The Fiona Watson Memorial Fund is a long-standing commitment from Heriot-Watt to remember one of our graduates who was killed in terrorist attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad on 19 August 2003.
Whilst working as a peacekeeper, she was one of 22 people killed that day in an attack which outraged the world, and brought into sharp focus the dangers inherent in important peacekeeping roles.
But from this horror came a shard of light. As the tributes and stories about Fiona flooded in, it became clear that not only was she a shining example of a respected professional in a difficult role doing a magnificent job, but she was a person cared for and loved by friends and colleagues across the world.
In response to this, and in conjunction with Fiona’s family, a memorial fund was set up to send a final year student from Heriot-Watt to take up an internship with the UN or a similar international organisation.
In 2012, languages student Colleen Tait was the ninth recipient of the fund, and spent her time at the United Nations in New York. You can read about her life-changing experience here or catch up with previous Award Recipients in our Fiona Watson Memorial Fund Newsletter.
It is without exaggeration that I can say that my three months in New York were packed with some of the best experiences of my life – Colleen Tait.
To find out more about the history of the Fund, read about the experiences of previous recipients, and to donate towards the continuation of the Fund, please click here.