SEED (Student Engagement in Education for Development) is a project founded and nurtured by eight students from UWC Adriatic to develop opportunities for students to engage with young people from all around the world, in order to ensure equal educational opportunities and support their personal as well as communal development.
The project was inspired by a volunteer project in Thailand during the summer of 2009, organized by two Thai students, Waritorn Chariyawattanarut and Monrada Yamkasikorn, as a collaboration between UWC Adriatic and UWC of the Atlantic in Wales.
SEED has now grown to encompass 30 UWC Adriatic students from over twenty countries who are committed to expanding SEED around the world. The new members are now an integral part of the group, preparing to lead SEED this year. During summer 2010 SEED developed four student-led volunteer projects in Bolivia, Cambodia, El Salvador and Israel.
Summer 2010 Projects:
Bolivia: The SEED project in Bolivia was organised by Chiara Sepulcri, Flavia Moi, Viviana Calmasini (Italy), Emma Rasmussen (Norway), Emilian Chojnacki (Poland), Alma Mozetic (Slovenia), and Sergio Escalera (Bolivia). The project was divided into 2 parts: the first two weeks the group collaborated with Suore Rosarie, a group of missionary nuns from Udine that has been working in Bolivia for the past 30 years; the second part (last two weeks) consisted in a collaboration with the NGO 'WHY BOLIVIA'. They mainly worked with children coming from difficult family situations, staying in orphanages or living in poor conditions. They played and entertained them with games, English lessons, multicultural activities and workshops on environmental issues (with WHY). "The warm hospitality and enthusiasm shown by the nuns, the children and all the people who helped us made us learn a lot, together with the group work and the experience of living together for one entire month. This experience will stay with us forever and it's an excellent start for future projects in the area" says Chiara Sepulcri - Italy (AD '09 -'11).
Cambodia: Joyce Lim (Singapore) and Stapor Phoung (Cambodia) organized a project for ten students.The SEED project in Cambodia this year was full of surprises, excitement, and challenges from the very start. The first week, students were in the Ratanakiri-province of Northeastern Cambodia, where they were introduced to a lifestyle previously only imagined. The least developed province of one of South-East Asia’s poorest countries provided a huge contrast to their life in Italy. A depressingly high child mortality and low standard of living, contrasted by the positive and welcoming mentality of the locals, made room for reflections and provided impressions that won’t be easily forgotten. In Ratanakiri, students led a summer camp with children from local state schools, encouraging interactive and fun methods of teaching and playing at school. This was an appreciated change to a rather monotonous school-day routine, and seeing the children’s enthusiasm was very inspiring.
They also visited and learned about the United World Schools project, during a trip that took them on nearly non-existent paths through the jungle to some incredibly rural areas. After Ratanakiri the group headed westwards to Pursat, where they got to work with the local NGO Sustainable Cambodia for over a week. Here they met and worked with some very enthusiastic local teenagers on leadership development, and did various workshops on climate change and pollution. They also sponsored a community education evening, and did a garbage collection and cleanup in the area with local students. “The experiences in Ratanakiri and Pursat, as well as the flexibility required taught us all a lot about ourselves, each other, and the world” says Allison Jones -Canada (AD '09 -'11).
El Salvador: Graciela Hernandez (El Salvador) established a project, which took place at the end of May. For two and a half weeks, six students joined El Salvador’s UWC efforts in Altos de Soyapango, an impoverished community with very few opportunities for youth outside of gangs. The students put on theatre-based workshops for local youth, emphasizing the non-criminal possibilities for their lives and giving them hope, as well as helping with the construction of the community centre.
Israel: Shai Slomka (Israel) organized the SEED project in Israel which took place in July this summer in Tel Aviv and lasted two and a half weeks. Ten UWC Adriatic students from Malta, Israel, Canada, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Spain, the Netherlands, France, and Mexico volunteered in a summer camp for children of work immigrants. These kids suffer from discrimination, bad economic conditions and the risk of deportation. Students helped in the summer camp and ran workshops on cultural diversity and sustainability. The project also involved visits and trips in Israel, and political talks about the current affairs in Israel. "This project was a valuable experience that exposed us to different cultures, people and to different realities. We learned how to overcome a language barrier and to communicate with childrern with more than just words" says Shai Slomka.
Primavera a Duino Concert. Our first group project was a fundraising concert based in Duino at UWCAD. The concert featured many UWC students as well as some local musicians. In part, the aim was to develop the group’s teamwork, before the trip to Thailand. The money raised went to various organizations within Thailand, either directly, or in the form of school supplies, or other materials.
Thailand Development through Literacy Summer Project 2009.
The group spent one month in Thailand with the cooperation of Burapha University and Thailand’s Ministry of Education, visiting schools of varying social class and orphanages of HIV/AIDS positive children whose parents had died of the virus. They gave various workshops, aiming to encourage the youth to think critically and constructively, and to exchange and learn from our cultural differences. The students also worked with other organizations to search for possibly permanent, local funding for these schools and orphanages.
Contact and Fundraising:
We are actively looking for collaborations, connections, and financial support. Any funds collected will be used directly for project activities, rather than volunteer expenses.
For any questions or suggestions, please contact the SEED group at :