After (UWC), I came back to Malta. In this way I can give back by aiding in the creation of a sustainable future for my country.
Claude Bajada from Malta graduated from Lester B. Pearson UWC of the Pacific in 2004 and is currently studying Medicine at the University of Malta. Since graduating, he has continued his involvement with the UWC movement by volunteering for the National Committee of Malta.
“UWC, to me, means liberty. They have given me the, somewhat paradoxical, gift of incoherence. Perhaps, such a statement needs some explanation.
“Before I went to Pearson my life, like that of most Maltese 16 year olds whom I knew, was very well laid out. I knew what sixth form I wanted to go to, what university I had to go to and what course I was destined to take. My life was one straight line, there were no bumps, no edges or swirls. It was a line of determination and direction but no passion. There was no great joy or desire to know everything there is to know about a subject. I was not in awe of the great differences in perspectives that existed amongst people in this world and yet the way that at the same time there is a sort of emotional oneness that exists amongst all people. When you live all of your life in a country that is just 136 km2 your global perspective is limited to say the least. It is not that I did not have the desire to know more, it is that I did not have the opportunity to.
“This is why I say that I have been given the gift of incoherence. My straight line is no longer coherent; it is no longer straight. After I left College I spent one year as a full time volunteer at a respite center in Ireland, putting into practice many of the service ideals that the College had taught me.
“After that, I came back to Malta. In this way I can give back by aiding in the creation of a sustainable future for my country. I did eventually find my way back onto that straight line that I had drawn for myself way back when I was 16. Back then I had planned to go into medicine, but now that I am a medical student, I find every opportunity to put a bump into that line. I was always very active in the Malta Medical Student Association, I joined the Malta Group of Amnesty International and I worked with the Malta Red Cross teaching English in refugee camps.
“The one thing I am most proud of is an initiative that a friend and I came up with to mark Human Rights Day (10th December 2007). We went to refugee centres and to primary schools on the island for several months before the day, taking papers, pencils and all sorts of art equipment and we got the kids to paint. For the big day we succeeded in securing a space at a popular exhibition center in Malta, we held a day’s workshop for the kids and then exhibited all of their work – it was a true UWC experience.
“As for the future – I never know. The one thing I do know is that there is no line any more to guide my clean and coherent future – I hope it be one of diversity, excitement and purpose.”