In 1955, educational pioneer Kurt Hahn delivered a speech at the NATO Defense College in Paris. During his visit, he was inspired by the cooperation and loyalty shown by military men who had very recently been on opposite sides in World War II.
Hahn had already been involved in the founding of a number of schools and education organisations, and his ideas on education were constantly evolving. At the time, he talked frequently about the power of education as a route to peace, as well as a need to reverse the “decline of compassion” in society.
It was through the convergence of these ideas that UWC was eventually born.
In a 1958 speech, he said:
“There are three ways of trying to capture the young; one is to preach at them — I’m afraid that is a hook without a worm; the second is to coerce them... and to tell them ‘You must volunteer’... the third is an appeal which never fails,‘You are needed'.”
~ Kurt Hahn
Structures that reinforce a peace-focused education at UWC Thailand: