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March 24, 2017

Jubilee Fund – Support Us

March 24th, 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, wrote 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.

Global Concerns – The Nordic Region

March 24th, 2017|

Nordic Art and drawing

Nordic Art and Drawing

After musical performances and an introduction to the day’s events from teacher Lisa Jokivirta, the day’s keynote speaker spoke to a full auditorium. Lars Magne Andreassen is Director of Lule Sami Institute Arran, an Executive Board Member of the Galdu Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, elected National Representative of UNESCO in Norway, active in the Sami Parliament. he offered a general overview of both indigenous and settler populations in the circumpolar north and discussed extractive industry developments such as mining in the northernmost parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland.

A day of workshops was followed in the evening by the screening of two films about the Arctic, a special dinner – including reindeer meat, and a bonfire with storytelling, snacks and music..

The workshops covered the following topics:

A. Environment and Society in a Changing Arctic

1. Resource conflicts in the Arctic region
Description: The Partition of the Arctic Conference draws a diverse group of RCN students to address the current state of the Arctic region. Our conference will provide participants with a better understanding of the inner workings of the Arctic Council as well as providing a space to improve skills in diplomacy, critical thinking, and public speaking. No prior research on the topic is necessary.

2. Geopolitics in Greenland
Description: “To mine or not to mine?” Greenland might finally have opportunities to earn some money. The money is buried underneath the ground, in the form of natural resources waiting to get dug up, but should we do it? There will be a debate where you get to decide if mines should rule this vulnerable country as you act as the government of Greenland.

Melting with Moritz

Melting with Moritz

3. Melting with Moritz: The #1 talk show about climate change – Episode 15: Looking For Alaska
In this episode of the smash hit television series, Melting with Moritz, Flekke’s favorite host, Linnea Moritz, will talk about how climate change will affect Alaska. If right now you are thinking, “Alaska? That’s one of those strange American states right?” And if that’s all you know then you should come to this week’s mind-blowing episode! This time Moritz will be interviewing a wide range of guests including, but not limited to, climate scientists, activists and residents affected by the Arctic Climate Tragedy. Through her engaging questions, Moritz will provide all the facts you need to understand climate change in Alaska. You should look forward to an exciting, engaging and humorous show!

4. The Controversies behind Whaling in the Arctic
Description: In this workshop, we will look at whaling and examine what makes it such a controversial topic. Why do some countries still practice it, while others see it as wrong? Is it sustainable, and what might be indigenous perspectives on the issue? You will learn the key facts, and then take part in an active discussion.

B. Arctic Peoples and Cultures

5. Indigenous Peoples – Their Political Rights and Status
Description: Focusing on the ambiguity of indigenous people’s political rights, our workshop gives you the chance to learn about the wonderful and yet threatened ways of the Sami people. You will learn about the role and function of the Sami Parliament, the Sami Council, as well as the international channels through which indigenous peoples like the Sami might fight for political rights. Challenge yourself through our mind puzzles. May the sharpest memory win.

6. Indigenous Peoples – Culture and Lifestyle
Description: Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an indigenous person living in the Arctic? Do they still live in igloos? Do they eat polar bear? This interactive workshop challenges some of the stereotypes surrounding indigenous peoples, and invites you to explore different aspects of their culture, lifestyle and development, and discuss how they navigate between tradition and modernity in an increasingly globalized world.

Throat singing

Throat singing

7. Introduction to Throat Singing and Swedish Herd Calling
Description: In the midst of the Swedish forests, a beautiful melody travels through the silence. A lonely woman calls for her cattle over the mountains. Further east, an old man tells a story through sounds coming far down in his throat. Come and learn the basics of the beautiful, Swedish Herding call tradition, and throat singing. This is an exclusive opportunity and we look forward to seeing you there!

8. Storytelling through dance – representation and cultural traditions
Description: An amazing interactive session to give a better understanding of the role of dance in the storytelling of indigenous tribes. We will give you an overview of the history of the indigenous tribes and we will teach you basic dance moves to enrich your skills of arctic body expression!

9. Vikings – Fact and Fiction
Description: Breaking News! Vikings have returned and taken over Flekke! They are currently inhabiting the island outside of Haugland, and refuse to leave before they give us a taste of their ways. There have been attempts to forcefully remove them, however they seem to be more persistent than they were the first time around. Due to this, we have decided to give in to their demands. We will be sacrificing 20 students to hear their claims and report back to us. This mission will be dangerous, it will take concentration, dedication, appropriate clothing for outdoor activity, sweat and blood. Are you the right person for the job?

