If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy.
Then he becomes your partner
Nelson Mandela

UWC Maastricht Alumni

Matilsa Mchazime UWCM 2017

My name is Matilda Mchazime. I am 19 years old and I come from Malawi. I am the first born in a family of 3, all girls. I am currently studying at the College of Idaho, after having graduated from UWC Maastricht in 2017. I am majoring in international political economy with minors in Spanish, human performance and business administration.

While I was at UWC Maastricht, I created the project “I Am Malawi”. The main concept was to empower the youth by creating a platform where they can come and discuss issues that hinder them from performing to their full potential, and then together, try to deal with these issues. Apart from discussions and workshops, the project provided a mentorship program for youths who wanted to cultivate skills in areas such as sports, music and others. Motivational talks were given to encourage them. Information on how to find scholarship was offered as well, to help introduce them to the diverse opportunities available to do what they actually want to, especially since the education system in Malawi is not that diversified. This was done with the hope that when they acquire their education, they can come back and assist others. This project was sponsored by GoMakeADifference.

The process of implementing the project was a little bit challenging because we were unable to reach out to public schools due to the fact our project was not run by a registered NGO. However, our social media campaign was able to attract people from many different schools, including those from public schools, who attended our weekend workshops independently. We were able to sign up students for the mentorship program and it is still ongoing. I would definitely like to continue with the project and hope that it can grow into an NGO that can partner up with others to work towards different goals.

My experience at UWC played a large role in the creation of this project for me. At UWC Maastricht, I was a part of the God Sibouche Foundation project, which inspired me to do something for the youths in my country. In general as well, hearing stories from my peers about the projects they carried out in their own countries was truly inspiring, and made me want to do more for my own country.

Looking back to my time at UWC, I definitely have a lot of favourite moments; especially moments that were unplanned, like staying up late and talking to people on my floor, random dancing sessions with friends to ease the stress from school work, walks around the park that ended up in walks into the fields, and many other moments too numerous to mention.

The UWC education has helped me in my many interaction with other people, especially in a diverse community. It challenged me to step into other people’s shoes and understand things from their perspective, because we all have different views, and come from different backgrounds. UWC education has also inspired me to learn more about other people’s cultures and influence change through education.

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