UN Talk on Campus & #changeyourworld Winners


Thanks to everyone who came to our Working for the UN Talk in the Brunei Lecture Theatre last night, it was great to see such a big turnout! John Ericson, Chief of the Outreach Unit in the Office of Human Resources Management of the United Nations Secretariat in New York delivered the informative talk and was on hand for a lively Q&A session afterwards. The event was filmed, and available on the SOAS Careers pages on Moodle.

To celebrate the UN coming to campus, SOAS Careers service offered SOAS students the chance to have tea with John Ericson before his talk. As we encourage students to ‘change your world’, we asked you to show us a time that you have done so! To enter, we asked students to upload a photo about a time that you have changed someone else’s world in the past year and tag it with #changeyourworld. This could be during a great internship, volunteering or work placement that they had been involved in, or anything else that has led to them changing another’s world.

The competition opened on 14 October, and ran for three weeks. We were overwhelmed with the quality and number of photos entered, along with the interest on social media.

The winner was decided by a panel of judges from SOAS, comprised of:

– Director & Reader Centre for International Studies & Diplomacy, Dr Dan Plesch

– Director Marketing, Student Recruitment and Communications, Susan Roth

– Photographer, Marketing & Student Recruitment, Glenn Ratcliffe

– Head of SOAS Careers Service, Philippa Hewett.

The judges were all awed at the quality of photos presented. Speaking about the competition, Philippa Hewett said: “It was a great privilege to be part of the judging panel and to see SOAS students making a real difference in the world. There are people in these photos who will always remember what was done for them, and I think we should all feel really proud to be part of an institution which teaches so many amazing people”.

After careful deliberation, the judges were so impressed with the entries that they selected 2 winning images. As it was such a hard decision to make and as the judges were so impressed with the entries, the Careers Service has decided to professionally print and frame all the photos entered to display in around Room 101.

The winning photos are:

Florence’s (MSc Development Studies, Graduating 2016) photo was taken in Sierra Leone. She travelled there with an ex-child soldier from Rwanda, who wanted to go and meet with child soldiers from Sierra Leone. The aim was to see how to best help those suffering following the civil war. They visited a ‘ghetto’ of ex-child soldiers, built on a rubbish heap by the port. Deep in the slum they found ex-rebels, who lived in this tunnel. They spoke about their experiences and the group discussed ways to help.

Georgina’s (MSc Development Economics, Graduating 2016) photo was taken in Chile at a march calling for the liberalisation of abortion laws. She spent the summer researching the effects of restrictive abortion laws on maternal health at the Human Rights Centre in Santiago, thanks to a scholarship from Santander. The results of the research will be presented at a special hearing at the Inter-American Human Rights Commission in Washington D.C.

Both winners had tea and a lengthy chat in the Careers Service with John Ericson, Chief of the Outreach Unit in the Office of Human Resources Management of the United Nations Secretariat in New York before his talk at SOAS on Wednesday 18 November.

 Alexis Fromageot

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