QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER Fall 2012
Celebrating 15 Years of
‘Taking the Plunge’
Cover: Paul during Mud Games by Pramod Sonea ;This Page: Weronica during Student Showcase
HELP NAME THIS PUBLICATION! What’s in a name you may ask? Recently the United World Colleges have gone through a rebranding effort in order to unify our global brand. We are now known as UWC Mahindra College . This new publication will be distributed once a term (or quarterly) and try to keep you abreast of events happening with our community – whether on or off campus. Please help us name it! Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and you could win a free 50/15 t-shirt. th
KEEP IN TOUCH If you have an idea for an article, alumni or parent features, or any comments e-mail details to email@example.com . Please make sure that you are on our mailing list and that the college has details of how to stay in touch. We love hearing from you!
STAY CONNECTED www.uwcmahindracollege.org www.facebook.com/MUWCIAlumni www.facebook.com/muwci.uwcmahindracollege Please bear with us as we update our Communications! J
Message from the Head of College Dear MUWCI Family, Guardians, Parents, Grandparents, Brothers and Sisters! Many of our students, I am aware not all, have just returned from being home with you. Some of you I know were in India and we hope you enjoyed the experience. It was a few weeks off and a chance to reflect and to creatively consider the future. In a UWC, the first or third semester is the more busy one, and this year has been no exception; with 50 years of UWC and 15 Years of UWC Mahindra College celebrations amongst many other demands on our time. In this term Second Year students wonder where they are going, so we have an "I wonder where I am going" guidance office; and First Year students wonder where they have come to; so we have advisors who help answer "where am I and what am I doing here?" UWC Mahindra College is an exceptional place; it offers opportunities that exist in very few other places. We hope that every student makes the most of the experience. During our 15th Anniversary celebrations in November, we had more than 400 stakeholders on campus representing thousands of others spread around the Mulshi valley and the world. In addition to celebrating, we also took the opportunity to explore with our students, alumni and UWC family members what we can and should be doing to make even more of the educational experience we offer. The many parents who were here engaged enthusiastically in this opportunity and we were able to listen to their ideas. Many of you will feel very remote from your "children" and for most of you this may be the first time they have been away from home. We seek the right balance between keeping you informed and involved, and allowing our students to find out who they are and what is important for them. They do this amongst a peer group that is exceptional and, as research makes clear, is a significant influence in their lives. As faculty, we seek to guide and prompt, to set an example, to raise social, political, and ethical issues and to demand of our students that they engage themselves in all opportunities and are engaging with others, that they trust and seek to build the trust of others, and that they seek to build and care for their community, those who live around them on our hill or in the valleys nearby. We ask them to take responsibility and this has been a theme during this term. As UWC Family you are part of the UWC movement and we will seek to communicate with you and engage you in our work. I hope you read the newsletters and keep in touch with what is going on. We thank all those who took part in our visioning survey and the parents who came to the celebrations and workshops. If you have not yet, we ask that you take a moment to reflect on what UWC has meant to you and what you wish the experience to look like in the year 2022 here is the link again: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/muwci15. In mid December we have sent written reports to you and to UWC National Committees for all students. First year grades will follow in February. If you have not received these reports, please contact us. Do write to me if you have any ideas, which you think would improve the UWC experience. I wish you and your family a very happy New Year. Pelham Lindfield-Roberts
15 Year Anniversary Celebrations
Left: Mr. Anand Mahindra with students from the Community Forum, after a studentonly meeting with him.
We kicked off this academic year with the 50-year celebrations of the UWC movement in September. Looking back at our 50,000 alumni, the movement took the time to Celebrate with Action around the world. Here at UWC Mahindra College, we had an additional reason to celebrate as this semester also marked our 15th Anniversary. This has been a time for us to look back at 15 Years of UWC Mahindra College, to remember where we started and to look forward at the road ahead and where we want to be in our 25th Year. The 23rd to the 25th of November, we welcomed alumni and parents (both current and past), National Committee members, and staff from the International Office to the College and engaged them to try and understand the evolving role for our institution and how best we could harness the spirit and impact of the entire UWC community. On the 23rd, some alumni on campus were part of an Alumni showcase to share with each other and with students the paths they had taken after their 2 years at UWC Mahindra College. On the 24th, we welcomed more than 400 stakeholders from Mulshi Valley, Pune and some visiting parents and alumni from around the world to celebrate with us. The morning was focused on our external stakeholders and vendors. This was also an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the Akshara program and its success. Mr. Anand Mahindra, member of our Board of Governors, pledged financial support in order to increase the impact of Akshara for children in the surrounding valley. In the afternoon, we switched our focus to the College and Mr. Mahindra provided a vision of where the college should be heading in the next few years.
