Conectados, Wasiymi Wasiki
'Conectados' is installing computer labs in Peruvian schools
Wasiymi Wasiki is Quechua for 'my home is your home' and is an NGO set up by two UWC Atlantic College alumni, Matt Jeppesen and Katie Marney.
Upon leaving UWC Atlantic College in 2007 Matt took a gap year working in an orphanage in Lima, Peru where he got thinking with a group of like-minded individuals about how they could expand their influence and increase the impact they could have on the kids in the area. The product of these discussions was Wasiymi Wasiki. During the planning of their first project in Autumn 2009 Katie became interested and got involved.
The NGO received a grant of $10,000 from Davis Projects for Peace to install two internet-equipped computer labs in schools near Lima which will give hundreds of pupils the opportunity to learn IT skills who would not have previously had the chance to do so. Katie also used her Extramural Centre activity leader experience to help devise a new classroom style aimed at producing more successful teaching.
Wasiymi Wasiki is growing fast and is looking to install two more computer labs by June 2011. Matt places huge importance in his UWC education for the existence of the NGO, " without the UWC network and without having experienced what I experienced at UWC Atlantic College the projects would simply not exist."
Cooking stoves in Nepal
Brijlal Chaudhari (Red Cross Nordic UWC) has set up a project in his village in Nepal to purchase materials so that the people in his village can make new cooking stoves. He received a grant from the United World Sustainibility Fund, set up by UWC alumnus Dan Marshall (UWC Atlantic College)to assist UWC students and recent alumni in projects promoting sustainable living.
Brijlal says, “100% of the people in my village, Nichuta, (Parsa District) Nepal, use firewood for cooking. Introducing a stove that is fuelled by rice husks will drastically reduce the dependence on firewood, which is the main reason for the rampant exploitation of forest resources. As long as these people have no viable alternatives to fuelling their stoves, they will depend on the forest. Hence, as a resident of the area I see the need for a change.” View more photos of Brijal's project.
Equal Access to Opportunity
Education and employment
UWC alumnus Mudit Tyagi (UWC- USA) together with his wife Amy Karon (UWC-USA), devised a programme to help children in impoverished areas in India reach their first non subsistence job. The programme Equal Access to Opportunity’s first project is the Akshara programme at the Mahindra UWC of India.
The project aims to break the vicious cycle of poverty by providing supplementary education and support to students until they find their first non-subsistence employment opportunity.
Raising awareness of water issues in Delhi
Tarini Manchanda (Mahindra UWC of India) received a grant through the United World Sustainibility Fund to develop and distribute a film about water issues in Delhi. . The fund was set up by UWC alumnus Dan Marshall (UWC Atlantic College)to assist UWC students and recent alumni in projects promoting sustainable living.
She says “We converted an old room in my house into an editing space, and divided our time into four hour shifts. Apart from the film making process, we have learnt that Delhi's water crisis is ironic in that Delhi had lots of water in the past and still does, but inequity, over consumption, and changing values have led to crisis. This is important because in Delhi's past lies the hope for a water-full future. In the last weeks of production we decided to bring back our cameras and speak to people about the science behind traditional water management as well as the complexity of consumption issues in the city."
Implementing sustainable solutions to agricultural issues in Ethiopia
I-ImpactNow is a growing non-profit organisation which works to alleviate the plight of farmers in the Datu Wereda region of Ethiopia. 90% of the population of Datu Wereda are agriculturalists who struggle year to year with droughts. It is run by UWC Red Cross Nordic alumnus William Montoya in collaboration with peers from Luther College.
By implementing an innovative irrigation system to draw water from the nearby Lake Awassa and River Tikur-Wuha, I-ImpactNow will bring the gift of water to Datu Wereda.
In addition, the organisation is helping to form a cooperative of 50 farmers to unify communities and harness the power of collaboration. These two goals will help develop an irrigation-based farming cooperative, an initiative which will promote the values of self-empowerment and sustainability in Datu Wereda while instilling a sense of confidence in its neighbours.
The organisation started life as the project 'Collaborating on Irrigation to Fight Hunger' which took place in Ethiopia in the summer of 2009 with the generous financial support of the Davis Projects for Peace and the Dan Rukavina Family Foundation. The project focused on creating less dependence on seasonal rainfall by encouraging Ethiopian farmers to establish sustainable food security in Datu Wereda through the establishment of an irrigation-based, organised farming model for the region.
"The values I learned at UWC (a dedication to a world of international understanding, personal growth through others and connecting problems with sustainable solutions) have all played a central role in my international development efforts in the past four years and they will continue to do so in my future" says William. "I'm dedicated to I-ImpactNow because I believe the purpose of education is to produce leaders who take advantage of knowledge to find ways to develop an environmentally sustainable and fairer world."
I-ImpactNow on Facebook
The Melting Iceberg Collective
Promoting international understanding and environmental awareness
A group of alumni from different UWC colleges/schools have created a group called The Melting Iceberg Collective. Inspired by the UWC mission, they are a group of artists and political activists who are committed to using film and media in order to promote international understanding, environmental awareness, civic engagement and human rights advocacy and encourage leadership.
Their animation film Going Under focuses on how climate change will affect Bangladesh and was featured on a PBS TV Special called Planet Forward, which aired on April 15 2009. In 2010 they worked with Red Cross Nordic UWC to film a documentary about the Youth Leadership Course in China.They will distribute this film around the world in order to share the UWC experience and inspire youth to act and reach their goals.
More information on our website or via email:
This is our local application of the legacy we learned at UWC
In 2005 UWC alumna Geraldine Paredes Vásquez (Mahindra UWC) set up W.H.Y Bolivia, a non-formal education NGO focussed on intercultural dialogue, peace building, conflict resolution and leadership skills.
Many UWC students and alumni have volunteered for W.H.Y Bolivia and Geraldine also partnered with UWC in the Netherlands and Anima Leadership Canada to organise a Youth Integration Summit in 2008.
Geraldine says “This is our local application of the legacy we learned at UWC: to make education a force to unite people.”
Supporting HIV/AIDS orphans in Swaziland
Started by Amy Burnett (Waterford Kamhlaba UWC) when she was still a UWC student and led by current students a Waterford, the Young Heroes Challenge has also become a UWC-wide alumni initiative.
The Young Heroes group at St Andrews University, Scotland, which includes UWC alumni from four UWCs won a vote to become one of the university’s nominated charities for 2009/10 which will fund a health care programme. They won the vote in the category of student run charity.
Another alumnus Jiggs Thorne (Waterford Kamhlaba UWC) set up the festival Bushfire – a festival that creates an explosion of arts and culture in a single place in Swaziland. His aim is to create a huge social awareness of the Young Heroes programme.