Alex Warwicker – 2013

Alex Warwicker: To what extent did the international community fail to prevent, or lessen the impact of, the genocide in Rwanda?

My final product takes the form of a written essay roughly 5,500 words in length, which details the succeses and failings of the UN in its conduct of the peacekeeping mission. I also make brief forays into the history of the region, the response of various developed nations, the refugee crisis, and the ongoing wars in the Congo. The conclusion I have come to is that, although the men on the ground in Rwanda through the genocide bear no fault for the failure to stop it, the actions of the UN and the Western World completely failed in the stated goal of helping the Rwandan people. In particular, the decision to lobotomise UNAMIR just as the genocide began was unforgivable, and let to the deaths of hundreds of thousands. This pattern of misintepreting the situation and pursuing realpolitik continued through the refugee crisis and into the Congo Wars.

From completing the EPQ project, I have gained an in depth knowledge of the development of poetry in the history of Literature. The project gave me an ability to work completely independently to achieve my goals. It also taught me that time-keeping is extremely important when conducting work independently. I was able to see that I am able to work alone, which gives me a confidence in that when I go to university, I will be experienced in the independent style of learning, centred upon the motivation of the student.

Through the process of creating an analytical essay, I have developed my analytical and research skills. I was able to develop the skills that I had already gained as a Literature and History student in looking at the views of critics to enlighten my own argument.

I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to study Literature in more depth, in an area which I had previously had no expertise in. This confirmed my passion, and assured me that studying Literature at university was an ideal path for myself.

I found that I was organised, and more than capable of working indepently to complete the project. If I were to do the project again however, I would have completed more of the projetct in the previous summer, when I had weeks of uninterrupted time. The deadlines of other subjects did cause stress, although my planning enabled me to complete all tasks on time.

If I were to advise anyone planning to undertake the EPQ project, I would state that a passion for your chosen title is essential, as well as an ability to self-regulate in completing work.