My name is Maja Nymann, I am a 19 year old student of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, originally from Campbell River, Vancouver Island. I am looking for financial support towards my volunteer/internship trip Uganda Africa this January.
Growing up on the Island, I skied competitively and grew up in the mountains and the wilderness of the beautiful west coast. I have a lot of respect for the mountains and natural parks I am priveleged enough to call home and want to see them continue to be available to future generations. Having just started my second year here in vancouver studying Environmental Resource Managment, I cant wait to make a difference in developmental trends and the way we construct future society using energy and resources.
This year, I took a chance and applied for an internship/volunteer oportunity with a program called Semester In Development, run by Insight Global Education. This program takes 30 students and brings them to Uganda, Africa for 90 days to retain new perspectives on global issues and the lifestyle in this region of Africa. The program schedule combines in-class learning abroad at Markere University in the capital city of Kampala, interning with one of their many partnered NGO's, as well as buildinginternational connections and living in the heart of Africa.
I did not know if I experiencially or financially had what it took to be accepted for this program as it is very competitive to get a spot and the program fee is that of $4[phone redacted], depending on the classes each student takes and other variables, to be paid out by December. This number hung over my head as I did the application, knowing I would also be looking into the cost of vaccines, travel visas, internet and phone billing, food and living costs, and of course flight tickets all the way from Vancouver and back. I asked around to some of my older friends studying at various universities and colleges around BC and everyone told me that coop, internships and work experince was ultimately the goal at the end of your educational path and that this could be a life changing trip. After a lot of contemplation I decided that this was something I wanted to do and was more than overjoyed when accepted.
As much as I am driven to study and get my degree, tuition and living cost of students have gone up considerably in the past decade and my friends and I are all struggling with the towering debt we are accumulating before even our 20th birthdays. Starting post secondary schooling in North America poses a huge risk financially and it makes studying and working towards what you are passionate about extremely difficult. I have worked part time jobs, sometimes multiple at a time, since I was 14 years old although money has never come easy, I have learnt its value. This trip will be the biggest of my life to date and I am looking for support to try to make it more managable, so I can get the most of the experince with as little anxiety to the demanding financial investment as I can.
I think that opportunities to travel, learn and work abroad should be readily available not just to students but to everyone and that exposing yourself to as many different places, people and ways of life as you can is the best way to understand and learn about the world around us. I cannot wait to find out where this adventure will take me in my career and my life and any donation to help make it possible would be greatly appreciated.
- Stephanie Forrest
- Scott Beaudin
- Gerd Sandholtet
- Marc Poirier
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