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Africa is so much more than communities ravaged by poverty and societies divided by conflict. A new initiative wants to show students the possibilities and challenges arising from rapidly developing countries
Bjørn and Jakob just got back from a two-week trip to the heart of Africa. Travelling through Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania, the two have been preparing what will be a mobile summer school for university students this summer.
”The overall theme is international development. We want to show some of the thousands of other sides of Africa than what your regular newspaper will give you”, says Jakob Dreyer, a student of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen.
The two students have been trying to find a diverse set of people, from witch doctors to human rights lawyers, to produce a varied and exciting programme.
”Most young people like us normally travel to this continent in search of adventure or a feel-good experience. This summer school is none of that, and although students can stay longer if they want, we have deliberately steered away from safaris and drumming lessons”, says Bjørn Rønhof Qvortrup, who studies International Business and Politics at Copenhagen Business School.
The organisers have lived and worked in different countries in the region, and the idea for the summer school dates back to that time.
”Living and working there makes you realise that there are so many aspects and images of the region that are never shown in the mainstream media. It’s interesting, because most European countries have a strong presence, with foreign aid and a lot of projects, but how these projects are organised and how they work is something that we rarely hear about”, says Bjørn.
For three intense weeks, summer school participants will drive from Kampala in Uganda to Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and end the trip back in Kampala.
They will meet with a range of people, from political activists to former child soldiers, refugees, farmers, foreign entrepreneurs, educators and innovators, and everything in between.
The trip takes place from 9-31 July 2014. The total cost is DKK 19.000, which includes all expenses. The organisation behind the trip is non-profit and also works to establish a permanent academy in Uganda.
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