March 25, 2019

Students from United World Colleges to Develop New Humanitarian Projects

Aurora Humanitarian Project will provide UWC students with an opportunity to help address critical humanitarian issues.

Applications for the 2019 Aurora Humanitarian Project for UWC schools and colleges are now being accepted. The project, recognized as “Young Aurora,” is a partnership between the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, United World Colleges (UWC), Scholae Mundi and Teach for All. It provides an opportunity for UWC schools and colleges to design projects that will drive positive change in the community through humanitarian solutions. The winning team will be awarded a $4,000 grant to implement their project.

Now in its third year, 17 schools and colleges have participated in the Young Aurora Project till date. Previous project proposals have presented solutions to a diverse range of critical humanitarian issues identified near their schools and colleges in countries including Eswatini, Germany, India and China.

The 2019 selection process deadline is 19 April 2019. The competition will conclude with a presentation of the three finalists on an paid trip to Armenia from 16-20 October 2019 during Aurora Forum. One winning team will be provided with a grant of $4,000 to further their project’s development, the two other finalist teams will be awarded $500. All teams who submit project proposals for Young Aurora will receive mentorship from experts across the UWC movement and Teach for All Network.

“The organizing partners of Young Aurora share the belief that in times of a global crisis of humanitarian values it’s important to give young people inspirational role models. UWC’s educational model is not just about knowledge, it’s about raising future leaders with strong humanitarian values, leaders who care about their communities and the society at large. Young Aurora gives them an opportunity to put their knowledge, skills and aspirations into action by designing and implementing specific projects with measurable impact. It empowers young people to make a difference and become positive actors in the society at an early age,” said Veronika Zonabend, Chair of the Board of Governors of UWC Dilijan College in Armenia and Co-Founder of Scholae Mundi.

Proposed projects are assessed by a selection panel of esteemed judges including entrepreneurs, philanthropists and world leaders who shortlist projects based on their creativity, sustainability, quality of research, impact, commitment, self-reflection and format.

“The Aurora Humanitarian Project’s mission is to support and showcase student-driven projects, which offer solutions to relevant issues through innovative and sustainable approaches. Nobody should remain indifferent to other people’s suffering, and the spirit of Aurora teaches those young people, the participants, that they can and should do whatever is in their power to lend a helping hand to those in need. As important as education is in general, this lesson might be the most valuable one,” stated Tom Catena, Chair of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative.

“We are thrilled that once again UWC students around the world will rise to the challenge to create meaningful change through the Aurora Humanitarian Project. Young Aurora is an opportunity for our students to flex their humanitarian muscles, turning their UWC education – and passion – into action. Time and again, through their idealism, selfless leadership and compassion, UWC students participating in this challenge exemplify living the UWC mission,” said Jens Waltermann, Executive Director of UWC International.

In 2018, the winning project was “HOPE,” developed by students from UWC Changshu China. HOPE, founded in 2017, is dedicated to preventing the sexual abuses of children by delivering trainings online and in schools throughout Changshu and the surrounding area, educating children and teachers about how to address and prevent sexual abuse.

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