Jordan Koletic – Human Rights and International Studies – 1 August 2017

For the past year Jordan Koletic has been studying for a masters degree in Human Rights and International Studies at the University of Glasgow, where she is due to complete in September 2017. To enable her to follow this course of study, which is close to her heart, she was awarded a $30,000 Rotary Global Scholars Grant through the Rotary Foundation, Rotary Club of Lake Norman Huntersville and District 7680. She talked to the members with obvious enthusiasm about her course, which is highly regarded internationally and attracts students from many different countries.

She began by recognising the importance and delight of diversity, not only in world affairs but also at a local level such as within our own club. Everybody has a story she said and others should respect this and listen to what people have to say. This was brought home to her during her years of experience studying social conditions in Kenya and Tanzania where she lived with native families. She invited us to imagine life in a Kenyan village compound and vividly described what we might see and feel. Her time overseas brought Jordan to a realisation that that she wanted to serve humanity by making life easier for others in whatever ways she could. Her more recent studies have reaffirmed that commitment through her research into “humanitarian activism”.

Jordan went on to talk of the power of modern communications in widening awareness of humanitarian issues whilst recognising that although people and organisations might have common goals, their visions of how to reach these could be very different.

A lively question and answer session addressed matters such as the definition of “human rights”; what most needs doing in Africa; the problem of corruption in individuals and government; the ineffectiveness of the UN; and self-interest versus national and global interest.

Charles Gray thanked Jordan for her eloquent and thought-provoking talk, and noted that she was a tremendous advert for youth today.