It was with great sadness we received the news that Arne Ophaug had passed away after a period with cancer treatment. Many colleagues took a last farewell in the funeral at Fedje last Friday, the place where he grew up and where he and Maria now had a holiday residence. Arne had been in charge of our kitchen since we started in 1995 and from 1999 took over as Head of Services. Outside of term time, Arne was responsible for the operation of our Red Cross Summer camps for many years. For his long and faithful service, he received a special invitation from Queen Sonja to a reception in the Palace gardens in 2016. He retired in the summer of 2017. Arne fed more than 2000 students and countless visitors. Colleagues remember him fondly for his humour and for leading by example. You could always count on Arne. Our thoughts go to Maria and the rest of the family.
October 31, 2018
Recently, both Mark Wang (’98-’00) and David Sengeh (’04-’06) have been in the limelight with their mission related impact. Mark, now founder and Chair of UWC Changshu, was delighted to host King Harald and Queen Sonja at the College during the recent Norwegian state visit to China. It was Queen Sonja who had made a UWC scholarship to RCN possible in 1998, an opportunity that changed Mark’s life.
David has gone on from designing prosthetic for amputees at MIT to becoming the first Chief Innovation Officer in the government of Sierra Leone at the invitation of his President, Julius Maada Bio. In September David was one of the participants, and moderated a discussion between Bill Gates and President Bio, at the Goalkeepers 2018 event.
UWC Leirskule offers participants a chance to meet people from all over the world, join exciting outdoor activities and practice their English speaking skills. Each week a group of school children (age 11-14) from our region, comes for a week of activities. They get fully immersed in campus life, eat all meals in the kantina and stay on campus in the UWC Connect buildings. In the morning sessions, the outdoor staff lead activities such as canoeing, boat trips and outdoor kitchen. During the afternoon sessions, participants do activities like kayaking, climbing, Haugland adventure, low ropes, bush craft and archery. These sessions are led by UWC RCN students, supervised by staff members. In the evenings guests are able to use the pool facilities at Haugland. They are also treated to an evening of international activities and a party on the Thursday night to round off the week. At the end of the season; a huge thank you to all students and staff that facilitate Leirskule activities, this program could not run without you.
Last week we welcomed 48 visitors from the Arna centre for asylum seekers to take part in an activity-packed programme. The visit was part of our Meeting-place for Diversity programme, the aim of which is to help groups of visitors benefit from the diverse College community. Since this was project week, we had a core group of 15 students who dedicated themselves to this interaction, led by staff members Liusaidh, Leonora and Hannah.
The day-time activities included canoeing, archery, paddle boarding, fishing, arts and crafts, ceramics, dance and horse riding. Every evening we used the pool facilities at Haugland, which the children particularly enjoyed! Afterwards there was baking, film screenings, board games and a ping-pong tournament. The final evening was marked with the baking of delicious pizza and breads in the baking house, crafting friendship bracelets, board games and dancing. The programme is made possible with support from IMDI and UDI. It was most rewarding for all involved and hopefully the beginning of a long term co-operation with our new friends in Arna.
After the project, Haleigh, one of the RCN students, said this:
“Even though the refugees who were in my group did not speak English, we still found ways to communicate with each other. It was impactful to see how much love and understanding can occur when no verbal communication takes place. It truly gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation for what these refugees have to go through just to find a safe and happy place to live. A moment of realization for me was on the second night, we were watching a movie, in Norwegian, and a little girl from Syria had fallen asleep in my lap, and I thought, this is exactly the reason why I came here to UWCRCN.”