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Royal charity spotlight: Professors Without Borders

Professors Without Borders (PWB) was founded by Tessy Antony, Princess of Luxembourg alongside Dr Caroline Varin and Majeks Walker with the mantra of “Educate, Inspire, Empower.”

The organisation explains on their website, “Our ambition for Professors Without Borders is to improve teacher mobility around the world so that every student can experience a dedicated, professional and inspiring learning environment that will fire them up for their next stages in life.

“Education, for us, is not just about learning. It’s also about doing. We want to inspire our students to confidently engage with the world and contribute to making it a better place, starting with their immediate environment.”

PWB has professors, who are trained ahead of their arrival at summer schools, who travel to four different countries to provide education in a liberal arts model. The courses are adapted to each country, and universities are able to request specific courses. Students are usually undergraduate and graduate pupils at university.

The organisation aims to “make students aware of the world as well as encourage them to develop a responsible and responsive attitude to their immediate surroundings.”

Last year, I spoke to the Princess about PWB, its creation and what inspired it. She explained:

Just like any entrepreneur, looking back on what has been achieved since we first sat down and decided to make this work, I cannot help but be impressed and a little bit in shock. Professors Without Borders started off with three people, Caroline, Majeks and myself who decided that we wanted to make the great educational opportunities we received available to all.

“There is never a ‘right’ time to begin a start-up, but we all picked up a chunk of the work and built on it, at night, in the early morning, between two tasks at work and home. We all have little (and big) children and full-time jobs, so this was a work of love and hope more than a career move. And yet…

In two years, we have operated five summer schools, two in Sierra Leone in 2016, one in 2017 also in Sierra Leone, followed by our first project in Asia in Bangkok and another one in Uganda at the first women’s university in Africa. We have touched so many lives already, inspired students and worked with lecturers locally to address the needs of the community. I am amazed at all the people who have volunteered their time, Colin, Ena, Richard, Charlotte and all our talented lecturers and interns. Our idea has taken flight and received such an enthusiastic welcome from so many!”

Professors Without Borders currently operates in Sierre Leon, Uganda, India, Thailand.

The organisation does plan to expand into other countries; however, they have to be invited and have the allocated funds to expand into new regions.

So, if you wish to help out with PWB, Tessy explained last year, “There are several ways to get involved. We hire volunteers to help us with the admin, logistical side. We do work with teachers and researchers, too. For them, they need to formally apply through the website. We do have a waiting list for this at the moment. Last but definitely not least, we need sponsors. People who believe in our vision and are able to support us financially. Look at our website to find out more:”

In June of 2019, Princess Tessy was in Sweden to participate in Vätternrundan – dubbed as the “the largest recreational bicycle ride in the world.” Her participation was in benefit of Professors Without Borders, and she launched a crowdfunding campaign of £12,000 to benefit the organisation’s summer school programmes.

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About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. She's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.