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February 15, 2017

Jubilee Fund – Support Us

February 15th, 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.

IB Places in Sogn og Fjordane

February 15th, 2017|

As a partnership between Sogn og Fjordane Fylkeskommune and UWC Red Cross Nordic in Fjaler, we are offering two places on our International Baccalaureate (IB) programme for entry in August 2017.

If you are interested in studying in English alongside 200 students drawn from over 90 countries, please click here.

For further information as to the application process, please contact Leonie Merts-Koning on admissions@rcnuwc.no or 57 73 70 04. You are welcome to visit our campus. Selection will be in the form of a written application and interview conducted by admissions staff and UWC Norge (which helps to select 40 students per year to study at the 17 UWCs across the world).

This is an exciting opportunity to study at UWC RCN alongside ten other Norwegians in your year group, students from across the Nordic region and to experience the whole world in Sogn og Fjordane – diversity is our strength. UWC RCN focuses on the promotion of humanitarian and environmental concerns and Nordic values.

The academic (IB) programme prepares you for university. As a UWC RCN graduate you will be eligible for a scholarship to study in the US on the Davis United World College Scholars Program – a partnership with 94 US universities and colleges and it is the largest international scholarship program for undergraduates in the world.

Application is on VIGO, with a deadline of March 1. Applicants must be residents in Sogn og Fjordane – day or residential places are available.

Hari Bahadur Tamang (’16 – ’19)

February 8th, 2017|

Hari Bahadur Tamang says he was born twice. As soon as he was born, he faced challenges. From a small village in Chitwan in southern Nepal, he had 11 siblings, and his parents were poor, and could not look after all the children properly, so all of them were sent out to work at a very young age. Hari went to work as a dishwasher in a hotel 10 hours from his village. He was 7 years old. One day a bus he was traveling on was caught by a bomb blast, and 53 people lost their lives. Hari was one of the 71 people who survived.

After this traumatic experience Hari’s perspectives changed. He was lucky to be alive, and he knew it. He appreciated life and was fortunate to gain supporters – individuals and organisations who provided him with a small amount of financial relief and work opportunities in homes and on a farm. He went to school again, but when his mother passed away in 2007, he returned home to look after his father. Eventually, thanks to the support of a sponsor, Hari applied for a UWC scholarship, and with the assistance of the Nepalese National Committee he was accepted to the Survivors of Conflict programme at RCN – a programme which the College runs in tandem with the Red Cross and the Rehabilitation Centre on our campus.

Receiving an RCN scholarship filled Hari with hope and excitement. Finally, he thought, he could just focus on his education and take control of his future. However, coming to a new country and the RCN community brought new challenges. English was the most difficult problem of all. In the beginning, everything was hard, but gradually, Hari relaxed, and the friendly, supportive RCN environment brought out his natural friendliness and curiosity. He realized that RCN is not just about academics and started participating in activities such as Norwegian folk dancing and sports.

The Foundation Year Programme is making a huge difference in his life, he explains. He is getting familiar with the IB Programme, the UWC movement, the Red Cross and the RCN community. He is becoming more confident and feels he is receiving a great deal of moral support. He is building his foundation to tackle not only the IB, but also other challenges. With smaller class sizes and a special focus on developing both basic and academic English, he feels well supported and motivated. His language skills are going from strength to strength, and his days have become much easier.

“My life has been challenging, but these challenges have taught me to never give up, to have hope, ask for help, grab opportunities and work harder.”

Written by Sonam (Nepal) and Angie

For profiles and news of other students and alumni, click here.

Alumni at Case Western

February 3rd, 2017|

As well as our biennial reunions on campus, we have also organised reunions for alumni and other supporters in London, Helsinki, Malmö, Reykjavik, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Oslo, Stockholm, in recent years and are planning an event in Costa Rica this April. The RCN University Office is an important part of our alumni engagement – supporting graduating students in choosing the right course and university and then staying in touch with them. Mark, our Senior University Counsellor, was recently visiting Case Western Reserve University – a partner university in the Davis UWC Scholar Program – along with other UWC university counsellors. Mark took the opportunity to meet up with recent alumni Akinola (Daniel) Akinbote (Nigeria – 2013-15) and Aya Bahij (Palestine in Lebanon – 2013-15).

Akinola is majoring in Polymer Science and Engineering with a Bio Materials track, which is essentially a minor Bio Engineering. He has already taken advantage of Case Western’s undergraduate research opportunities having done some research into breast cancer in his first year. Over that summer, he worked with the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa. Next summer he will be doing stem cell research alongside regenerative medicine.

Aya is majoring in Chemical Biology with minors in Cognitive Science and Economics. Aya has also joined a sorority at university, through which she does a lot of volunteering. Building on her personal experiences on arrival, she has taken the lead in the implementation of airport pickup for students, improving the international orientation, a Middle East Club and a discussion group on the human rights of Palestinians.