Frans Groutars: UWCM Supporter of the first hour

June 19, 2023

“It is an invaluable opportunity for students with a refugee background to flourish in an environment so open, accepting and diverse as UWC Maastricht. The doors it opens for them and the communities they represent are for us the reason to continue our involvement with UWC and the Promise Programme. UWC is a spring board both academically and networkwise”, according to Frans Groutars.

Frans has been involved with UWC Maastricht from the very beginning, even before the build started. Firstly as a representative of MosaLira in the general meeting, later as the independent Chair of the general meeting. He still is a frequent visitor of our events. “Every encounter with UWC students gives me joy and makes me feel humble. Joy because you sense a powerful dynamic; you actually see young people from all over the world, representing all kinds of cultures, views and backgrounds, interacting with each other respectfully. Humble because of what some of them have already lived through, still showing great passion and dedication, despite their young age. It’s a place where children from countries at war become friends and contribute to peacebuilding on a bigger scale.”

Stichting Kannunik Salden en Sint Clemens Stichting, two charitable foundations Frans chairs, are about to support the 4th generation of students here. Students that have come to Maastricht as refugees or students with challenging socio-economic backgrounds. Through scholarships provided by these foundations, UWC has been able to unlock the potential of already six teenagers with great perseverance and determination, to learn and develop into caring world citizens. Passing on their knowledge and skills for the benefit of their community and or country.

We cherish Frans’ commitment to our school who never wastes an opportunity to convey the story of UWC Maastricht and its students. And how vital it is for the next generation to have conversations with people with various points of view and cultures to grow understanding and mutual respect in order to stay away from prejudice and live in peace with one another.