Yasmin’s reflection on URI Global and Sub-regional meeting in Sarajevo, 14-17 September 2017

I visited my first URI held event, after having spent months getting to know URI it fruitions through Angelina Vladikova (BRIDGES CC and URI E Liaison Officer). Furthermore, it was the first gathering I was visiting that brought together so many different cultures, faiths and indigenous traditions. I was not quite sure what to expect for the next few days ahead of me.


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Angelina Vladikova, The Right Rev. William E. Swing (Founder and President of URI) and Yasmin Mahomed Valiallah


At the minute of my arrival I was welcomed pleasantly by the URI family, I was astonished to see the vast difference of cultures mixing together over coffee about worldly affairs, politics, family, business, and even sharing the casual joke! It opened my eyes as well as my heart and it was dear to see that this was a place of no judgement and a safe space to be yourself.

During my time in the hotel I joined the “Learning to Live Together” workshop and I found them immensely productive and helpful. It was insightful to learn about other people’s experiences of their CC and become aware of current affairs within their country and it seemed there was a parallel, fundamental problem amongst every country. Through potent conversation and partaking in energizers, I acquired ideas and practices that I could take back and apply to the CC I will be part of.


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Learning to Live Together workshop participants


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Refugee crisis workshop


What I found to be the most inspirational part of my trip , was getting to know about Youth for Peace CC, established in Bosnia and Herzegovina by a group of young people who all had the same objective in mind: PEACE. They all shared and experienced the aftermath of conflict from the Bosnian War, however they used their differences in ethnicity and religion to overcome the barriers that stood between the youth of the country. Over the course of three years they have set up over thirty workshops. Their incredible work has led to successful spread of unity amongst the youth nationally and I only wish for their goodwill to grow globally.


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URI Europe sub-regional meeting participants 


Upon reflection on the preamble, purpose and principles of URI, one particular principle stood out to me that I had assimilated over the course of the few days and wish to incorporate it into Student Aid Drop:

“We maintain the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct, prudent use of resources, and fair and accurate disclosure of information.”

Personally, it highlights the spectrum of elements that unite to create a constructive URI CC. I believe integrity and honesty are the foundation to upholding and promoting ethical principles and such values ultimately translate to happiness and success. Moreover, success that it is not limited within the group, but that reaches out to a sizeable audience of different cultures and spiritual expressions.

Integrity is a value that can enhance and augment other positive values. Though it may not be acquired overnight, integrity will shape who you are as a person and develop overtime. I aspire that Student Aid Drop exhibit these values and makes them the roots to a propitious and sustainable CC.


Yasmin Mahomed Valiallah


"We need to be the change we wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi