Alum Corner with Karda Roland-Berge

Karda Roland-Berge explored various interests in the Social Sciences during her time at Capilano University and then pursued Anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal. After graduation, she moved to London, England, to complete her Master’s in International Development at Kings College. Karda has gained valuable experience working with organizations like Action Against Hunger and Unilever. She spent time in Peru, where she started an NGO called Earth Peru, focusing on environmental education in impoverished areas. Karda fondly recalls her time at the Waldorf School, which instilled a passion for pursuing her dreams and thinking independently when making life decisions.

After graduating from high school, I spent the summer in Europe and then began university in September at Capilano University. I loved Cap, and it was the perfect transition place to explore my interests in the Social Sciences further. In my second year, I discovered my love for Anthropology. I continued to pursue this discipline at Concordia University in Montreal, where I fell in love with the city, culture and the freedom of living on my own. I spent three years working towards my BA in Anthropology with a minor in Diversity and the Contemporary World, which covered a wide range of historical, as well as political and environmental issues. I loved it. Upon graduation, I went through a three-month period of, “I have just graduated, and I have no idea what I am going to do”! The panic stage passed, and I occupied my time with graduate study applications. I worked part-time as a Youth Coordinator for underprivileged children, where I organized and ran weekly cooking workshops. Once my time in Montreal ended, I moved back to Vancouver for a brief time, and upon my acceptance to Kings College, I moved to London, England, in late July of last year. Over the summer, I worked as an intern at a charity called ABC Trust (Action for Brazil’s Children), where I was an assistant to both the Project Manager and the Fundraising Officer.

I am currently in the midst of my Master’s program in International Development and am looking specifically at emerging economies and inclusive development. I have finished my lectures and seminars, and I am now embarking on the dreaded (although I am excited) dissertation that will take up the majority of my summer. I recently found out that I will have the pleasure of working with Save the Children UK (an international NGO), where I will be conducting research for them, which will provide them with information on social protection systems and nutrition policy in Latin America. More specifically, I hope to explore the political/institutional approach that national governments take to incorporate nutrition-sensitive interventions into social protection schemes. I look forward to seeing what the future holds and will continue juggling my time between work and play. London is one of the most dynamic and exciting places I have ever lived. Never a dull moment! After completing my MA in International Development at Kings College in 2015, I decided to try my luck at working in London.

I landed a temp gig at a reputable organization called Community Development Foundation. I then landed an internship with Action Against Hunger (as an Advocacy Intern) and Unilever (as a Social Impact Intern). It was interesting to work for both an international charity and a corporation simultaneously. It gave me great perspective and experience. During my time in London, I had the opportunity to go and work in Peru for a small local NGO in Trujillo. It was a difficult decision, but I decided to take the plunge in the end, and I moved to Trujillo last September. Life in Trujillo was filled with uncertainty, change and a whole other range of emotions. Still, I am grateful for the experience because it exposed me to a rich culture, history and, most of all, delicious food. While there, I started a small NGO called Earth Peru that works to incorporate environmental education into schools in impoverished areas within the city.

The past few years have been extremely hectic, challenging, exciting and utterly terrifying, and I am constantly reminded of my Waldorf education and the direct impact it has had on my life thus far. It taught me to remain faithful to what I am passionate about and to think independently when making those big scary life decisions. As cheesy as this sounds, I would advise learning to appreciate the little things that life throws you and make the best of what you are given. You are so lucky to have been given this unique opportunity to graduate from the Waldorf School, and you have been given the tools to tackle those big dreams!

I have fond memories of our annual Christmas and May Fairs, running around with my classmates, eating treats from the Cookie House, Candle Dipping and skipping around the Maypole. But I think my favourite times were the High School outdoor adventure trips we took each year. These trips were physically challenging (even if you were like me and chose the ‘easier’ hikes), and they were a time to enjoy each other’s company through the good and the bad. Pitching tents in the middle of the night, trekking in the rain, and eating freeze-dried food always makes you appreciate that hot shower waiting for you at home after a week-long wilderness adventure.

Compiled by Ronaye Ireland, for Development May 2015

Karda Roland-Berge
Karda Roland-BergeClass of 2010

The Vancouver Waldorf School provides an experiential, age-appropriate approach to education based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner that inspires students to love learning, to be creative, open-minded, and compassionate. With a curriculum that integrates all academics with the arts and social learning, Waldorf Education develops not only the left and right hemispheres of the brain but the whole human being. A child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual development is considered equally, supporting a conscious unfolding of the individuality within each student. Waldorf graduates possess capacities for empathy and clear, creative and independent thinking that enables them to carry out a chosen course of action with moral courage and social responsibility.