Armel Nibasumba ’16 and Rabeya Jawaid ’16 were invited to attend the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City from Sept. 25-27.
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
Nibasumba and Jawaid, who are both alums of United World College (UWC) international schools, were invited through their affiliation with UWC, a CGI member organization, to join over one thousand leaders from across sectors in participating in the ninth CGI annual meeting.
The theme for this year’s annual meeting was “Mobilizing for Impact,” and the meeting’s agenda was designed to enable the participants — largely a mix of chief executives, heads of state and celebrities — to consider how they might improve the ways in which they leverage people, organizations and resources in their achieving the Commitments to Action made by all attendees.
Jawaid and Nibasumba both attended the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) conference in St. Louis last April, a similar conference which invites university students from all over the world to make commitments to global social issues. The two students also received summer grants from the MCSE to implement their Commitments to Action made while at CGI U.
Jawaid, who hails from Karachi, Pakistan, received $3,000 from MCSE to implement her Commitment to Action over the summer to provide deaf women in Pakistan with vocational training. Nibasumba, a native of Burundi, also received a grant from the MCSE to teach peace-building and entrepreneurship skills to young adults in his home country.
The two sophomores were invited to participate in a panel session moderated by Chris Isham, vice president of CBS. The two Middlebury students, along with a third UWC alum, spoke about their respective social enterprise projects and how UWC alums can continue working towards the school’s commitment to sustainable peace after graduation.
“It was inspirational to be among such talented, successful individuals,” said Jawaid of the experience. “I talked at length to UWC coordinators, [CBS Vice President] Chris Isham and [Standard Chartered Bank CEO] Peter Sands all of whom inspired me to not give up on Pakistan, which can be a challenge. It enabled me to look for networks and people who can help me in the future to work for global harmony and peace.”
“There were so many people doing incredible things, and it just inspires you,” added Nibasumba. “I was surrounded by other people who are committed to helping people.It was great to feel like I was a part of the movers and shakers. And it was a good reminder that there are so many problems and issue around our communities that we can actually change. You don’t need to be Barack Obama, you don’t need to try to change the whole country. But you can change your community, change your school, change your hallway in your dorm. That’s what CGI is about.”