Reflections on a Return to Norway.

There couldn’t be a better inspiration than sitting at the UWC Norway office while writing this. Three years after graduating from UWC RCN, Norway feels like a second home to me. I have been here during the last three summers, for Norwegian language courses and internships at a renewable energy firm and for volunteering at Startuplab. These activities would probably surprise my former colleagues as they would have been aware of my zeal to join the mainstream aerospace engineering industry.  The story behind this transformation is, to me the embodiment of my UWC experience.

I grew up in Otiende village in Soy, a smallholder farmers’ locality in Kakamega county, Kenya. Like any other kid, I enjoyed the adventurous exploits of growing up in the countryside. I had thoughts of leaving the country to study and pursue other dreams, but the practical circumstances were less likely to allow this. Having been lucky to receive information about an opportunity, I was able to slowly make the dream a reality: I attended a national high school in Kenya through which my classmate and I were able to lead a drive for a rural electrification project in a neighbouring locality. I also completed an exchange programme in the United States where I learned about UWC and chose to apply.

The stay at UWC RCN was fulfilling. I learned more about myself and the world in those two years. I learned to appreciate other peoples’ stories and, from them, shape my future career and change my prospects. I have always wanted to use my educational experience to help unite people for peace and a sustainable future. Currently I am at the University of Oklahoma and have completed my third year of an Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering degree.

The greatest highlight of my ‘life after RCN’ is  submitting to change. I had different educational and career dreams after graduation. However, the unspoken issue is whether I will be able to reconcile those dreams with my redefined values. Allowing myself to adjust for example, and settling in a new place and tailoring my career path to effectively suit my passion and desire for change was the best decision that I have made.  I am now planning to further my education and start a career in sustainable engineering with a focus on renewable energy development. Here I will be best suited to make an impact and influence change leading to the attainment of sustainable development goals.

I would like to think of my life and achievements as testimony to how access to information can empower an individual. The UWC experience has played a central part in opening up this information to me and it has provided an environment in which to grow the ideas for change. I am so grateful for the family, friendship, love, kindness, mentorship and drive that I have received through joining the movement. I believe the world will eventually be a better place when we continue to use the acquired drive to learn, cooperate, advance change and inspire others.

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