UWC Mahindra College monthly newsletter

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Vision 2022

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Fall 2012 Newsletter

Dear parents, family, friends and supporters, 

As of December 2012, we have moved to a new publishing platform and will be sharing a quarterly newsletter with you. I am pleased to share with you the Fall 2012 Newsletter, with news and updates from the College for the last semester.


This blog will remain active but, as part of a larger communications overhaul, we are working towards having more students participating. We are working towards this platform so that you can hear directly from them about their experiences. 

For regular updates about on-going events, please follow our Facebook group: 

Thank you so much for your patience during this time of transition. 

If you have any questions, concerns, hesitations or ideas- please contact me at communications@muwci.net. 

I look forward to hearing from you, 


Outreach Team
Head of Communications

Friday, October 26, 2012

Message from the Head of College

Dear Community,

The last two months have seen a flurry of activities at UWC Mahindra College. First and second year students have gotten to know each other and their surroundings while being involved in a range of activities and taking up new challenges in the classroom, in the local community and in their personal interactions. This year, we have welcomed more students than in the past and have recently opened a new Wada in order to be able to provide the UWC education to an increasing number of students.

Our Outreach and Development Office has changed as well in an effort to reach out and better engage with our stakeholders. In the following months, you will hear from Nandita, Raïsa and Usha as well as some O2D students about on-going activities and alumni activities that are being planned.

In September, we commemorated the 50th year of the UWC movement- a time of celebrations of past achievements while looking to the future for our schools. At MUWCI, we have been looking forward and preparing to celebrate the 15th year anniversary of our own College, which will take place on November 24th and 25th. You will shortly receive an invitation to join us during these two days and we sincerely hope that you will come back to the Hill and be a part of these festivities. If you cannot make it to the College, we invite you to contribute through in our Visioning activities as we look forward to build a vision of what we hope MUWCI will look like in 2022.

Please join us! You are all an invaluable part of the UWC Mahindra College community and remain an integral part as we move forward.

                Pelham Lindfield Roberts
                   Head of College

Join Us For UWC Mahindra's 15th Anniversary!

 Schedule of Events

Saturday 24th November:

1000 - 1100: Arrival on campus

1100 – 1200: Short programme

1200 - 1300 Lunch
1315 – 1355 International Office presentation on UWCs’ present and future
1400 – 1445 Chai in the cafeteria
1500 – 1545 Silde show by Oscar Akerberg (’00) and Clara Benedito (’13) and keynote address by Anand Mahindra
1800 – 1845 Student Presentations
1900 onwards Dinner at Headmaster’s home followed by an auction of pictures

Sunday 25th November begins at a leisurely pace after brunch and then leads into workshops where we brainstorm for the future. We will end by 4pm.

On behalf of all of us on campus I do very much hope you will take the time to join us. Please RSVP Usha Sundaram at development@muwci.net and for details on accommodation or for more information. 

Winner of Aug-Sept UWC Photo Competition

A BIG Congratulations from all of us at UWC Mahindra College to Clara Figueras Benedito who was the winner for the months of August and September in the UWC Norge Photo Competition with her photo entitled "I dare you to taste a sample of my life". The winning photos will be printed and put on display outside by the Oslo City Hall in connection with the 50th anniversary celebration in October 2012, for a duration of 6 weeks. 

This is what the judges had to say about the photo:

UWC 50th Celebrations: DAY 4

by Cyrus Vakil (Faculty) 

 Photo by Oscar Akerburg

DAY 4 was planned around the themes of biodiversity and sustainability. The afternoon began with a slideshow of campus fauna by Sharada Vakil. All photographs displayed were taken by faculty over the years, on campus. The diversity of fauna explained why the Sahyadri region, in which the College is nestled, is ranked among the top 20 ecological hotspots in the world. Birds and reptiles made the greatest impression on students and their predatory habits were discussed. The importance of not walking barefoot in the dark was stressed: snakes will avoid humans till trodden on!

Kurush Canteenwalla spoke next. An award-winning documentary film-maker who has also taught Film part-time at MUWCI (2006-2009), Kurush talked about predatory behaviour of a different kind – illegal mining in the Goan Sahyadris. Though it was not known to the audience at the time the subject was very topical. Earlier this week the Indian Supreme Court has suspended all mining in Goa till environmental clearances are checked. 
The last and most detailed presentation was by Farhad Contractor, who has worked with local communities to complete over 800 water harvesting and water-table recharging projects in India, mostly in Rajasthan and the Himalayan foothills. Given a brief to generate momentum for a water harvesting program on campus, Farhad spoke of the cost and the ethics of drawing water from the riverbed and pumping it up the hill. Given the high rainfall at MUWCI (>2000mm/year) Farhad argued that check dams and storage wells at strategic points on the slope had the potential to make the campus self-sufficient in water. 

Farhad offered a number of examples and visuals from Western Rajasthan and Kutch where communities overcame chronic water shortages through water harvesting, even though the rainfall there is only 250-400mm/yr and gradients are much lower. Farhad’s talk turned out to be the best-attended event of the four-day celebrations and was followed by lively Q&A and discussion. The debates included  whether rainwater was fit to drink without further treatment, the ethics of having a swimming pool and growing lawns and crops atop the hill, and whether check dams would hurt or help the rice valley below.
On Saturday we have invited a guest to speak to the college on an important topic: "Rain water harvesting to make our campus sustainable". The session started at 4pm and was very relevant for the school.

