Last term at LPC I had the great honor to write a two-page article for the Jewish Times Asia, about the UWC March of the Living. That is a trip that had been organized this year for the first time and linked the already existing March of the Living (MotL) with UWC. The MotL is an annual educational initiative that brings people and especially students from all over the world together “in order to study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hate”. Since the first March of the Living in 1988, over 150,000 people from all around the world have marched down the same path leading from Auschwitz to Birkenau. Hayley, my Head of House, who also organized the UWCMotL, believed that the purpose and idea of the March fitted very well with the UWC mission, experience and values and so she tried to organize a link between the two – and succeeded.
The goal was to bring UWC students to the MotL and from the very start, funding was the biggest issue, especially as the majority of UWC students attend the schools on full or partial scholarships. Fortunately, Dr Rosenman, chair of March of the Living International, was ready to co-sponsor twenty students for all their expenses for their trip, except their flights, which he then increased to twenty-five, because of the overwhelming interest in the project. Due to this support, eventually eight United World Colleges could be represented at the March. Over ninety students applied in total and twenty-five of them were finally chosen, coming from twenty-two different countries and speaking no less than twenty-eight languages. At the March, they were the most diverse group participating. Cengiz, a Turkish student attending from LPC, agreed that this diversity of backgrounds heavily contributed to the atmosphere of the March: “We had many students from past or current conflict regions, who could tell us for example about the Rwandan, Bosnian and Armenian genocides. Hence we could see that even though these atrocities happened some time ago, and we learned some lessons, we haven’t yet learnt them fully.”
You can read the whole article in the online version of this issue of Jewish Times Asia. There you will also learn, what the whole trip consisted of for the UWC students and what their impressions of the whole experience were.