Saturday, August 16, 2014

Meet Chelsea Beyrand!

Hello everyone! My name is Chelsea Beyrand, and I am the newest International Resident Advisor (Intern) in Windhoek, Namibia. I arrived about two weeks ago and have been slowly learning my way around Windhoek and the Center. I am excited to learn about the history and cultures of Southern Africa and help guide ten incoming students through their semester abroad with the Center for Global Education (CGE).

I graduated from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts this past spring with a dual-degree in Human Development and Theology (focus: Islamic Studies and Social Justice) and a minor in Special Education. Throughout my college career I worked with the Boston College Campus School which is a school on the Boston College campus for students ages 3-21 with severe and/or multiple disabilities and complex health care needs. I volunteered in various capacities throughout my four years and was co-president of the organization my senior year. I also began working at the school my junior year.

My sophomore year of college, I travelled to the Dominican Republic to serve at Hogar Immauel, with ten other Boston College students. Hogar Immanuel is an orphanage for children with disabilities run through the Mustard Seed Communities. While in country, I also spent time at a nearby Haitian village learning about the vast inequality that existed within the country and the stigma of being a Haitian within the Dominican Republic. I led the trip my senior year in order to expose other Boston College students to the realities that exist within the Dominican Republic and to return to the children who changed my life.

My junior year, I spent a semester studying at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. I took classes in African history and learned about the challenges that the continent faces today and how colonialism still exists today in the form of foreign aid and development. While in South Africa, I served at an AIDS clinic in the township outside of Grahamstown, and worked closely with the staff on developing an outreach program to educate elementary school students about HIV and AIDS.

When I began to consider my post-graduation plans, I realized that working with university students had become something that I had become passionate about. I believe that university students are at a very unique time in their lives in regards to identity formation and questioning who they are. CGE’s commitment to experiential learning fosters an environment where classroom learning is met with real life experiences that lead to a personal connection and reflection of the topic. Students gain a much deeper and holistic understanding of their experience, which is something that will stay with them for a very long time. I believe that you never truly stop learning and I am excited to continue my journey learning about Southern Africa and social justice, while also guiding the students in their quest for understanding.

I am excited to draw upon my experience with leading two service organizations and my time in South Africa to foster cross-cultural understanding and dialogue. I look forward to working with the students to create a living and learning environment that focuses on listening to understand, questioning with compassion, and learning to promote social justice, equality, and kindness. I want to challenge the students to not only learn new information and ways of thinking, but to also rethink their way of life back home.

In addition, I will be working with the religious studies instructor to help explore the role of religion in Namibian history. I look forward to continuing my study of religion from my undergraduate studies and hope to contribute some of the knowledge I have learned from various courses and experiential learning opportunities that I have had.

During my summers, I am a health care staff at a summer camp for children and adults with disabilities. In my spare time I enjoy travelling, listening to music, reading, learning more about the world around me, and having quality conversations with friends new and old.

I am looking into various programs to eventually become a nurse practitioner focusing in forensic nursing, community health, or HIV/AIDS, or an occupational therapist working with children with low incidence disabilities.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Alumni Visit

The CGE Namibia staff were pleasantly surprised this morning with a visit from Tom Siburg, a student on the Nationbuilding, Globalization and Decolonizing the Mind program in the Fall 2008 semester.  We all have very fond memories of Tom as a student here and are excited to have him back in the country for a while! Tom is spending the summer months in Namibia doing an internship with the City of Windhoek - Community Development Department.  Tom is studying at the University of Minnesota towards a double Masters in Social Work and Urban and Regional Planning.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Goodbye CGE southern Africa

Today is a very sad day for me,it is my last day on the job as an intern at the Center for global education, Namibia.It  was a real  honour working with a team that is very committed to a course of social justice and equality for everyone.I can definitely say with confidence that I'm a different individual than I was when I first started working for this organisation.Looking back, I can say that I enjoyed attending classes with all the CGE students,meeting all the guest speakers and getting to know all staff at the Center.In essence being at this organisation changed my perception of the world around me.

