Amazing Application Response for 2024

28 February 2024 | Tags: , ,

Students from UWC schools and colleges have submitted an unprecedented number of applications for this year’s Go Make a Difference awards. 125 applications were received, which was more than double the number we received last year.

Now in its 23rd year, students at UWC have really embraced the essence of the opportunity to make a difference in meaningful ways across the globe on issues they feel strongly about.

Keziah Bashon, from UWC South East Asia, here with her certificate (pictured), was thrilled to receive the award on behalf of the team who will deliver “Food on Wheels” – refurbishing food carts to fight under-nutrition in Manila, Philippines.

The quality of applications was very high, with so many well thought through plans, which clearly laid out the project concept, proposed timescales and budgets. So many plans outlined how, if students were successful, people would benefit from the projects.

Assessing the volume of projects was a challenging and interesting task. As always, applications were assessed against eight pre-determined criteria outlined on the website. Each project was assessed by co-founders Colin Habgood and Jill Longson (UWCA81), Ann Goodwin (GoMakeADifference admin coordinator) and where relevant, a representative of the students’ college.

The Winners

Having completed the assessment process, we are delighted to announce 22 projects will be receiving a total of approximately $40,000 to help them make a difference. There were some really innovative projects, where students would clearly be making a difference including:

  • Utilising plastic bottles and cement to construct water tanks in Eswatini
  • Integrating migrants into society, through a website in relevant languages with information on their rights, local cultures and norms to help them establish a life in Norway
  • Helping the mental health of young men through a martial arts app being launched in the UK
  • Empowering women with education and support in Afghanistan.

There is no doubt that some projects would have been awarded grants in previous years, but the quality and volume of applications this year has meant that many such projects have been unsuccessful. Students have raised the bar in their applications this year, in terms of the quality of their submission and innovative, creative ideas to making a difference.

Colin said, “We really do hope that despite not being successful in gaining an award, somehow students may still be able to make a difference. We very much hope that some of the plans submitted will still go ahead this year without our funding.”

Successful students will be receiving grants of up to $2,000 each to help them make a difference. Projects are being delivered across the globe during 2024 from Asia, Africa to Europe and the Americas. We look forward in coming months to hearing how the projects were delivered and how students were able to bring their projects to fruition.

As Jill said, “The awards provide an opportunity to allow students to live the UWC values and really make a difference to the issues and communities they feel passionate about. Assessing the awards this year has been a very difficult task and one we did not take lightly. We wish students the best of luck in delivering their projects and look forward to hearing how they went and importantly what the students learnt from their experiences.”

Could you be next?

Any current UWC students who will still be at college in 2025, should feel inspired by this year’s applications and hopefully will be motivated to apply for an award next year. It is never too early to start thinking about your plan!