What is the United World College?
Founded in 1962, the UWC is an educational movement that operates in line with Nelson Mandela’s slogan “education is the most powerful weapon to change the world”. The objective is thus to help 16-19 year old students to develop resilience and the ability to experience failure as well as success though a holistic educational concept. UWC schools bring young students with different perspectives, ideas and backgrounds together and “make education a force for peace and sustainability”. The students can complete their International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in 17 schools and colleges. Moreover, the UWC provides short educational programmes and national committees in 159 countries and territories.
How will Eirliani be engaged in the movement?
As a volunteer of the CEC, Eirliani will contribute inspiring ideas to various sections of UWC international. For example, she will be helping to develop and implement the Community Engagement Strategy. Furthermore, Eirliani will be involved in the current engagement tools and programmes (UWC Hub, UWCx and UWC Day) to engage alumni and the community. Eirliani will contribute her skills from her fields of expertise to foster a lifelong commitment to social responsibility.
How does the UWC work?
The educational concept of the UWC seeks to foster experiential learning encouraging students to step out of their comfort zone and enlarging their horizons. This is mirrored by the so-called Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) programme which allows students to participate in supplementary activities such as theatre, music, farming or sport.
UWC international is a charity registered and administered in London, UK. It coordinates between the different UWC elements and stakeholders. In October 2017, the UNWC approved a new strategy that “broadens UWC’s ambition from providing transformative education for its students to becoming a global voice for values and diversity based education for peace and sustainability”. It rests on three pillars, namely to seek, to educate and to inspire. The core of the strategy is deliberate diversity seeking to foster innovative education. The UWC works together with various educational, programme, funding and donation partners, such as the International Baccalaureate, the Ellen Mercator Foundation, the Horizon Foundation and the Velux Foundations among others.
Eirliani Abdul Rahman is co-founder of YAKIN (Youth, Adult Survivors & Kin In Need), an NGO working in the field of child rights and child protection issues, and a member of Twitter’s Safety & Trust Council. She is also Senior Assistant Director at the Singapore National Council of Social Service and has been seconded to head Operations and Programmes at Caregivers Alliance, a non-profit organisation that helps caregivers of those with mental health issues in Singapore.
In September 2015, the #FullStop to #childsexualabuse campaign that Eirliani led on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi reached 16 million people over six weeks. She won the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Award the same year. Eirliani edited Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s book Will for Children, a collection of essays on child labour published in 2016. Her book on true accounts by survivors of child sexual abuse Survivors: Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse was published by Marshall Cavendish in 2017. It won joint second prize in the 2020 Golden Door Awards. She also contributed a case study to the medical textbook Essentials of Global Health, co-edited by Babulal Sethia, Past President and Global Health Lead of the Royal Society of Medicine, which was published by Elsevier in London in 2018. The book won first prize in the Public Health category at the 2019 British Medical Association book awards.
Eirliani was in the Singapore Foreign Service from 2005 to 2015, serving in Berlin as First Secretary (Political) and then in Delhi as Political Counsellor. From June 2015 to November 2017, she was a member of the Advisory Council of the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL). She is a Fellow of the London-based Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
Eirliani lives in Singapore. She speaks Malay, English, German and Russian.
Read more about Eirliani in her latest blog article. You can also read her articles about her polar expedition, about human trafficking, the injustice of the Brexit for the British Youth and learn more about her work and activism.