"UWC (United World Colleges) is a global education movement that makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future."

About DeConstructing Narratives

The world is not black and white. Unfortunately, many issues and problems in our world are treated as such. This lack of critical understanding is increasing intolerance and further entrenching oppressive power structures. This is preventing us from having the discourse needed to solve some of the most pressing issues of our era. Given the rapid changes our world is undergoing, there is an increasing need to critically engage with narratives and not arbitrarily declare them as either fact or fiction.

DeConstructing Narratives is the UWC Kenya Short Course set to take place in Nairobi, Kenya in August 2020. It will bring together 50 participants aged 16-19 and 16 facilitators from Kenya, East Africa and the rest of the world. The course will give participants a space to confront, with critical understanding, the narratives that shape our world today and learn how to influence the agenda moving forward. This means, understanding narratives beyond what is seen on the surface, extracting their underlying assumptions, examining their function within a potential overarching agenda and understanding their role in deconstructing them.

The short course will explore narratives relating to 3 main thematic areas; identity, governance & development, and sustainability. Alongside the process of deconstructing narratives is the process of constructing narratives in which participants will construct world views that do justice to the complexities of our world. The short course employs the experiential learning model; hence participants will engage with material in an informal learning setting. This includes workshops, simulations, excursions, guest speakers, self-led initiatives etc.

Kenya provides a unique context to explore the theme of this short course given its complexities as a developing nation on matters related to economics, politics, post colonialism, and governance among many others. This, coupled with being in a community of 50 young people which is socio economically, geographically, and ideologically diverse, and a team of facilitators passionate about the topic, creates an environment in which participants are fully immersed in DeConstructing Narratives. The short course aims to empower young people to not be complacent with the status quo and become agents of change in their lives after the course. Participants will leave the short course with a heightened level of critical understanding and a more nuanced world view. This course will support participants with the tools to translate the short course experience into tangible action in their communities and in areas that they feel most passionate about.

About UWC

Central to the ethos of UWC is the belief that education can bring together young people from all backgrounds on the basis of their shared humanity, to engage with the possibility of social change through courageous action, personal example and selfless leadership. To achieve this, the 18 UWC schools and colleges all over the world deliver a challenging and transformational educational experience to a deliberately diverse group of young people, inspiring them to become agents of positive change in line with UWC’s core values:

  • International and intercultural understanding
  • Celebration of difference
  • Personal responsibility and integrity
  • Mutual responsibility and respect
  • Compassion and service
  • Respect for the environment
  • A sense of idealism
  • Personal challenge
  • Action and personal example

UWC delivers a unique, experiential pre-university education programme through a steadily growing global network of 18 schools and colleges. Our focus is on preparing and empowering change makers, social entrepreneurs and future leaders, recruiting students from very diverse backgrounds, including the most marginalized, in over 150 countries. UWC college students are selected domestically, in more than 150 countries, through UWC’s unique national committee system. In accordance with the UWC ethos that education should be independent of the student’s socioeconomic means, 70% of students in their IB Diploma years receive either full or partial financial assistance, based on their needs.

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About UWC Kenya

The UWC Kenya National Committee has been mandated by UWC International to represent the UWC movement in Kenya and help promote UWC’s mission and vision locally. The National Committee’s main task is student selection and alumni engagement. The National Committee is managed by a board of trustees have constituted a management committee comprising of some of the trustees, UWC Kenya alumni, parents and well-wishers who are responsible for the day to day affairs and management of the committee. Since the founding of the committee in 1975, the Kenya National Committee has enabled 300 Kenyans, including many from disadvantaged backgrounds, to benefit from this transformative pre-university program.

About UWC Short Courses

Besides operating 18 UWC schools and pre-university colleges around the globe and maintaining a network of UWC national committees focusing on student selection and alumni engagement in 159 countries, UWC focuses on running an increasing number of short courses to bring our values-based education and mission to a wider audience. Courses are typically organized either by UWC schools and colleges or by UWC national committees and they also vary in their field and topic depending on context. They are typically two to three weeks long and residential.

UWC short courses are experiential and immersive experiences. Courses typically bring together 30 - 60 young people from different areas and social backgrounds. As the focus of each course is different, the course participants may be from within the same country, region or continent - or it may be entirely international. Each course has a different theme or focuses on different skill development: from youth leadership to sustainability, from conflict/post-conflict to migration, gender and cross-cultural understanding. Short courses are endorsed by UWC International.

Growing in impact and number around the world, UWC is seeking to upscale the number of short courses held each year in order to provide more young people with a UWC educational experience. To support this growth and strategic direction, UWC is developing quality standards, sample curricula and in some regions multi-year funding arrangements e.g. with programs of the European Union.

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Watch this video to learn about the impact of UWC Short Courses from the participants of a previous course in Colombia