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So far Edmund Cluett has created 591 blog entries.

December 11, 2019

Jo Loiterton – Deputy Rektor

2019-12-11T10:40:22+00:00December 11th, 2019|

What do you get when you bring 200 highly motivated and engaged young people from over 90 countries to a remote and pristine fjord-side campus in western Norway? A rich and stimulating exchange of ideas, and an unparalleled energy for engaging with the UWC movement’s goal of education for a peaceful and sustainable future.

Coming to UWC Red Cross Nordic has been like coming home. Whilst this is my first experience of living and working at a UWC, the values and mission of the movement have resonated throughout my 15 year experience of international schools around the world. Education for a peaceful and sustainable future for all, is a mission that resonates deeply with me and unfortunately seems to be coming even more relevant in a world facing complex times and seemingly endless challenges. It is with great pride and hope that I have joined the leadership team of the college to support the growth and development of our diverse student body.

The hum of life and energy is palpable at Red Cross Nordic. Student engagement and leadership drives so many of the activities on campus whether it be environmental, humanitarian or cultural. Our unique environment gives students opportunities for exploration of Nordic values and culture, from friluftsliv or outdoor life to a comprehensive understanding of Norway’s deeply held democratic values. Our students embrace partnership and service to our local community through the many opportunities made possible through our numerous local and national relationships. This engagement was in abundance recently as I accompanied our small group of to the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo. While they waited to enter the magnificent city hall, they sought out and engaged with people of interest to them. The conversations they began were purposeful and focussed on exploring ideas. They were also very keen to communicate the value of the work of the UWC movement. This same engagement persisted throughout the entire event as they reflected on and discussed the underlying themes and messages of the speeches. This is what draws me to RCN; that the student engagement is purposeful, self directed and deeply reflective.

As an educator and a psychologist I am both intrigued and impressed by the humanitarian and social justice agendas of our community and I am happy to be in a position to support and affirm their development. The campus and the events and opportunities afforded the students provide a rich canvas upon which they can paint their own perspectives through dialogue, sharing and common understanding. It is vital, in this 21st century that we support the inquiry of young people and guide them towards their own understanding of the complexity of our struggling world. Empowering young leaders to believe that they can and must engage in key issues that will determine our combined futures is my mission, and I am happy to have found a home at RCN where the alignment with my own values and purpose is so natural.

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Ghulam Ali Doulat (’18-present)

2019-12-11T07:03:43+00:00December 11th, 2019|

Ghulam Ali Doulat was born in Afghanistan and raised in Pakistan. In 2001, his parents were forced to flee from their home country when the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan. Ghulam’s father was a solider in the defeated Afghan army so he had no choice but to escape from his country together with his wife and eight children. Ghulam is the ninth and youngest child. Celebrating his 18th birthday this year as a student of UWC Red Cross Nordic in Norway, Ghulam has a striking ability to see the best in any circumstances that come his way. In this spirit he considers being born and raised in Pakistan to an Afghani family as a start of process for recognising the values in diversity:

“I feel more at home in Karachi where I was born and raised. It is a very diverse town. I grew up listening to a variety of languages and dialects, knowing different cultures and looks of people. From an early age, I learned how to build bridges and to live with others in harmony. Growing up in this society sensitised me to differences. If we choose to work together towards a common goal rather than highlighting our differences, we can achieve so much together. Diversity adds colour and flavour to life and can be a source for peace to the mind and among individuals, societies and nations.”

Ghulam is still deeply concerned about the situation that forced his family to live in exile – the absence of peace in Afghanistan. He knows the misery that conflict and war bring to the lives of children, women and society at large. That is why he values peace so highly.

“Peace is freedom. Peace means that people can pursue their ambition of building a better future without major hindrances. Peace is a pre-condition for the development of a country.”

Ghulam is one of the five students that are going to take part in this year’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony as representatives of UWC Red Cross Nordic. This year the award goes to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali for his important work to promote reconciliation, solidarity and social justice. As a student who came from a war-torn country, this resonates with Ghulam’s personal experience and his view of peace.