Mr. & Mrs. Mahindra, along with Mr. & Mrs. Lindfield Roberts and Dr. Joshi (Head of Akshara) pose with some Akshara students.
Alumni presenting about their post-‐ UWC experiences on Friday the 23rd.
The day finished with a wonderful Student Showcase where the artistic talents of our students was displayed and celebrated with all present. This showcase served to remind us that our students are exceptional- not only in terms of their potential for critical thinking and reasoning, for compassion, for academics- but also for their talents in theatre, dance, music and other performance arts and in their ability to work as a team in creating and producing high quality productions while doing everything else! We would like to extend a special thanks to Emily Bailey, a current volunteer and graduate of Pearson College (Class of 2012) for her direction and dedication to the showcase. Please visit our Facebook Page for more photos. Â
Performance is an integral part of UWC life as it is an important way for students to learn about and understand different cultures as well as exploring different ways to express themselves creatively. Â
15 Year Anniversary Focus on Alumni and Parents
On the 25th, we took a step back from the celebrations and focused on understanding our network and how best to utilize our alumni and families to spread the UWC mission. Through many discussions, we have decided to start small and have created Hubs in Mumbai and Delhi where alumni and parents have made commitments to reaching out to different schools and organizations and to strengthen the network in these areas. From the school’s perspective, we were better able to understand the support and resources needed from our network in order to keep connected as a movement and to keep spreading our impact to other areas and socioeconomic groups. In the new year, we will continue implementing the hubs and hope to increase the breadth and depth of the applications we are receiving from students to include broader socioeconomic and geographical backgrounds. We are also looking forward to greater engagement with parents and alumni with more regular communications and interactions through our Outreach Office. As part of the 15th Year celebrations, we are looking to Envision UWC Mahindra College in the Year 2022- our 25th year. Where will we be? What will we look like? Please share your vision with us and have your voice heard in this process here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/muwci15
Alumni & Parent Hubs In an effort to expand the reach of UWCs in India, Alumni & Parent Hubs have been formed in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Chandigarh and Bangalore. This was done in collaboration with the alumni and parents that were on campus for the 15th Anniversary Celebrations. Working in partnership with the newly formed Outreach Team, we hope that these hubs will be a primary point of contact for spreading awareness of UWC Mahindra College in different areas of the country and the world, and to reach students from a wide range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. These hubs will also be useful for expanding our fundraising efforts, cementing the impact of UWC’s through the networking of alumni and parents, and expanding the engagement of graduates and parents with current on-goings at the college. If you are interested in getting involved with one of these hubs OR in creating a Hub in your city or country, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
UWC INTERNATIONAL OFFICE & NATIONAL COMMITTEES We were lucky to be able to welcome the National Committees of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and China attending Regional meetings during the week of the Anniversary celebrations. This regional gathering, the creation of the parent/alumni hubs and the Indian National selection committee meetings would not have been possible without the wholehearted and in depth support of the three members of the UWC International Office team. We were delighted to have them on campus, Tian Bersey - Director of National Committee Development Peter Verhille - Director of International Fund Development and Rob Hicks - Communications Officer You were an integral part of what made the entire week successful and we owe them a big THANK YOU.
PHOTO AUCTION A photo auction was organized in order to raise funds for student scholarships for the College. Photos from the 15 years of the College were a big hit with visiting alumni, faculty and parents. We raised Rs.156,000 from the event. The photos below are still available for purchase. Minimum Bid is Rs.4500, If you are interested in any of these, please contact email@example.com with your bid before Feb. 15th. All proceeds will benefit student scholarships.
Very best wishes to everyone at the college for a highly successful celebration of 50 years of UWC and 15 of Mahindra College.
