Excitement levels for the 3CMGM students reach new heights as their departure date comes closer. January 4th, 20 students start their second semester in Bhubaneswar, East India, where they will be studying and working for four months.
“Our campus grounds are situated relatively close to the Nepalese border. Asha Kiran, an Indian girls’ orphanage is located some 10 minutes from where we will reside”, says 3CMGM student Ameyo Kugbe. “During the weekends and after class, we will dedicate our time and willingness to help the girls, their teachers and the staff of the orphanage,” she continues.
Femke De Cock is a Belgian student in the Master program. She, too, worries about the little girls. “The recent earthquake that hit Nepal also destroyed a lot of the Asha Kiran’s facilities. So besides our helping hands, the orphanage could use all financial support possible. That’s why our class is organizing some fundraising events.”
The hotdog and the home-cooked soup sale of last Friday was one of these events. “Instead of the regular sandwich or salad, we were happy to be titled the AMS-cookery team for one day and feed our fellow students with something special,” leading chef Madeline Elardo joyfully cheers out.
The culinary buzz in the Foyer also convinced some professors to join in on this lunch for charity. This way, everybody warmed up to the atmosphere. With some much-appreciated help from AMS’ hospitality staff, the 3CMGM team welcomed students from all programs.
As a Russian future entrepreneur of the MIE-program, Victoria Stepanyan confides to me that she really liked the soup. “But because I’m a vegetarian, next time it would be nice to taste a real vegetarian curry.” Pakistani student Raz (MIE) smiles and nods in approvingly.
Besides food events, 3CMGM also launched an online fundraising page. All profits will be used to provide housing, books, health insurance and other basic needs that will enable the little girls to live and to study in a safe and healthy environment.
Laurien is a Belgian student of the Master in Management. Some years ago she helped to build a school in Africa and she has some good advice. “Often, new constructions in developing countries are built with basic materials and basic techniques, so you will definitely be able to help. The orphans will appreciate the 3CMGM students being there, as they will feel empowered and appreciated. Make them feel like they can do anything, if only they are willing to work hard for it.”
And what about the country itself? Ashley, born and raised in Kenya, thinks she will be impressed most by the large number of people living in India: “While it’s relatively quiet here in Antwerp, I suppose big Indian cities will really make me feel small. I’m also curious to get to know the Indian style of teaching.”
If their first event in the Foyer has showed one thing, it is that the 3CMGM students can feel the support from their fellows. “In the end, it’s about doing something for the people that are less fortunate than we are. We hope to make a difference, no matter how big or small it may be,” they decisively conclude.