My name is Helena Veum and I am pursuing a BA in Psychology and a Human Rights certificate at Webster University in Leiden, the Netherlands. I grew up in Norway, a safe country, and knew of no atrocities, injustice or suffering while growing up. So, when returning home from Africa for the first time in my life, I think I will be a much better person than I am now, after having seen what strength and life spark the children in Rwanda have, despite all the pain and injustice and inhumanity they suffered during the genocide in Rwanda. As well as having seen the strength, persistence and courage of their mothers and fathers to move forward and take care of their children. As scuh, I am very enthusiastic about my trip to Rwanda and to meet these people!
Being a senior student of psychology I have lately been trying to decide what direction I want to go in and who I would like to help. Although, I much rather prefer to say collaborate with, as I believe help or change that comes from the inside is the help and change that can transform a person as well as a nation. My role is to provide the right tools, resources and/or support to people whom I wish to help so that they can help themselves, so that they can transform.
I discovered that my dream is to collaborate with people whose human rights have been violated and to support them in building a better life for themselves and a better society. Therefore, I am very pleased to have been accepted into the Global Volunteer Network program where I can meet these people and support one family. I will be going to Kigali in Rwanda for 4 weeks in June. However, this opportunity does not come for free. So, I am asking for your help to take me there, to get me an experience I dream of: to collaborate with the children and their families in Rwanda with the purpose of meeting their needs that they don't have the capacity or resources to do alone, so that they can continue to lead meaningful lives.
One of the things I plan to do while I'm there and that I am very excited about is to organize events that give the opportunity for children to engage in joyful activities, including dance. One of my interests is dance therapy and I would like to go to places where children are deprived of their voice and joy. Through dance I hope to give them a tool to connect with themselves and others and to express themselves as well as having fun! Fun is a feeling that all children have the right to experience, as it is instinctual and innate for them to engage in it. Furthermore it is their right that someone acknowledging their feelings and they have someone that encourages them to express their feelings and who tells them that their feelings are important. I find it a miracle that considering all the suffering these children endure, many of these children are lively, hopeful and they love to play! Therefore, I want to give help through organizing dancing events and games in order to give these children the freedom to be themselves, to laugh and just be children. (See more about dance therapy in video).
It is first necessary to support the children's needs and responsibilities before they can engage play, and I will help take care of one child, by helping with meeting the needs and responsibilities he/she faces. For example I will be helping with his/her homework. I will also teach other life skills I know, and I plan to teach English skills and about HIV/AIDS. I will care for this child as if he or she was my little brother or sister.
With your donation I can realize my dream to collaborate with these people and gain experience for the work that I wish to pursue in the future. What your donations will cover is the program fee and airline tickets from Amsterdam to Kigali. I wish to thank you for your interest in my dream and for your donation. It means the world to me and will be deeply appreciated and not forgotten!