by Mouna Chatt, United World College Maastricht
30th of August, 2018
The 1st of August marked the beginning of the 6-day long “UWC Palesse” initiative – a project with the purpose of promoting the UWC movement and spreading information about the application process in Southern Belarusian villages.
A team consisting of 6 alumni from UWC Maastricht, Mostar, and Mahindra cycled through these villages, hanging up posters about the movement in schools, community centers, and on shop windows. The villages are often underrepresented in the selections of the Belarusian National Committee, hence the team wished to open new opportunities for young Belarusians in the area as well as inspire other UWCers to organize similar projects in their countries.
UWC Maastricht alumni, Tamar Amichay, reflects on her trip, and tells, “The villages and towns in the Palesse region are an image of Belarus not many people get to see as they are so rural. Socially, it is very different from the bigger cities as most people in these towns have never met anyone from outside the region, let alone foreigners who speak a different language. Many people were very interested to know who we were while others were shy and sometimes scared to approach us. The people are extremely kind-hearted and often offered us food and fresh water. They were often fascinated to learn that we studied in a college with people from all around the world. I really enjoyed the country as well as the trip – and would recommend anyone who is interested to go.”
Hopefully, the project will become an annual trip in Belarus, moving through different regions each year, and eventually, extend to other countries as well. The team underlines that everyone is welcome to join and help organize upcoming trips.
See some photos from the trip attached below: