Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

international students - archive

student testimonies

Maureen Hamiyanze, Zambia
MA in Agriculture, University of Aberystwyth

International student - Maureen HamiyanzeI chose to study in the UK because of the quality of education provided in the area of Agriculture. My goal has been to contribute towards improvement in rural livelihoods in Zambia by working in sustainable development programmes.

Upon returning to Zambia, I worked on projects and leadership training for community development and poverty reduction. Over 40 income generating projects including poultry, irrigation and sewing projects have been established. 800 households with orphans have benefitted.

I am now employed by the Ministry of Agriculture and am responsible for coordinating animal production in the province.

Benedicto Kondowe, Malawi
Masters in Development Studies, University of East Anglia

International student - Benedicto KondoweThe first days in the UK were difficult for many students from developing countries. I had doubts that the academic style would help me realise my goal. The combination of teaching methods with student interaction was unheard of in Malawi. But soon I began to uncover a lot of myths about underdevelopment and its causes.

I participated fully in extra curricular activities. I was elected Vice President of the Africa Society and was nominated to represent students on the Senate Appeals Committee. 

Put together, these experiences will go a long way in improving the programme quality of the Malawi Council of Churches and Malawi in general, in the processes of change to alleviate human suffering and reducing poverty.

Shamaila Kanwal, Pakistan
LLM, King's College, London

International student - Shamaila KanwalI studied on a World Council of Churches scholarship. I specialised in human rights and United Nations laws and am now a lawyer at the High Courts of Lahore taking up cases of human rights and public interest.

Study in the UK provided me with an opportunity to live independently and meet people from many different communities. It enhanced my sensitivity and flexibility towards people from different cultures and nations.

I hope and pray that more young people, particularly from the less developed world, with plenty of intelligence will continue to have an opportunity to study abroad. They will not only improve their own life but those of others as well.

Jonathan Razon, Philippines
Masters in Peace Studies, University of Bradford

International student - Jonathan RazonI desired to broaden my knowledge and experience life in a foreign land to make me more effective as a pastor (Jonathan is an active human rights advocate among Filipino people, the Cagayanos in particular).

In the UK, life was not easy but I made a promise to myself that I should finish my study. On arriving home, I was very excited thinking that I could contribute a lot of changes and innovations based on what I have learned.

In the UK, it surprised me to learn that many different people are living together peacefully. Coming from a tropical country, the UK weather is very cold, but travelling was easy and affordable.

Najma Gill - Pakistan
MA Educational Leadership and Management, University of Glamorgan

International student - Najma GillI work with a very poor community in the Sarhad Rural Support Programme in Pakistan. My area of expertise is girls' education and social mobilisation.

The reason for this choice is that I found that women are suffering from a lot of discrimination including lack of a basic education. I am now working to improve their access to assets, capital and knowledge so their status is improved and they can participate in decision making in domestic and national affairs. I intend to devote my life to this purpose.

I am grateful to CISN for help and support throughout my stay, from my welcome at the airport to departure from the UK.

Linnet Ouna, Kenya
MA in International Child Welfare, University of East Anglia

International student - Linnet OunaI work for the Child Welfare Society of Kenya in family support, adoption, foster and residential care for vulnerable children. Child labour is escalating due to high levels of poverty. There is an increasing number of Kenyan children displaced by war. Some are taken from the country.

We have now started successful alternative family training and support through which children are kept in their social networks and communities.

I appreciate the support I received from CISN through CTBI. My stay in England was a very good and rewarding experience.

James Kayizzi, Uganda
MA Development Studies, University of Edinburgh

International student - James Kayizzi I work at Mbarara University where I am responsible for medical students during their community placement. Following the successful completion of my studies in the UK, I was also appointed Coordinator for the Healthy Child Uganda Project which works with local communities to manage their own health through education.

From December 2007, I became a Project Officer in charge of health and education in a district of Uganda, funded by the Icelandic Development Agency.

My training is used in a voluntary capacity for the Church of Uganda in HIV prevention work.

Rima Barsoum, Syria
MPhil in Interreligious studies, Birmingham University

International student - Rima BarsoumRima was employed by the Middle East Council of Churches as National Coordinator of the Youth Programme. She also worked with Iraqi refugees in Syria.

She has recently been appointed the Programme Executive for Christian-Muslim Relations at the World Council
of Churches.

Rima says interreligious dialogue can be a continuous witness of religious people working together in shared responsibility for the common good.


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