Abu Bakkar, 22, first arrived in the UK in the midst of the 2014 Ebola outbreak. He had just completed high school in Sierra Leone in 2012, and had subsequently joined Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). He was encouraged to study here at UWC Atlantic College which has close links with VSO.
Upon his arrival, Abu barely knew any English, but his time there was such a success that he is now completing his sixth form studies and is weighing up scholarship offers to study at universities in the US.
During his sixth form studies at UWC Atlantic, Abu chose to join the Social Justice faculty working with local communities to aid refugees, the elderly, children from disadvantaged home backgrounds, and children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. Abu’s remarkable work meant he was awarded a £1,000 College’s GoMAD grant that gives students an opportunity to put their social causes into practice. He will use this grant to return to Sierra Leone in July immediately after his final IB exams to help combat Ebola stigmatisation.
Abu said: “After university I will go back home and work to bring about a change in my society. I’m very passionate about doing something meaningful... I am bit nervous about starting University so far from home, but I am sure my UWC Atlantic College experience will see me through [any] difficulties.”
John Walmsley, principal at UWC Atlantic College, said: “Abu embodies the true nature of what we at UWC Atlantic College seek to inspire. We believe that education can be a true force for peace in our world, and we seek to instil this in each of our students.”