Thinking about joining the student group?

My name is Tomoko and I first started working with Amala in G9 while I was at UWC East. Back then, Amala was still an idea, and the founders, Polly and Mia, were still working their full-time jobs at the UWC International Office in London. When I signed up to be part of the student group at East, I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was only looking for something new to get involved in.

Long before I really understood what the founders had in mind, I was drawn in by the potential scalability of Amala. As I have gotten increasingly involved in supporting Amala, my understanding of its scalability has grown tremendously. I was initially captivated by the idea of Amala partnering with local organisations to deliver its courses. But now I understand that there is so much more to Amala’s reach than the number of learning hubs it has. Ultimately, Amala aims to provide students with the skills and attitudes to create positive change in their communities and share their lessons with others around them. 

From my point of view, the Amala focus group runs on a similar philosophy. There is more to the student group than supporting Amala. By educating ourselves, raising awareness, and reflecting on our work, we are building our own capacities as changemakers. Being part of the student group gave me opportunities to learn to listen to others, think more critically about the way I lead, and get to know and work with students from different grades. The skills and mindsets members of the student group develop aren’t just applicable to supporting Amala. And that’s important because making transformative education accessible to displaced youth is just one of the multitudinous causes worth supporting in today’s world. I truly believe that the changes I’ve seen in myself throughout my time in the student group will benefit me in whatever I choose to pursue. 

So if you’re interested in joining the student group but think you don’t know enough about the why behind Amala’s work, don’t worry. Everyone in the student group, the teacher facilitators included, are there to help each other learn. If you don’t feel as driven as you feel you should, don’t worry. For me, to find that motivation, it took getting a taste of the rewards, which in this case, was hearing from the students themselves about how impactful Amala’s courses can be. My drive is also fueled by others’ efforts, so being part of a group is definitely more inspiring than working towards something on your own. Even if you don’t quite buy into Amala’s work, the student group would love to have you – seeing things from a new perspective can be incredibly powerful.

We’ve tried to put together as many resources as we can for you to learn more about Amala and the student group, but if you have any unanswered questions, feel free to send us an email to the group at

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