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How can there be peace without people understanding each other, and how can this be if they don’t know each other?

Lester B.Pearson

Early supporter of Pearson College, former Prime Minister of Canada, and Nobel Peace Laureate

The striking feature of the UWC is that they embrace the entire world. They are unique and they are conscious of their responsibilities.

Nelson Mandela

Late Honorary President of UWC, Former President of South Africa

We have realized our dream to create a dream school for you. Please go out and realize your dream and other’s dreams.

Wesley Chiu,

Member of UWC National Committee of China, board member of UWC Changshu China

The sense of idealism and a purposeful life really makes the UWC experience unique and its impact life-long.

Wang Yi

Co-Founder, Vice Chairman of Board and Executive Director of Harvard Centre Shanghai. Pearson 89-91

UWC was one of the ten members of the international schools association that created the International Baccalaureate Organization in Geneva in 1963 … today, they are taken in over 4,000 schools worldwide and have become the gold standard for university entrance.

Sir John Daniel

Chair of UWC International Board and International Council 

I regard it as the foremost task of education to ensure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial and above all, compassion.

Kurt Hahn

German Educator, Founder of United World Colleges

Paction-transforming passion into action!

Issue date:2017-10-13

Through international education, shared experience and community service, UWC is committed to enable young people to become responsible citizens, politically and environmentally aware, committed to the ideals of peace, justice, understanding and co-operation and to the implementation of these ideals through action and personal example. 

UWC Changshu China has over 560 students of different social and economic backgrounds from nearly 100 countries and regions.  They represent a multitude of races, ethnicities, and beliefs.  They also have many special stories to share in their pursuit of UWC mission and values.  In this issue, Wutt Hmone Thin Kyi from Myanmar talks about her journey to become “a change maker" despite of all the difficulties on her way.

If I have to describe what UWC is in one word, I would say UWC is about “paction”-“transforming passion into action”. UWC is the epitome of what servant leadership is. We serve our community and lead our passion.

I am Wutt Hmone Thin Kyi, the first and only Burmese currently studying towards International Baccalaureate Diploma in UWC Changshu China. Being born in a developing country Myanmar, I faced challenges as a woman and as a youth. Although I spent 6 years of my adolescent years in a developed country Singapore only with my sister, I never took that privilege for granted. Coming from a low-income family and studying in Singapore posed many challenges as I struggled to buy a meal a day and buy resources needed for my studies. I struggled with English and was a victim of bullying throughout my adolescent years. However, overcoming those obstacles built resilience in me. With many lessons and values that I learnt from both countries, I embarked on my change marker journey with a dream to make positive changes in whichever communities that I belong to.

School Opening Ceremony 2017

My “changemaker” journey started at the age of twelve while studying in Corporation Primary School, Singapore. I was appointed as class leader and subsequently appointed as a prefect (school leader) during my primary school years. In my secondary school years in Crescent Girls’ School, I was appointed to become a student councilor before serving as Director of Council Affairs, one of the members of Student Council Executive Committee. My scope of impact slowly expanded from helping with taking attendance in my classroom to planning events for the whole school and to the whole community.

I believe in the power of volunteerism. During my stay in Singapore, I actively engaged in regular service activities including organising donation drive for “Salvation Army”, raising funds for “Make a Wish” foundation and “Boys’ Town Singapore” and organising mass beach clean-ups. With my aim to meet more like-minded youths and broaden my horizons, I represented my school in numerous youth conferences and leadership camps including “Methodist Girls’ Regional Youth Conference” and “Legendary Leaders’ Summit”.

Attending Youth Conference in Singapore 

As a Burmese, I gained inspiration from my sisters’, friends’ and my hardships to actively contribute to women and youth empowerment initiatives. While serving as a web content writer of a youth-led startup called “Myanmar Youth Empowerment Opportunities”(MYEO)*, I also led a handful of projects such as empowerment strategies for women in workforce, digital marketing strategies, and MYEO livechat. After another startup founder of “Wynee” noticed that we have similar passion for youth empowerment, I was scouted as "Wynee"** ambassador to reach out to youths in my community for career guidance.

As a women empowerer, I also worked with “Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation”(BFM) for a project which aims to provide necessary vocational trainings and support for micro businesses through microfinance to women in Hlegu(a rural area) of Myanmar. With my dream to give back to my country as a doctor, I did clinical psychology internship at “Shwe La Min” Hospital with a psychiatrist.

During my one year stay in UWC Changshu China, I served as one of the core member of student-led organisation called “LIGHT” which aims to provide mental support for children in welfare center through art and sand therapy. To inculcate unity among diversity in the student body, I am serving as the Director of Public Relations of “The 88th” which is the student-led UWC Changshu China apparels and merchandise shop. With my desire to spark curiosity and interest in natural sciences of the primary school children through interesting experiments, I am serving as President of student-led organisation “ULAB” which I founded with three other like-minded friends. I am also serving as the captain of UWC Changshu China badminton team. Apart from representing UWC Changshu for badminton tournaments, I initiate internal badminton friendly matches, known as "Game of the Baddest".


Teaching Primary School students to do chemistry experiments

I live by my all-time favourite quote from Steve Jobs, "stay hungry, stay foolish". In my free time, I enjoy self-learning programming languages such as JAVA and C++. Having experiences with Model United Nations(MUN) locally and internationally including “The Hague International Model United Nations”, I served as Co-chair for internal school MUN, “CrezMUN”. Apart from playing badminton, doing water colouring painting and hip-hop dance with my friends, I also love transforming real life-stories into poems.

Taking part in "Foreigners Have Talents" final contest in Suzhou

My life has been an amazing roller coaster ride. I fell down a hundred times, I learnt to pick myself a hundred and one times. Learning life lessons by the hard way, I learnt from my failures and encouraged by my successes. I could either choose to let those failures defeat me or I could choose to transform my downfalls into inspiration. I chose the latter. Along my journey, I want to share my experiences with the youths and lend helping hands to do “paction” with me. This is just the start of my changemaker journey. How about yours? 

SHE-a poem by Wutt

Just a little over 5 feet, she tiptoes to catch her dreams and follows them to where they may lead, 

Just a little over size 37, she chases after her passion, not knowing where she may land, 

In her oversized M shirts, she clad in her symbolic smile and sparkling eyes,

With her tiny palm, she grasps every opportunity that would make the world just a little better,

With her small jokes, she wants to make the world laugh a little louder. 

Her almond shaped eyes twinkle at the wonders of the world with every blink,

With her bruised knees and cut wounds, she picks herself up with every trip,

Her taste of music is definitely not "Despacito",

Her wish is to travel around the world including Puerto Rico,

Though she writes poems, she does not usually read poetry,

Where does she belong? Her nationality is another mystery, 

See a huge scar on her left thigh that she got after she ran into a table in chemistry lab?

But no one sees the imprinted scars on her heart, 

but that's okay, she is living the time of her life now and that's what matters at last. 

If she has the chance to re-live her life again, 

she will still choose to be a little over 5 feet tall, bruised knees, scarred-heart "girl" with an oversized shirt running into tables in the chemistry lab. 

I hope she does not change till her last breath. 


*MYEO is created to bridge the information gap by sharing youth empowerment opportunities specifically for Myanmar youths; skills gap by providing life-skill to universities youth; talent gap by creating network for youths and organizations to meet. 

**"Wynee" is a community where Myanmar youth and professionals gather to ask and answer career related questions in both English and Myanmar languages. 

Written by: Wutt Hmone Kyi, Class of 2018, Myanmar; 

Photo provided by the author

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