No time though for nostalgia - so much on the world stage is changing and changing fast, what an exciting and challenging time for the UWC Movement as you look ahead! All good wishes, David and Veronica Wilkinson (Founding Head of College)
View of the College 15 Years ago
Today is the 15th anniversary of the official opening of MUWCI (Yes my dear friends, we are getting old... ja!) 15 years back, 100 of us came there from all continents, nationalities and walks of life, arrived as strangers, but two years later we left those same beautiful hills as family... I am grateful for the true UWC moments experienced there. I will never forget some crucial ones like seeing a timid girl from Egypt walk freely without her burka in public for the first time since she first wore it and the transformation and joy I saw in her; the only time I have seen Palestinians hug Israelis (in my last year's visit) after 4hrs of an open hearted and respectful debate on the political conflict happening between their countries; the shock I felt realizing that some of our dear friends there had experienced the terrors of war in their homelands (Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Ethiopia...) or their families were going through those though times while we were in school and still, amazing enough, they were still able to beat us in maths and science...; the uncontrollable emotion expressed out of an otherwise reserved Belorussian young man when he helped us wake up about understanding the dangers of nuclear power (and his more than understandable anger and frustration when somebody would ignorantly argue about Chernobyl's case..); eating at a table with people from all religions, of all continents, races, social status and the beauty of that same fact becoming completely irrelevant; the most incredible thing of seeing a Serbian and a Croatian become inseparable best friends; all the endless conversations; open debates of not so open issues, sleepless nights, the incredible amounts of new and exciting knowledge injected in our brains at a fast speed with no time to rest, and of course and most important all the fun and strong bonds we created..! I think Kurt Hahn was truly right, if every teenager had the opportunity we luckily had on attending a high school like ours, I'm sure we would not be facing the dangers of war today... I'm sure you are all doing great in whatever you are busy... wishing you well to you and to this noble movement of peace and friendship* Much love* * Aura Rascon (Class of 2000) (As posted on our Facebook Page)
Students from the Class of 1999
INITIATIVES STAFF NIGHT SCHOOL
By David Seidenberg (Volunteer) Night School is a new program aimed at meeting the desire by members of the UWC Mahindra College Sodexo Staff for continued education, primarily in conversational English and computer skills. Night School occurs Monday through Friday from 10pm-11pm and uses Yuva English, a conversational English course book developed by the Center for Learning Resources in Pune as a basic curricular structure. Night School began in September, 2012 with 8 students and has since grown to 12, all coming from kitchen and housekeeping staff and mainly those residing on campus. It is supported by a rotation of weekly volunteers from the student body who provide teaching and translation support, individual tutoring sessions, and assistance in overall design and planning of the course. Next term we hope to look for ways to expand the program, ands offer special classes on applying English in creative ways (photography, film, sports, etc.).
INITIATIVES CAMPUS ORGANIC FARMING
Photos and Text by Clara Figueras (Spain/Class of â€™13) As part of the 50/15 Celebrations, the Triveni Gomukh Farm decided to start an organic farm on campus, hoping to learn from organic farming techniques that will contribute to the schoolâ€™s sustainability as well as to get closer to the local people and to understand them better through the medium of farming. A group of around 30 students together with the help of experienced farmers living in the surrounding villages have already enthusiastically taken up on the project by starting to make the beds for the future plants.
FIRE SERVICE: A College Tradition
By Paul (USA) and Naomi (Germany) Fire Service is an On Campus Community Engagement and we're mainly concerned with protecting the biodiversity reserve and the campus itself from fires. The origin of the fires is not always clear. Some start naturally from a combination of heat, dryness, and wind while others spread up from all the way down in the valley where many farmers burn their fields after harvesting. To ensure that fires don't reach the biodiversity reserve and campus, we burn a firewall going once around campus and the biodiversity reserve. That is done by burning strips five to ten meters wide, which stop fires moving towards campus or the biodiversity reserve as grass that has already burned won't burn again.
