Over the course of the 2012-13 academic year, the LSE Annual Fund supported a number of LSE Students’ Union’s (LSESU) international societies. From Germany to India and Pakistan to Colombia, such societies reflect the diverse nature of the School’s student body. By helping societies in LSESU promote the culture of their nations, the Annual Fund is delighted to play a role in bringing such diversity to Houghton Street and beyond.
At the beginning of 2013 the LSESU India Society hosted India Week, dedicated to raising awareness of Indian culture through the eyes of its LSE students. The week included a variety of events, attended by over 1,500 people, including an Indo-European trade seminar, a performance by British-Indian bhangra artist H-Dhami and a cricket match against the Pakistan Society, attended by former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin. “Receiving financial support from the LSE Annual Fund meant that we could translate our ideas into reality whilst increasing the overall optimism of the organising committee,” said organiser, Kamlesh Walia. Pakistan Week, also supported by the Annual Fund, followed immediately afterwards, with the cricket match marking the transition from one week to the other. “This support will go a long way in helping our mission to improve the image of our country, promote Pakistani culture and provide a forum for debate on Pakistan-oriented issues,” said Mir Moeen Mahmood.
On something of a different note, the LSESU Colombian Society hosted an academic event in March concerning the on-going peace talks between the Colombian government and the country’s largest insurgency movement, the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). The Colombian conflict, fought since 1964, is one of the longest-standing armed conflicts on the planet, and the event aimed to explore the prospects for peace talks initiated in October 2012, based on historical comparisons. It was attended by figures from the European Commission, the Foreign Office and the Colombian Embassy. “The LSE Annual Fund support was the first and most important step in the organisation of this event, enabling us to not only proceed with its organisation but also ask for support from other sponsors. Such help was instrumental,” said event organiser David Forero.
Elsewhere the Annual Fund’s support helped the German Society host its annual Symposium, a week-long conference that featured speeches and discussion panels regarding German politics, economics and culture, including a talk from 2013 chancellorship candidate, Peer Steinbrück. In March the Hellenic Society used an Annual Fund award to organise a series of events looking at Greece’s future in Europe, while the Japan Society held a cultural night with a range of Japanese activities.
The Annual Fund allocates donations received from alumni, friends, parents and School leaders to support School strategic priorities, as well as innovative projects and initiatives around campus that might not otherwise receive funding. To learn more about or to donate towards the Annual Fund, please visit the Annual Fund homepage.