10. Vikings Expansion and Ancient Parliaments around the North Sea – interactive lecture with visiting lecturer Anne Hopland
Description: Anne Hopland, the Director of the Ancient Parliament in our region, comes to RCN as a visiting lecturer to give an interactive talk on the theme of Vikings. Did you know that the Vikings had forms of democratic laws and governance? Anne has in depth knowledge about how the Vikings had democratic gatherings and laws that they took to their new areas of settlement, e.g Iceland and Greenland. Come learn more through Anne, and bring along with you any burning questions about the Vikings that you might have!

11. Greenland’s independence – relationship with the US and Denmark
Description: The interest in the arctic continues to increase, and with it the interest in Greenland. Greenland is for now an autonomous constituent state within the Danish realm, but who would benefit from its independence? And is this really in Greenland’s best interest? You decide – The future of Greenland is in your hands!

12. All You Ever Wanted to Know about the Sauna
Description: This workshop is not like any other workshop, Teo will be squatting in the sauna. We will have a brief interactive (and fun) presentation aiming to introduce the history, development and benefits of the sauna. Through a journey like no other, participants will experience and develop their own mentality of the sauna. After the presentation you will join us in a sauna session where we will discuss the interesting happenings in the sauna in the modern era. It will be hot, get ready!

An Expedition to the North Pole

An Expedition to the North Pole

13. An Expedition to the North Pole – The Game
Description: A real-life board game where you will have to work in teams to complete challenges and overcome the difficulties that an Arctic expedition offers, to see who will reach the North Pole, and who will fail. The way is long and dangerous, and you have to expect the unexpected. Do you have what it takes?

14. Nordic Art and Drawing
Join us for the Nordic art workshop where you will have the opportunity to explore Ancient arctic text messages (runes) and Norse decorative art! No prior skills needed, come for a relaxing workshop with snacks, music and Reidun’s art supplies.

Lars Magne Andreassen

Lars Magne Andreassen

15. Indigenous and Minority Language Loss Sharing Circle : Lars Magne Andreassen
There are ten distinctive Sami languages in the Sami homeland, nine of which are considered by UNESCO to be seriously endangered or near extinction. Join us in the Silent House for a more intimate sharing circle about indigenous and minority language loss. Our keynote speaker Lars Magne Andreassen will share some reflections about the historical role of residential schools as well as modern-day examples of language assimilation policies and the challenges of ‘saving’ Sami languages up north. This will be followed by a sharing circle where you are all invited to share any thoughts about minority language loss including indigenous, pidgin and creole languages, all are warmly welcome to join.

March 23rd – Nordic Day

March 20th, 2017|

The Nordic Day is coming up on March 23rd, on the date when the Helsinki Treaty was signed in 1962. This treaty forms the basis for the official Nordic co-operation and gives direction for for co-operation within the various sectors of society. At UWC RCN the day will be dedicated to a special event focusing on the far north, which also is the official Nordic event for Fjaler.

About the day: see here.
The Programme at RCN: see here.

The Cultural Rucksack

March 16th, 2017|

On Friday 17th of March, the students of Nordic Literature and the second year of Norwegian B are going to Dale to see the comical theatre piece The Lesson by Eugène Ionesco.

Sogn and Fjordane Theatre is on tour (The Cultural Rucksack) and is going to perform for most High School classes in the area. The students will be able to “meet” the student who is supposed to achieve the “Universal Ph.D.” in three weeks, the professor who is supposed to help her with this and his maid.

Burlesque and humor-filled drama in one act.
The Lesson is an interesting and thought-provoking piece that raises questions about the meaninglessness of the taught and oppressive values that we share. This happens by the story being told in a cheeky, unconventional and liberating form of absurd humor. Who is this young student who doesn’t know more than an eight-year old child? Who is this strange professor who is “hiding” a sadistic tyrant inside and who is this maid who is supposed to tell people about the tragic result of this private lesson?

Language as a tool of power.
In The Lesson, language is used not only for communication or learning, but also as a tool of power. The piece is written as an attack on an oppressive school system with totalitarian teacher authority. It is full of surprising events and exaggerated, grotesque humor. The writer of the play, Eugène Ionesco, is focusing on the meaningless nature of our conventions. What kind of people are we teaching our children to be? What kind of banal knowledge are we forcing upon them? What use will they have for the hopeless mindset and the useless skills that we are indoctrinating them to have? What are we using our language for: to dominate or to liberate?

Welcome to the play!

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