UNICEF Student Team at the UT rekindled

| Jennifer Cutinha

A group of UT students is starting up a new ‘UNICEF student team’, now that a local UNICEF association was inactive for the last three years. They want to rekindle things with a project titled ‘Mama Lumière’ in Burundi. Chairman Aditya Pappu and Louise Rempkens (PR) about the team and their plans.

Why has this team been inactive until now?

Pappu: ‘When it was founded three years ago, it did not have a good number of volunteers to carry out the projects. I was always interested in social volunteering. I realised there was no UNICEF Student Team actively based in Enschede and therefore, after visiting an information session in The Hague, I decided to form one myself.’

Rempkens: ‘I was also looking for the same in January and that’s how Aditya and I met, and we decided to organize this together.’

What are your goals?

Pappu: ‘UNICEF has this country-wide initiative consisting of student activities related to fundraising and creating social awareness. Every year they present several topics that the student teams in the Netherlands can choose from. This year it is a project in Burundi for which we have to raise awareness and funds for. Each project lasts a year and changes every year. At the moment, we are just looking for interested board members and volunteers. Fixed guidelines will be set once we have a team.’

What is the project in Burundi about?

Pappu: ‘It is aimed at diminishing malnutrition in the area, by essentially training the people to make use of the resources they have. You can do this by organizing food workshops and training mothers to look after malnourished kids. Burundi is not a stereotypical drought affected region that one would think of. It has several agricultural resources, but the country lacks the knowledge base to make proper use of it.’

Does volunteering for this team demand a lot from students?

Rempkens: ‘No, on the contrary, it’s quite flexible. At the moment, there are no eligibility criteria for joining the teams and any student who is enthusiastic can join. Later on, if we feel that we have enough members, we may think of implementing criteria.’

Is this an officially recognized association at the UT?

Rempkens: ‘No, we are not officially recognized at the UT. We also do not intend on being recognized since we also wish to involve people for Saxion, ArtEZ and ROC. Furthermore, it may seem like the team is for university students, but we are also open to other young people, for example 16- or 17-year olds.’

The volunteer meet-up session will be held today at the Global Lounge from 17:30-18:30.

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