Every year, ConCultures, the German ambassador of United World Schools, travels with a group of selected students to Cambodia to run a ‘school is cool’ workshop in two newly built UWS schools. During the project, students are encouraged to value education, develop greater cultural awareness and to be more thoughtful about the world they live in.

I was lucky enough to join them in 2016 and had an experience that left an impression on me until this day. For three days at a time, we ran creative workshops for students at UWS Sreh Tah and UWS Spong in Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri. We taught art, music, logic and numbers games, playfully introducing new topics to the kids. It sounds easier than it is. Most of the children were new to education, and we had never stood in front of a class before. Fortunately, with the help of UWS Education Officers - and a lot of laughter - the workshops were a great success. t turned out to be a huge success.

The joy of the children is just indescribable. Every morning, they came running from the village to school hungry for things to learn. Every task was enthusiastically received, and they were focused throughout the day. It was fascinating to watch. When I look back at my time in school, I was often bored and reluctant to attend. Education at home is often taken for granted, and we overlook the true value of it. The students in UWS schools never take education for granted. They see their school as somewhere to develop as individuals and come together to explore the world.

By the end of the project, it was not only the UWS students who learnt a lot but us as well. I loved learning about a different culture, and came to appreciate all the opportunities open to me.

Vicco von Borries - Partnerships Intern