A final farewell to the class of 2019
in emotional and inspiring leavers’ ceremony
Pestalozzi International Foundation was honoured to welcome their Patron HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO to their final Leavers’ Ceremony to be held at the Pestalozzi Village in Sedlescombe.
The annual Leavers’ Ceremony is held to honour the academic and personal achievements of the Pestalozzi students, who have completed their A-Level studies at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam.
The ceremony was the last of its kind to be held at the village before PGL take over the site in September and the next cohort of Pestalozzi scholars join Atlantic College in Wales, part of the United World College network. This made it an even more poignant evening. The mood however, was one of joy and optimism with inspiring speeches from Pestalozzi students, their Patron, Chairman and Chief Executive. His Royal Highness recalled his first visit to the village, congratulated the graduating class and expressed his support for the next stage of the Pestalozzi journey.
Photo – Professor Stuart Laing, Councillor Terry Bryne, HRH The Duke of Gloucester and Vice Lord Lieutenant Sara Stoner © Andy Kerr Photography
Executive Director of United World Colleges International, Jens Waltermann told guests about the new partnership between Pestalozzi International Foundation and UWC, highlighting the shared values of the two organisations.
Students told the audience about how life-changing their two years at Pestalozzi has been and how they will endeavour to use the opportunity that the Pestalozzi Scholarship had given them to go out and make a difference in the world.
Nischal Poudel from Nepal spoke eloquently about his journey and the next steps: “Societies, nations, and the world will undergo massive changes in the next 20 years, and I can guarantee you, that these people [the Pestalozzi students] are going to play a pivotal role in making all of that happen.”
This was also echoed by Ruvimbo from Zimbabwe. She said “We aren’t wired to watch our world be destroyed; we aren’t born with the capacity to watch others suffer and do nothing to help…” she continued “at Pestalozzi l have been surrounded by daring leaders who made me tap into the world of changing the norms and more eager to bring about a change to our faulty communities.”
Prabidhik KC from Nepal ended his speech by making a commitment to the audience “We promise to work for the betterment of humanity and to inspire young minds to make a difference. We grew in the heart of Pestalozzi. From now onwards, Pestalozzi will forever grow in our hearts.”
Students also thanked their teachers at Claremont for their support and guidance over the last two years, with special thanks given to their Physics and Maths teacher Mr Aaron Eckhoff. “It’s been an absolute pleasure working with these inspirational young people. Their determination, hard work and passion for learning made my job a joy and I wish them all the best in the future.”
Susan Walton, Chief Executive Officer, spoke about the future of Pestalozzi and thanked the trustees and staff in what has been a roller-coaster year for the charity. She added that Pestalozzi’s graduating students had to be bold and lead the way in building foundations for the future, even if we don’t yet know what that looks like.
The Class of 2019 © Andy Kerr Photography