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 on child rights and child protection issues, and a member of Twitter’s Safety & Trust Council. She is also Director at the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.
In 2015, she led a successful campaign of the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan entitled #FullStop to #childsexualabuse in India. Eirliani served in the Singapore Foreign Service and was posted to Delhi as Political Counsellor. Prior to that, she was in Berlin as First Secretary (Political). Before becoming a diplomat, she was a development consultant in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where she worked with Harvard Business School’s Prof Michael Potter on the Kazakhstan Competitiveness Programme.
Eirliani won the 2015 BMW Foundation Responsible Young Leaders Award and is an Asian Forum on Global Governance Fellow. She writes for the Huffington Post and the India Today Group’s “DailyO” on issues concerning child online safety and child sexual abuse. She was featured in the book Majulah! 50 Years of the Malay/Muslim Community in Singapore. Eirliani edited Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s book Will for Children, a collection of essays on child labour.
An avid rock climber, Eirliani trains in Colorado and Singapore. She speaks English, German, Malay and Russian.