Project Week at UWC Atlantic College is a transformative experience which inspires and, at the same time, challenges students. The specific aim of the 2014 STAR Camp Project Week was for 17 students to engage with the refugee and asylum seekers community of Cardiff. The project was split into two different parts. The first three days of the project consisted of an educational programme that provided us with background knowledge of the conflicts which create refugees as well as the asylum procedure in the United Kingdom. This introduction element gave us a better perspective and a deeper understanding of the situation in which the refugees we later met live in. The last five days of the project then consisted of an English-teaching programme for refugees and asylum seekers in Cardiff. The aim of the project was indeed to tackle one of the main difficulties they have to face; the language. We spent our time not only teaching but also trying to get to know one another in order to establish a win-win relationship. While the refugees benefited from our English-teaching skills and our availability to both talk and listen, we benefited from interaction that played the role of an eye-opening experience. STAR Camp was a project strongly related to the service aspect of CAS (Creativity, action and service). As Sheryl Ewe, a first year student who took part in the project wrote in her personal reflection, ‘we truly benefited the community as well as gained some insight and new perspectives to mould a new attitude.’ Hana and I, the leaders of this project, truly hope that the project will be carried on in the future as we believe that it is deeply linked to the UWC ethos.
Hana Bracale and Martina Asquini (UWC Atlantic College), class of 2014 from USA and Italy