UWS and Kings’ Education: “Big Changes Need to Start with Small Actions”

United World Schools has been working with Kings Education, a group of international colleges in the UK and USA, since 2015. Our first school building project, UWS Kro Lorng, began development in late 2014, while our second community school, UWS Kapin, opened its doors for its second academic year earlier this month. Together with Kings’ we have provided hundreds of children with the opportunity to go to school for the first time, and given students across the Kings Education Campuses the chance to gain an insight into life on the other side of the educational spectrum.

Kings Education set their most ambitious target yet:

After two successful years of fundraising, Kings Education have embarked on its most ambitious target yet: to reach £20,000 in the UK and $20,000 in the US by the end of 2017. This fantastic challenge has been set in order to build their third school in Cambodia and to support the on-going development and maintenance of Kapin and Kro Lorng. Already we have seen a tremendous effort from all the Kings’ campuses whose students have been busy organising everything from snack sales, talent shows, and second-hand book fairs, to bag sales, manicure parties, and ice cream socials. Excitingly this year also marks Kings’ 60th anniversary, so Kings’ schools worldwide have been hosting “60” -themed events, including a fabulous 1960s-themed costume party by Kings Hollywood, and a 60km bike ride by Kings Brighton.

Kings’ London interview UWS:

This October UWS Partnerships Director Jack Clark and Partnerships Associate Susanna Worth visited the Kings London campus to update students about the progress of their partner communities, and to be interviewed by the school’s Global Citizenship Club. They were joined by our Associate Director of Programmes, Gemma Barker, fresh off a trip to Nepal and ready to undertake her first visit to Myanmar, who was able to provide a unique insight and in-country perspective to discussions. The 30-minute interview was an opportunity for students to find out more about United World Schools and the challenges that children, and our team, face when trying to access an education in hard-to-reach communities. However, it also gave the UWS London Team the opportunity to reflect on their personal motivations for improving the educational opportunities of children worldwide, and to talk more widely about the difficulties and rewards of working in international development.

Our Partnerships Team would like to thank Louisa Rudland for inviting UWS to speak at Kings London, and for coordinating the interview with the Global Citizenship Club. We were incredibly impressed by the quality of the questions and enjoyed reading through the articles produced by Kings London students Giselle and Aigerim.

Here is UWS in their words:

“UWS’ work has proven that the improvement of someone’s life can cause a chain reaction effect within a community. Therefore, when the children’s life progress due to their educational enrichment, undoubtedly, there is a reaction within the other community members as they also start aiming for a better life. Nonetheless, the true meaning for UWS’ purpose is simple. It is a matter of faith, because it narrows under the idea that all that is needed to change a child’s future is to make the child believe in oneself…Aiming to end world’s poverty, world’s illiteracy or world’s hunger are enormous challenges for one man and even for the entire human race, because those huge global goals tend to keep people standing behind the action line. But when we start something small, something has already been done and a change has already begun. And even though that in the last few years UWS has helped more than 20,000 children to recover their education when there are more than 70 million children without education today, UWS’ major purpose has gone beyond that, much more beyond.”   Giselle, Kings London

“North Cambodia was devastated by the war and is one of the poorest regions in South-East Asia, where generations of people had only a labouring job of farming rice, a job which does not require any skills. People living in small villages had huge barriers such as lack of education stopping to do more than that…Although according to UN report almost every child in the age of 6 to 12 has an access to primary education, there are 20 Cambodian ethnic groups where the majority of them live in the isolated and mountainous marginalised areas in the northern part of the country. Children there often have no access to basic education. Working with them, UWS brings not only knowledge but also seems to improve the level of social well-being whereas 10 years of life expectancy has been added in the communities where the organisation built schools and the rate of infant mortality was reduced by a half. Furthermore, getting more education means getting more skills so students may break the barrier which also gives hope to the people in the communities.” Aigerim, Kings London