As a result of this support and encouragement, Sidiki ended up doing his schooling in a village close by his own called Titao. He then went on to secondary school in Titao, and it was there that he was named “Etoile 2014” by the program “Tableau d’Honneur” as one of 20 best students in Burkina Faso. This was a very proud moment for him and his family, as the prize honours students not only for academic prowess, but also for positive personality attributes and community work. He was invited to the capital Ouagadougou for the celebrations, and it is here that he heard about UWC.
From a young age, Sidiki was deeply curious about the world, but he did not get the chance to travel outside of his home country. He wanted to hear the stories of the world, and also share his own story. For him, UWC was this chance.
“UWC has been the biggest opportunity I’ve ever had. It has been life changing, and here I have found the true version of myself.”
For Sidiki, the move to UWC Maastricht was by no means an easy one. He arrived in Maastricht with very little English capabilities and he found this extremely difficult in both the social and the academic space. Being unable to communicate in the classroom and even with his fellow students made him feel quite isolated. With the help of the ELL department and fellow students, he has been able to improve his English skills – with stunning results.
Sidiki has been a stellar member of the UWCM community, volunteering both inside and outside the school with Model United Nations, Environmental Action Group, International Friend Recycle and UWC Maastricht summer school. This year, in his second year of the DP programme, Sidiki facilitated two engaging workshops surrounding the topic of Democracy in Burkina Faso and what that means. With his constant leaps and bounds in English, Sidiki has been able to shine more and more. Most recently, he was nominated by UWC Maastricht staff as a Davis Mahindra Scholar in honour of his outstanding leadership in the community. For Sidiki, UWC now feels like home.
Sidiki, as one of the first children to go to school outside his village, and the first from his region to go to UWC, sees the power of education to make a change in your life. This has inspired him to support this dream for others. In his final few months here at UWCM, Sidiki has now applied for funding to support an educational project in Burkina Faso, which he and a Belgian peer together created. Project Karoungo aims to inspire students and provide them with a good environment to study. They will be raising money for solar panels so students can study in the afternoon and in the dark, as well as money for books, pencils & pens. They are currently applying for GOMAD funding as well as doing an internal fundraiser through a floorball tournament. Having the opportunity to study at UWC Maastricht has inspired Sidiki to want to give back for all that he has received, both to the UWC community, as well as to his own home community in Burkina Faso.
"UWC has inspired me and made me believe in myself. It has given me the skills to be able to achieve my dreams. YSE, for example, has given me the skills to build a good project plan which I have now used to set up Project Karoungo, an education project back home in Burkina Faso. I have received so much support, and have felt that people believe in me here. What an incredible opportunity it has been to be here at UWC Maastricht.”
Sidiki and his team aim to go to his home village in Burkina Faso this summer (2018) and will be working with Atelier Theatre du Loroum, a local NGO raising awareness through Theatre. Through theatre and workshops, Sidiki and his team aim to increase the awareness of the benefits of school, as well as offer workshops and further support to parents and children.
UWC has made him feel at home, and in turn, he would like to share what he has learnt here with his community back home. Once he graduates in May 2018, he is looking to study Economics and Finance in either the U.S. or Canada to further enable him to make an impact in the communities around him.