We use beaters, a tool that looks very much like a spade but with a very flexible blade, to control and put out the fires. We donâ€™t use any water against the fires. We also have to be on call whenever there is a fire that is considerably close to or within the area that we're intending to protect. In the months leading up to the monsoon, when it gets hot and dry, such fires are quite common. When the fire alarm goes off, we quickly put on our protective clothing, which includes gas masks against the smoke and covers our skin completely, and run to where ever it is burning. Getting to the fire and taking it out quickly and effectively is often a strenuous exercise and can be quite dangerous. To raise the level of safety, we all took part in a first aid course at the beginning of this year and are looking forward to further training in this area
UWC INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 21- 23 FEBRUARY 2013 CARDIFF, WALES
Student & Faculty Delegates from UWC Colleges at the UWC International Conference in 2005
MORE WAYS TO MAKE MORE IMPACT ON MORE PEOPLE… Fifty years ago UWC was born in a Welsh castle on the edge of Europe. Five decades on, UWC has grown into a global educational force for peace and sustainability with a presence in 146 countries and 12 schools and colleges on five continents. Our greatest strengths have always been the impact of staff, students, national committees, alumni and supporters and their lifelong commitment to our values of peace and sustainability. We are now calling on these various parts of the UWC family to come together for the 2013 UWC International Congress in Wales, back where it all started, to explore how we can best channel this impact and commitment. We are building a programme of talks, panel discussions, workshops and videos to help inspire you to understand UWC’s current and future plans and how you can contribute to them. Speakers will come from around the globe and from outside UWC as well as from within the movement – the idea being that they stimulate and challenge us to think about UWC’s relevance and role. For alumni, it may even remind you of those 3am dormitory discussions that always seem to conjure up the strongest memories! However, we don’t only want to talk, we want to conclude the Congress with a commitment to the action that we can all take to increase UWC’s future impact. The UWC Congress will be held in Cardiff from 21 to 23 February 2013 and will include a trip to UWC Atlantic College. Preliminary information about the purpose of the Congress, the programme and details of the registration fee and how to register are available at www.uwc.org/congress/. The registration fee ensures that the Congress can pay for itself. If you are unable to make the Congress, or even if you can, perhaps you would consider paying for a place for someone who wishes to attend but cannot afford the fee. The need for UWC to educate for peace and sustainability is as great as ever. Please join us in Wales next year to see how you can play your part. Keith Clark Executive Director (UWC International)
A NEW PLACE TO CALL HOME: WADA 5
Mr. & Mrs. Mahindra, and Wada 5 parents-‐ Alix Petter & Oscar Avila Akerberg pose with students in front of the new Wada 5 student residences.
Wada 5 is a new residence for students and Faculty built to accommodate an increase in enrollment for the coming years as we seek to increase the impact of UWCs. Students have moved into to their new home at the start of this semester. For those familiar with the campus, it was built on the former basketball court (which is now located next to the football field). We know students are looking forward to moving into their rooms in the New Year.
The College was still being built when the first batch of students arrived in 1997.
SUMMER PROGRAMS UWC Mahindra College offers 3 summer programs for high school level students and one program for university students. These programs are an opportunity for students to discover the UWC movement. These programs are also essential for the College as all proceeds are used for scholarships at the College. Please spread information about the summer programs. This allows more individuals to be impacted by the UWC movement- both through the program and the proceeds from it! A win- win! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want posters for your high school or university.
are an essential component of the Experiential Learning that occurs at UWC Mahindra College. Students and Faculty have an opportunity to work together in small groups to volunteer and learn with organizations across India. For many, this is one of the most exciting parts of attending our school- the ability to experience all that India has to offer! This year, 13 projects took place with different organizations and with different goals- from Cultural Walks, to working with snakes and crocodiles, to hiking in the Himalayas and working with sexual minorities- the week provided an experience that no one will soon forget! We worked with the following organizations this year: Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA)- Bangalore, Karnataka APSA is a child-centered, rights-based, community development organization that works at two levels - at the grassroots level where the focus is on empowerment of the poor, and at the macro level of the state and the country through advocacy and policy planning. Vanastree- Sirsi, Karnataka Vanastree (literally women of the forest) is a small collective dedicated to promoting forest garden biodiversity and food security through the conservation of traditional seeds. Sangama- Bangalore, Karnataka Sangama is a sexual minorities human rights organization for individuals oppressed due to their sexual preference. Fundacion Vincente Ferrer- Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh A pioneer of integrated development in that country, it is a humanist organization founded on the philosophy of action. Its team works, both from Spain and from India, to improve the living conditions of some of the most discriminated communities within the Hindu caste system. Sadhana Forest- Auroville, Tamil Nadu The main project of Sadhana Forest is the reforestation of 70 acres of severely eroded land. As part of their reforestation effort they also work on water conservation and soil management. Theatre & Social Change- Ahmedabad, Gujarat Working with two extremely different groups and learn from their approaches: Darpana Academy for the Performing Arts - a formal cultural institution that uses performance to address political and social themes; and Budhan Theatre- a community theatre group that works with a Denotified Criminal Tribe (Chaaras) in the slums of Ahmedabad.
