by the College for ‘travel support’ students who College cannot afford to send back home for the December break due to peal season flight costs. I had a choice to go back home but I decided to stay because I wanted to know more about the Norwegian culture and experience the way they celebrate Christmas here.

We spent our first week in Oslo. Some of us witnessed the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony and the rest participated in the torchlight parade through the City Centre. Everyone had been allocated a host family through the Norwegian National Committee.

We visited Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park, the Viking and Kon-Tiki Museums, and the National Gallery. We had a big dinner feast at the offices of SOS Children’s Villages – one of our partner organisations. Everyone enjoyed exploring Oslo. Some other memorable activities included the winter wonderland Ferris Wheel and ice-skating. We had so much fun ice-skating; for many of us it was the first time doing this so it’s no surprise that we kept slipping and falling all the time. We took lots of pictures there.

After the Oslo trip, we went to Red Cross Cabin in Langeland. One of the biggest challenges staying in the cabin was the life without any internet connection for 7 days. In the beginning, no one was happy about this. However, every single one of us turned out to cherish this condition. Because we had more time laughing, playing cards, talking to one another, dancing salsa crazily, hiking and watching movies together. Alongside this, we went to Førde for ten-pin bowling and the thrill of playing in our groups was amazing. In the cabin, we were divided into 7 groups. Each group took its turn for the responsibility of the four main tasks: cooking, cleaning, keeping the fire and tidying.

Gingerbread HouseAs a group, we had a quiz and competition of making gingerbread houses which is a tradition in Norway. The wonderful moment began when we started to put icing on each other’s face. For me, staying in the cabin was my most favorite moment during the winter break because I took the opportunity to talk and get to know new friends. Then we came back and celebrated Christmas in the College. Although we couldn’t celebrate Christmas back at home with our families, we enjoyed being together and running our own Secret Santa (through the kind donation of the parents of a former RCN student from Hong Kong). And during New Year’s Eve, we had a special dinner, sang karaoke, danced and countdowned for 2017 together. Since the winter break started, all of us were waiting for snow. We had almost given up on it because we didn’t have a ‘white’ Christmas but, to our surprise, on the very first day of 2017 when we looked outside our windows RCN looked like a winter wonderland. We took more pictures and had a snow ball fight.

Winter Programme participantsI am very happy and grateful for being a part of the College’s Winter Programme. As can be seen, we did everything together and got to know each other much better. We helped each other and passed through a lot of challenges as a group. The experiences taught me the true value of teamwork, forgiveness, friendship, compassion, and open-mindedness towards one another. We are like a family. ‘Memorable’ seems to be a suitable word that explains the whole experience. This sure will be one of the most memorable moments in my life.

I would like to express my gratitude to Thor Elvebakk, Alex Mackay, Josh Macfarlane and Kerrion Murhesa for taking good care and looking after us during the Winter Programme– and to Hildegunn Arstein and the rest of the staff team and our host families for their support and for making this wonderful event happen.

Meejung Kamolchatr Ruengthong (RCN ’18 Thailand)

December 13, 2016

2016 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony

December 13th, 2016|

UWC RCN delegation at the ceremony5 students – Juan Pablo (Colombia), Pam (Colombia / Venezuela), Yael (Israel), Shweta (India) and Helen (Germany) – and one member of staff (Hilde from Norway) from UWC Red Cross Nordic attended the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in the city Hall in Oslo on Saturday 10th December. The Nobel Peace Prize 2016 was awarded to Juan Manuel Santos (President of Colombia) “for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end”. Please see the links for a) the presentation Speech by Kaci Kullmann Five, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee and b) the Nobel Lecture delivered by the winner.

The world turns its attention every year to the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo and, given UWC’s mission for peace and a sustainable future, it is pertinent that our students are invited to attend the ceremony. Over 30 other students on our Winter Programme attended the candle-lit procession through Oslo city centre.

The awarding of the prize this year holds special significance for us as a College given our Colombian students – Yeison and Yerson – who have completed their studies here as participants on our Survivors of Conflict programme – for more information on the programme and future scholarship places, please click here.