UWC 50th Celebrations: DAY 3

by Pelham Lindfield Roberts (Head of College) 
The 21 September every year is the UN Day of Peace known as "Peace One Day". This fitted our schedule well as we worked through our mission on the final two days of celebrations with a day of engagement about "peace" on the 21st and a day of engagement about "sustainability" on the 22nd September.

The events started with an introductory session on Peace defining it as "social justice" rather than simply as the "absence of war", or the "absence of direct physical violence". 

After this Mahindra students presented 7 workshops on various conflicts from around the world ranging from conflicts over land to conflicts about culture and language and identity.    

We had a skype interaction with UWC Mostar focussing on the role of education in addressing conflict and we linked up with  Saim Saeed  a former student  from Pakistan who had been at UWC Mahindra College in 2008 when the terrorist attacks occurred. The head pledged to work towards securing visas for Pakistani studnets to return to the college.

Finally students engaged in an interesting workshop, used in other UWC's, entitled "Red Team / Blue Team" to discover their desire to be competitive or collaborative. The workshops were facilitated by student volunteers and revealed some interesting issues and challenges. 

The day was a fitting way to celebrate 50 Years of UWC!

UWC 50th Celebrations DAY 2

by Usha Rajaram (Staff) 

Day 2: Let's Celebrate With Action
Thursday, September 20th, was a day when we celebrated action and tried to explore what activism could mean. We had a meeting with the local Community Engagement partners, which was very successful. Not only did they interact with us, but also with each other, and some partners actually met each other for the first time. 

From 4.00 pm to 5.30 pm there were presentations of projects proposed by students, which would bring UWC ideals alive. It began with a lovely video on the local partners and their community engagement activities. The presentation proposals ranged from starting an organic farm on our campus, to teaching the high school students of the local schools the idea of energy conservation, to renovating and painting one of local high school's classrooms. The idea was that these proposals would come to some fruition by the 27th of November which is  15th anniversary of  UWC Mahindra College .  

After dinner, there was a live transmission from the UWC forum in London. The first panel discussion was on ‘Sustainability and supply: Can science provide the long term solution to increase consumption?’ We watched this, accompanied by UWC chai, but we couldn't watch the second panel discussion, because the live transmission broke down.
It was lovely having our local Community Engagement partners with us, because they served as genuine role models for UWC activism. 

You can watch the UWC Anniversary Formal Celebrations here: 


UWC 50th Celebrations DAY 1

 by Oscar Akerburg (Faculty)

During the 50th anniversary celebrations, MUWCI hosted series of events on each day between Wednesday, September 19th 2012 and Sunday, September 23rd.

The 50th anniversary celebrations at MUWCI were also marked by a joyous event in India: the birthday of Lord Ganesha, which is one of the largest festivals in the state of Maharashtra. This coincidence was remarkable because in Hinduism Lord Ganesha is also known as the Lord of Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles.

On the first day, students organized activities aimed at bringing the spirit of all the different UWCs onto our campus and bringing the UWC movement and ideals into the everyone’s minds.

To start, MUWCI staff members brought a figure of Lord Ganesha to a place in the school where various ceremonies were held. A priest conducted a ceremony in which our Head of College participated. This ceremony represented not only the start of the Ganesha festivities, but also the start of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of UWC.

The main activity of the first day of festivities was to bring to life each one of the different UWCs in our academic area, the AQ. In the AQ there are currently 11 classrooms and apart from MUWCI there are 11 other UWCs. Students thus came up with the idea of renaming each of the classrooms with the names of all the current UWCs. Each UWC was assigned to a classroom in chronological order: A1 became Atlantic College, A2 South East Asia, A3 Pearson College, etc. Each of the classrooms was decorated according to the spirit of its namesake and the students displayed videos, photos and gave talks about what is currently happening at other UWCs.  After the students’ presentations were finished, the classrooms kept their new UWC names, so we can always remember that we are not alone in our UWC mission.

In the middle of the UWC presentations, staff from the cafeteria brought a cake to the AQ. Students and faculty gathered around the common room of the AQ to listen as a student read the speech that Queen Noor had written for these celebrations. These motivating words were followed by a speech from the Head of College. Finally, all sang a Happy Birthday song for UWC and had a delicious taste of the cake!

After dinner, many students gathered in the MPH to see the live broadcast of the 50th anniversary inauguration ceremony at Atlantic College.

The activities of the first day concluded with a panel discussion about the UWC movement, which asked: where do we come from and where are we going? The panel consisted of four members of our faculty, one MUWCI alumnus and a student moderator. The discussion was very interesting and raised topics relevant in our quest to both reshape MUWCI and find its place in the context of the UWC movement.

The 50th anniversary of UWC celebrates more than the beginning of the movement, the beginning of the next 50 years, which will be difficult and full of obstacles. For this reason, we at MUWCI are very happy to have experienced a wonderful coincidence of the 50th anniversary of UWCs and the birthday of the Lord of Beginnings, the Obstacle Remover, Lord Ganesha.