At MUWCI, we pride ourselves with our diversity. We have people from more than 45 countries, and more languages are spoken here than can even be counted. Yet sometimes we forget what a different background means for the individual. How is it actually to live in Pakistan? Or to go to school in a city constantly shown on CNN’s newsfeed? I talked to three students whom I eat, talk and have class with every day to find out what MUWCI feels like with their backgrounds, and what they want to do with the knowledge they have gained here, once their two years on the hill end.
Jam Ryan (Pakistan, Class of ’17):
I come from an army institution near Islamabad. It was totally different from here. There are many restrictions. You cannot do anything because you will get punished. You have to be punctual and do everything on time. Otherwise, you are punished. In MUWCI you can do whatever you want! Back home my parents decided everything for me, but since I got this opportunity I can decide. I want to help people in any sense I can. That is why I joined high school science and Urdu club here. I always wanted to do this; I didn’t want to do army stuff. When I leave MUWCI, I want to study engineering. My family are farmers, and they always have water shortages. I would like to help them and other people in the villages in Pakistan to get access to water.
Jyoti Ghule (India, Class of ’16):
Before MUWCI I stayed at an NGO in Pune called Ashraya Initiative for Children. I was a residential kid along with 15 other children, so I was very lucky. Ashraya supports the residential kids, who are orphans, with education and living. Since the director and founder was a MUWCI graduate, she would take us to MUWCI once a year. I was very influenced by her words and by seeing the school and it became my dream to go here. I went to the selections after studying hard up until 10th grade, and I got in! My sister also got in; she lives in Germany now. I didn’t have a choice about which UWC to go to, because I was an orphan under 18 and therefore couldn’t get a passport. But coming to MUWCI was a big thing for me. I have learned a lot of things here – I don’t know which ones to mention! I want to provide service to other people, so I joined Kriya and Samagrata, and started girl’s football. I used to play football with my family at the NGO. At MUWCI, I am inspired by the way different people form ideas and speak, and I want to listen and get to know as many people as possible here and after I leave. After MUWCI, I really want to help girls in India become confident and stand on their own. I know there are women who are scared of ordering food alone in restaurants. I want to tell them that they can do it on their own and they have the right to. After my education, I want to bring knowledge back to India to help my country progress.
Aminatou Moumouni (Niger, Class of ‘17)
In Niger, I was in a partially public and partially private school. The education was very different from here. We do not have projectors; we just have a blackboard and the teacher. The subjects here are also different. I never learned economics in my life before coming here. I came here for the opportunity of experiencing diversity and getting a good education, both at MUWCI and in university. Back home I would not have gone to university because of the low education level and the cost. I want change the way the education works back home. People should do more social activities, such as going to the villages where people cannot afford going to school. It is difficult to implement though because our schools are different from here. It has been difficult to be here because of the language. At least others know English before coming. But the campus and the mountains are beautiful.
Listening to these people who want to help their home country and give back what MUWCI has given made me think about my own involvement back home. As our time on the hill draws to an end, as it inevitably must, we UWC students are faced with a vast world of choices. I hope my choices will enrich the world as much as my fellow students hope to do.
– Denmark, Class of ‘16
Help change-makers from conflict regions build a peaceful future. Support MUWCI to bring diversity through access.