Immanuel Mabuku

Its so funny and strange that it feels like yesterday, when I was attending a team building retreating with the staff and students and now I'm sitting here with a very heavy heart, hesitantly saying goodbye.Even though I'm saying bye to the organisation and to the dedicated team that works at this organisation,my heart will remain at this organisation.
first picture of the CGE Student for the Spring program 2014
Picture from the team building retreat 
reconnection retreat

Imms with Cge student Kelsey at theReconnection retreat
CGe group at staff dinner

All these pictures above, encapsulate my journey here at the Center for global education in a very superficial manner.From meeting the students to the staff dinner, which indicated to me the end to the stay of the students here at the CGE house, as well as, the end to my internship period.I am deeply going to miss everyone in this here it goes, farewell Center for global education.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Saying goodbye to the CGE students

I still remember so vividly in my mind welcoming the students to Namibia on the 29th of January, 2014.And now it feels so strange to have to say goodbye to everyone that I learned to love so much and I have grown used to always having around over the past months that they have been in Windhoek,Namibia. Last week marked the end of the journey  for the CGE students in Namibia. They spent most of the week wrapping up classes and preparing for their integrative Projects presentation.The presentations were hosted at the American cultural centre.

CGE students with CGE intern, Immanuel

The integrative projects had a good mix of game boards,videos and art exhibition. The presentation were filled with a lot of exciting and interesting view points on subjects matters affecting social change and equality in the Namibian society.later that day the students hosted a dinner for the cge staff, to show appreciation for the support and the guidance they provided to them throughout their stay here in Namibia.Everybody at the dinner was given the opportunity to say a few  things about their experience at the Cge house in Windhoek, and also to tell everyone what they were mostly thankful about.It was a very emotional night, tears and sadness were the order of the night, as every word uttered at the dinner table was a reminder to everyone present of the inevitable departure of the students back to their homes.

Cge students and Staff lining up for dinner

The students left Namibia for Cape Town, South africa, on Saturday.I knew right from the start that, their stay here in Namibia was not a permanent one but knowing this, did not give me any type of comfort whatsoever.It hurt so much that it brings tears to my eyes to even think of the words goodbye.I can only  wish them luck in all their endeavours and hope that our paths in life will one day bring us together.But until long my people and thank you for coming to Namibia.
olivia, Hannah and maggie

Sam ,Maddy, des and Gena

BRi waving at the camera

Shivute asking questions

Matt, Gena and holden

Subah and lillian

Josh  making his presentation
Bri,kelsey and darcey

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Decolonizing the mind

Over a couple of weeks ago, we asked the CGE;Southern African students in Namibia, what they understand by the terminology decolonizing the mind and what type of imagery is painted in their minds when they hear these words.This is what they said.

Matthew Erbes

 "I think, it is empowering citizens of a country which were once colonized to be free from foreign exploitation, either economic or psychological, so that they are able to be self-sufficient and successful via their own personal volition."

Gena Reynold
"I think decolonizing the mind is a concept that deals with the residual effects of colonization. Shivute told us that the first thing colonial powers had to do was convince the colonized population that they are inferior; before people's action can be controlled, their minds had to be the initial site of colonization. They had to  make them believe that there was a good reason for things being the way they were.Decolonizing the mind is then the process that has to happen after the formal colonization has been removed.Its very hard to change patterns of thinking and perception which is why decolonizing the mind is a process that is still relevant".

Holden Bearle
"Decolonizing the mind means freeing not only the
physical and informal constraints which restrict a person or society but breaking down more subtle mental barriers which may be difficult to define or even see. To decolonize the mind is to eliminate the final and arguably , the strongest hold that a subjugator has."

