Month: August 2017

  • 2017

  • Motivation goes Belgium


    Anna Mallioti was selected to represent IMS in a ten-day programme organised by the United World Colleges (UWC) this July. The course was entitled ‘Building and Crossing Bridges’ and took place in Ardennes, Belgium. UWC Short Courses foster international understanding and personal development by encouraging young people, selected on the basis of merit, to actively participate in community service and interact in a challenging and stimulating environment with others from a diverse mix of cultures. This is how Anna describes it:
    “No doubt – this was a life changing experience. It was overwhelming and amazing to spend 10 days in Belgium, away from home, with 39 educated, incredibly ambitious and intelligent people who have been selected through competitive processes and have so much to offer to the world. Undoubtedly, I have learned crucial things about religion (Christianity, Buddhism, Sunni and Shia) politics, economics and social issues. I have realized the importance of educating the youth for socio-economic and political issues, about nature (from how to tell whether a spider is pregnant to how to get rid of ticks), as well as the harm brought about by prejudice and stereotypes in our society. The UWC has definitely boosted our self-esteem and reminded us that we should have more self-esteem, and never forget parts of our identity and where we came from. It has boosted our confidence to a great extent, especially when it comes to talking in front of a big audience and express an opinion without the fear of being judged. I also had the opportunity to ameliorate my French, as there were many French speakers on the course. Definitely the best decision of the organizers was to integrate refugees. Three exceptional people had the opportunity to tell their story to us, and their journey for a better day. This was particularly important as it helped us to overcome preconceptions regarding refugees. It thrills me that not only they stay positive and cheerful, but they also set high goals for the future. They have also taught me to be grateful for everything that I have, and that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. When it comes to workshops, my favourite one was probably the one involving a political debate because we had the opportunity to express ourselves and tell others about important political issues in our country. UWC has made us look at the world from a different angle and focus on inner values such as love, friendship, respect and solidarity instead of material things. The short course is an excellent experience for all who wish to broaden their horizons and build and cross bridges not only to other people, but within themselves as well.”