“There are many reasons why I am looking forward to attending the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo. I am going there with the expectation to learn from the wisdom of a man who has managed to bring solutions to what has been an ongoing and serious conflict in his region. So I am eager to learn about what Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed Ali has to say about conflict resolution. Because I know it is not easy to bring two opposing sides into agreement from the story of my own country. Knowing this will help me in the future to contribute to building peace in Afghanistan.”

Genet Ashebir

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Appointment of new Rektor

2019-12-17T16:57:34+00:00December 11th, 2019|

We have appointed Hege Myhre as the new Rektor for the College, starting in the school year beginning August 2020. There were many well qualified applicants for the position from all over the world. After several rounds with interviews and visits to the school, we are happy to now have Hege Myhre in place. She is currently Rektor at Kongsberg International School and has extensive experience and competence within international education. She is the first woman to be appointed in a permanent position as Rektor at UWC Red Cross Nordic and also the first Norwegian. Deputy Rektor Jo Loiterton will be acting Rektor until Myhre is in place at the beginning of the next school year.

After accepting the position, Hege wrote the following:

Thank you to each and every one in the UWC RCN family for allowing me to join your forces and take part in the myriad of opportunities ahead of us!

Taking on the role of the new Rektor is both a privilege and an honour. Privilege as I know the College houses a highly diverse student and staff body, who both represent resourcefulness and excellence in multitude ways. The level of student agency and student engagement has impressed me in all my encounters with the College, as has staff dedication and motivation. It is a privilege to be asked to build on the strengths already present on campus while seeking out the next steps for development. Further, to push for distinction of the UWC mission and values, which resonate completely with my own set of beliefs, is an honour. The bold idealism expressed in the mission is not only a mere description of hope for the future, but it is a promise and a pledge that I as an educator can commit to and should always see to role-model.

On top of this, the three pillars of RCN are connecting my sincere interests with the passion for international education. Having specialized in holistic education, I am excited about the vast opportunities the collaboration with Red Cross is bringing to the table. A residential, inclusive campus is an amazing starting point in itself for holism, but the ‘Survivors of Conflict project’ is just one great example of how the Red Cross generate additional focus on humanitarian values such as compassion, tolerance and peace. I am looking forward to seeing how the students will shape and develop their personal identity in connection with their community, having the unique opportunity to get a mini sample from the world in the beautiful scenery of Flekke.

Because beautiful it is. Breathtakingly so!

The more I have travelled the world, the more I have learned to appreciate and love the natural environment and scenery of our Norwegian nature. And Flekke with its surroundings are no exception to this admiration. Outdoor life activities in variety is an important aspect of my life, which not only enable me to stay reasonable fit, but also balances levels of stress during hectic periods. Alongside this love of outdoor life and the concern for the environment which this has manifested, and making use of my understanding and experience of this together with the College community is something I am truly looking forward to.

But what I most eagerly await is to meet you all in person. Whether you are a student, staff member, board member, alumnus, member of the national committees, member of the larger UWC family, local partner of collaboration, national or international collaborator, politician, external expert, IB professional, the list could go on. But in short – I am looking forward to meeting all stakeholders to UWC RCN. Your investment and heartfelt care for the college has in unison built the legacy of the college, and so will inform my lead when we together will embark upon the strategic development of the coming period. The excitement of the possibilities coming true is beyond any description.

With all sincerity, Hege

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Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony

2019-12-11T11:42:43+00:00December 11th, 2019|

War is the exemplification of hell on earth for all involved. I know it, because I have been there and come back.

These were the words of the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali in his speech during the ceremony in Oslo City Hall today. It was an honour for our students Edda Iveland (Norway), Leane Ickes (Malaysia), Elin de Wall (Germany), Manuel Macedo Lamana (Uruguay) and Ghulam Ali Doulat (Afghanistan) to attend the ceremony together with our acting Rektor Jo Loiterton.

One of our students said, “It made an impact to hear the laureate talk about his personal background, and to learn he had been a soldier in war. He gave examples of how he was fighting the war, and it gave a less intellectual and more concrete understanding of peace.”

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