Exciting New Year 2021

First of all I would like to wish everyone a prosperous, peaceful, healthy and happy New Year 2021! May you all have a blessed year full of love, positive attitude, self-care and happiness… Hopefully this year is a year of healing and transformation. Use our past to strengthen us and lift up others! ❤

Like almost everyone else, I celebrated New Year’s Eve, because of the strict rules, with my mother, sister and my sister’s friend. It was peaceful without fireworks since it’s forbidden here in Belgium. We did our countdown with champagne and watched some movies together. 🙂 It wasn’t the typical NYE party I’m used to, but a moment together with our loved ones is worth celebrating!

2020 has been the toughest year for everyone. All the more I realize that 2020 is over so quickly. I am so excited to announce that I officially graduated in the month of December and I received my diploma and extra surprises by mail. It is not the kind of proclamation session I expected to have, but this will not undermine my happiness and pride. Under such difficult circumstances, I told myself to never give up and work hard for what I want in life. The more I believe in myself, the more I get motivated to make things done. 🙂

On January 23rd I will go to Uganda for my internship abroad. I am studying towards an Advanced Bachelor Degree ‘International Cooperation for North-South Relations’ which focuses on international cooperation and intercultural exchange between North and South. This will be a whole new experience for me. Even though I already gained experience with an internship abroad in my previous bachelor program, as I mentioned in my previous blog post.

I am looking forward to new adventures that will have an impact on my life. This program that I am following will offer me many opportunities for my future career. It is a privilege to be able to follow a five month internship program abroad to further implement my expertise and knowledge in Uganda.

However, I am aware of the circumstances of COVID-19, so it is still uncertain how much the regulations will influence the whole trip. However, we are lucky to be able to travel a week after the elections. I am going with seven fellow students and we will go into quarantine in Kampala together for a week before we go to our seperate internships.

Despite all the uncertainties, I am very excited to visit and explore another side of Africa. Uganda is on one of my bucket lists to visit, so I am lucky to have both the experience of the internship program and exploring the country. I am going to integrate in a completely different environment than what I am used to. I will try to learn the local language which is called the Lango language in Lira, in the northern region of Uganda where my internship will take place. The Lango language is part of the Luo languages that are spoken in the North. I’m going to do my internship in an organisation called CCVS (Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations). The organisation promotes mental health and wellbeing of children, youth and adults. It also conducts research and support for formerly abducted and war-affected children and communities in the district of Lira. I’ll give you more clear details about the organisation once I’ll start my internship.

As a multicultural child living in both countries (Belgium and Cameroon), it has helped me to be flexible in the way I deal with intercultural differences. Thanks to my previous experiences as a multicultural child, my internship in Costa Rica and other volunteer work dealing with the same aspect has helped me to understand and be open to different cutlures. My curiousity has helped me to understand how the world works in terms of social, economic, political and ecological context. This has made me aware of the fact that I am a citizen of the world, while I keep abreast of the situation in other countries by reading news and scientific articles and watching the news and documentaries.

I want to take you with me on my new trip to Uganda. I will keep you informed about my stay, the projects I am going to work on and the places I am going to visit. It will be an exciting stay in Uganda. I am going to share a lot of photos and videos so that you can follow my journey through the five months stay. 😀 🙂

Cultural differences should not seperate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings collective strength that can benefit all of humanity. Also: Intercultural dialogue is the best guarantee of a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Robert Alan Aurthur

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