Maggie Fernandez

"I thinking decolonizing the mind is about realizing what stereotypes and stigmas you have against people and trying to change your mindset".

Subah Jamus

"Decolonizing the mind is breaking the barriers that you have created in your mind about certain cultures. Allowing yourself to be influenced by new surroundings."

Lillian Maassen

"Decolonizing the mind is conscientiously transcending the mental barriers and insecurities that often result from  a people's colonization,achieved through critical thinking and analysis of events."

Hannah Corbin
"Decolonizing the mind is to step back from an environment entrenched in colonialism in order to critically examine and question the current institutions and practices that may be in place due to a past colonial rule and mindset."

Kelsey Elizabeth

"Decolonizing the mind means freeing yourself of preconceived notions and stereotypes so that you allow yourself to fully experience the world around you."

Maddy Owens

"Decolonizing the mind is abolishing a perspective or mindset by looking at a society with a different attitudes or point of view usually from the colonized rather than the colonizer."

Josh Kumi

"Decolonizing the mind means deconstructing the inferior mindsets of the colonized and the superior mindsets of the colonizer."

Samantha boatright

"decolonizing the mind is turning people away from the stereotypes that they have, and opening their mind to more possibilities."


 "Decolonizing the mind means taking a critical look at your privilege and the ways in which that privilege has come to be.It's about realizing that assumptions are continuously made and if you don't take the time to deconstruct those assumptions and ask where they come from then you're perpetuating the same attitudes and ideas that systematically oppress."

Monday, April 21, 2014

Community Meeting Easter Egg Hunt!

Each week at CGE: Southern Africa, students come together for a community meeting. We check in with each other emotionally, give important announcements, and discuss the positive and negative aspects of living in community as a whole group. It is one of the most important aspects of our living-learning community that enables students from diverse backgrounds and beliefs to live and study together for the semester. At the end of the student-led sessions, we have fun activities that can involve snacks, movie nights, games, or any number of other options.

This week was an Easter Egg Hunt set up by community leaders Gena, Kelsey, and Matt. Each week different students lead the meetings. Each of the 59 eggs had a number 1-5. Each number corresponded to a type of candy. Whoever found the egg could claim their prize. Happy Easter everyone!

Each of the 59 eggs had a number and each number
corresponded to a candy type.

Desiree was off to a quick start 

Students claimed their prizes from this week's community leaders Gena and
Kelsey (who organized the event with not-pictured fellow leader Matt)

Monday, April 14, 2014


Last week thursday the center for global education was graced with the presence of a very special individual, Dr.Deborah Robinson.Dr. Robinson is from the United States, she initiated the South african Political prisoner bracelet program to build ties between individuals in the United states and prisoners serving life sentences in South africa during the Apartheid era.

Dr. Robinson is currently visiting South Africa and Namibia to interview the families of some of these Political prisoners about the impact of the bracelets on their lives.Dr. Robinson visited the center for global education with one of the daughters of a political prisoner from Namibia, Ndilipo Shikomba.Ndilipo Shikomba emailed Dr. Robinson after she had came across her website about two years ago, but unfortunately they lost contact with one another, that is up until January of this year when they regained that contact with one another.It was during that time that Dr. Robinson decided to visit Namibia to meet Ndilipo Shikomba for the very first time.Ndilipo was very adamant about meeting  Dr. Robinson that she was prepared to take a week from her place of employment to accommodate Dr. Robinson's visit to Namibia.

Dr.Deborah Robinson, Ndilipo and the CGE Staff and students

Later that day, it was time for the CGE staff and students to go to the Nubuamis hills for the mid-semester reconnection session.This session was aimed at bringing everybody at the CGE house in Windhoek, at the same page after a spring break The reflection session took a good mix of  a warm up activity,dish of snacks, some fun activities, where people had a chance to show off their acting skills. The reconnection session was ended with brief reflection of the achievement and challenges faced by the staff and the students through this semester, then it was time to return  home.