Marshall Islands students are currently studying at United World College high schools in England, China, Singapore, Germany, and Hong Kong — with a new scholarship up for grabs to UWC’s newly opened school in Japan for the school year starting in August 2017.
Previously, RMI students have studied at and graduated from UWC schools in Canada, the United States and Germany — all of which has been possible because the Marshall Islands set up a UWC National Committee that links to the global UWC system and manages the process locally of selecting students for scholarships made available by UWC schools. The Marshall Islands UWC National Committee is chaired by Dr. Irene Taafaki, director of the USP Campus in Majuro.
Marshall Islands UWC National Coordinator Tamara Greenstone Alefaio attended the annual UWC Congress held recently in Trieste, Italy where hundreds of administrators, teachers, students involved in UWC schools worldwide and representatives of national committees came together for two days of consultations on the program.
“Climate change, increasing global inequality, and conflict and persecution are displacing more people than ever before,” said the school in its briefing for the annual congress. “These are just a few of the challenges we face in 2016. The role of the UWC movement is more relevant than ever, and together we want to be an even stronger force for peace and a sustainable future.”
Peter Sutoris, a UWC alumni who visited the Marshall Islands on a number of occasions as a Dartmouth College student several years ago, also attended the UWC congress in Italy. Sutoris is credited with bringing the UWC movement to the Marshall Islands, which has resulted in ongoing annual scholarships for local students.
At the Congress, Alefaio facilitated a session for the Asia-Pacific region discussion on the new UWC Strategic Plan and “presented on the RMI National Committee and how we support our students,” she said. “I am a member of the Committee of National Committees (CNC) which is a body of National Committee representatives who are responsible for taking the recommendations, requests and needs of the National Committees to the International Office,” she said. Alefaio is also one of two Asia-Pacific representatives from the CNC to the UWC International Office.
Alefaio said the Federated States of Micronesia is soon to roll out its first FSM National Committee so it will become part of the UWC family. “We should be awarding our first scholarship in late 2017” in the FSM, said Alefaio, who is currently based in Pohnpei. Canita Rilometo, who grew up in Majuro and now works in Pohnpei for PREL (Pacific Resources for Education and Learning), is the National Committee Coordinator for FSM.
Read more about this in the November 18, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.