Auroville, Bamboo Centre- Auroville, Tamil Nadu
This year, undertook training workshops in bamboo construction, bamboo furniture making and bamboo jewellery making. Crocodile Bank and Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS)- Tamil Nadu & Karnataka Field Research and joined activities such as crocodile pit cleaning and feeding in order to learn about wildlife conservation as well as the opportunity to interact with animals that are poorly understood by the general public. Hideout – near Mumbai, Maharashtra Set up in the biggest tribal belt of Maharashtra, Hideout is an organic, horticulture farm, involved in soil building, working with natural pesticides and agro tourism. Photojournalism: Exploring culture through photojournalism Students explored the culture of the desert in the majestic state of Rajasthan, through stories made by photography and film. The participants will produce an original project to explore various aspects of culture through photojournalism. Samata- Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh Samata is an advocacy and lobby group for tribal peoples’ concerns on violation of their rights; vis-à-vis lands, forests and other natural resources, violation of their human rights and dignity, problems of development negligence and lapses in government functioning, exploitation by non tribals, money-lenders, traders, and by public and private industries. Outdoor Education – Uttarakhand Four days hiking to the Har-ki-dun glacier in the Himalayan mountains of Uttarakhand. Religious and Cultural History- Varanasi Intended for students who are interested in the disciplines of religion, culture, and community development, participants explored the holy city of Varanasi.
If you work or know of an organization that you think our students might be interested in working with- for Project Weeks, Winter, Summer Breaks or for a Gap Year please send us an e-mail at email@example.com.
UPCOMING EVENTS THEATRE SEASON: 25th JAN- 5th FEB, 2013 Please Join us for the THEATRE SEASON! This is a strong tradition at UWC Mahindra College, with some wonderful performances being anticipated this year by students and faculty! Please Check the College website and Facebook for more information about Upcoming Events on campus.
VACANCIES We are currently looking at filling some positions internally, but would be willing to entertain candidatures from qualified alumni under special circumstances. Please refer to the College website www.mahindracollege.org if you think you might be interested for the positions advertised. • • • •
College Guidance Counselor IB Coordinator Admissions Coordinator Triveni Coordinator
External vacancies will be posted on the website in February.
Creation of a New Outreach Department In recognizing that the UWC mission and impact of the College requires better engagement with all of our stakeholders, the College has created a new Outreach Department. This is the first time there has been a concerted effort for the centralization of on-going communications with parents, alumni and potential students. Our team is composed of 3 Staff and 5 students (O2D) who work with us for various programs and events. We look forward to working with you in creating a strategy that will guide our College forward. This process has already started, with the creation of Parent and Alumni hubs in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. We would love to hear from you! Drop us a line: Director of Outreach- Nandita Deostale (Former Head of Triveni) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Development & Outreach Support- Usha Sundaram (also Triveni Office) E-mail: email@example.com Head of Communications- Raïsa Mirza (UWC Pearson College alumna) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ALUMNI DATABASE UPDATE Alumni are kindly requested to update their Personal Information through the following link: https://docs.google.com/a/muwci.net/spreadsheet/viewform?fromE mail=true&formkey=dFBXalA0UWxiWFliT2FsRzlJb0sxS3c6MQ We currently only have the contact information for HALF of our approximately 1500 alumni. Please spread the word and update this crucial information so that we can keep in touch! This survey requests information on your parents because many have contacted us over the years asking to be kept informed about on-goings at the College. All information will be kept strictly confidential and will not be shared without your explicit permission. Keep in Touch! We miss you J GET INVOLVED! STAY IN TOUCH. VOLUNTEER. GIVE BACK. Scholarships for our students enable us to offer a broad education with diversity in mind to all our students. Please consider giving back to the College and supporting us through your financial support. Many parents and alumni already fund scholarships for students, to whom we are very grateful. Please consider allowing another person to have the UWC experience. Donations can be made through the website: www.uwcmahindracollege.org We have many opportunities for alumni and parents to give back to the College. From hosting students during Travel Week, to profiling alumni for different publications to help in fundraising- we have many needs suited to various skill sets and time commitments. Please contact email@example.com if you wish you get involved.
Published on Jan 9, 2013
UWC Mahindra College produces a newsletter every semester in an effort to keep our stakeholders informed of the goings-on at the campus.