Monthly Archives: December 2013

December 11, 2013

Nobel Peace Prize

December 11th, 2013|

On the 9th of December, five extremely excited students and Jelena, our faculty escort, settled into the school minibus to start our nightlong journey by bus to Oslo. Every one of us was looking forward to witnessing what is perhaps the most prestigious award ceremony in the world: The Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony.

This year, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was receiving the honor for its unparalleled contribution in the field of the abolition of chemical arms, especially its work recently in Syria. The OPCW is an inter-governmental organization, located in The Hague, Netherlands that strives towards the goal of the complete disarmament of chemical weaponry. So far 190 countries have ratified the Convention to become OPCW members. On the 10th of December Ahmet Uzumcu received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the organization in an elegant press-covered event and expressed his hope that those countries who have not yet signed and ratified the convention do so. It is encouraging that some of those countries joined the convention in early January 2014.

The recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize 2013

The recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize 2013


Starting with the soft drinks and cakes reception where the students got the opportunity to mingle with Oslo’s finest, the entire ceremony itself was great. Held annually in the Oslo City Hall, the organizers had spared no expense to create an event that was inspiring and enchanting. The presence of the Norwegian King Harald and Queen Sonja further enhanced the seriousness of the ceremony. With beautiful decorations, classical music performed by renowned musicians and speeches from the presidents of the Nobel Peace Prize committee and the OPCW, the entire ceremony encompassed Alfred Nobel’s dedication to world peace.

In the evening (after a good meal in the city centre) we also attended the Torch Rally held in honor of the winners. Unlike in the City Hall, in this beautifully flame-lit procession, the majority were young people who carried torches from Oslo’s central station to the Grand Hotel. The OPCW representatives were waving to the cheering crowd from the Hotel’s balcony. It was great to see so many young Norwegians coming together to support the Nobel Prize and OPCW’s efforts for world peace.

Students at the ceremony

Students at the ceremony

All in all the whole day was amazing – not many have the chance to experience what we did, and we returned to the College inspired and happy.

Yondeen Sherpa (RCN 12-14)

The attendees were students were Julia Romare (Sweden), Gong Pei (China), Leonardo Olivetti (Italy),Thea Solbakken Sæterdal (Norway) and Yondeen Sherpa (Nepal) and teacher Jelena Belamaric (Croatia).

Nelson Mandela

December 6th, 2013|

UWC is greatly saddened by the loss of our Honorary President Nelson Mandela, one of the greatest statesmen of the twentieth century, whose life was an inspiration for our movement and its values of peace and sustainability. Nelson Mandela was the embodiment of our mission statement – perceptively and memorably reminding us all that ‘education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’.

Larry addressing the community

Larry addressing the community

We are proud that Nelson Mandela’s children and grandchildren were educated at UWC Waterford Kamhlaba, our sister College in Swaziland, showing his belief in and commitment to the work we do.

What made Madiba, as he was affectionately known, unique in the world today is that he retained many of his values and integrity whilst bestriding the global stage and negotiating the political oscillations of his time with wisdom and grace. Part of his legacy will be the example he set of striving to spread peace and justice in the world, his ability to forgive and inspire others to do the same and his understanding of the role education plays in bringing positive change. We at RCN are part of Mandela’s immeasurable impact and global legacy.

In South Africa and elsewhere in the world, an annual International Nelson Mandela Day is held in July with the simple request that, in return for Mandela’s 67 years of his life dedicated to human rights, individuals give 67 minutes of their time on one day of the year dedicated to humanitarian action – positive change begins with small actions in local communities. It serves as a catalyst for each and every person to realise that they have the ability to change the world through action. I hope that, in discussion with the Student Council, our African students and the whole community, we too can honour at UWC Red Cross Nordic the life and legacy of Mandela with our own implementation of an annual Mandela Day positioned at some point in the calendar year.

Nelson Mandela wrote:

Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for eternity.

Ntokozo Yende speaking to NRK

Ntokozo Yende speaking to NRK

The whole UWC Red Cross students, staff, Council, Board and alumni – and the Fjaler community – would like to express our heartfelt condolences to every member of the Mandela family.

A book of condolences will be available in the Kantine from tomorrow until the end of term – it will then be delivered in person by Ntokozo Yende, one of our current South African students, on behalf of our College to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg.

Last night, a powerful storm came across the sea and through the fjords – I like to think that it was the spirit of Mandela passing.

Today, the Norwegian flag on our campus flies in the wind and the snow at half-mast in tribute to Nelson Mandela, our Honorary President.

Richard D A Lamont

Rektor

UWC Red Cross Nordic