Dana Haj Hamad. FK-exchange programme experiences
Last updated: 25/08/2011 //
Dana Haj Hamad is a psychologist working at Afhad University for Women in Omdurman; Physiotherapy department. From November 2009 until September 2010 she was part of an FK-Exchange programme at Bergen University College. She says she was exposed to new ideas which could benefit her work in Sudan.
FK Norway (the Norwegian international voluntary service) creates change through global exchange of young people and professionals by facilitating reciprocal learning and development in organizations and communities. Sudan is the 12th biggest country worldwide for FK exchange programmes.
As a separate programme the exchange project between Ahfad University and Høgskolen in Bergen (HiB) is the single biggest programme in Sudan. The programme lays emphasis on competence building within the realm of rehabilitation and physiotherapy education. The partners intend to further contribute in developing the existing curriculum in the Bachelor of Science (BSc) programme at Afhad University for Women and exchange knowledge thereupon.
Dana Haj Hamad is one of the women who have benefitted from the exchange programme. Speaking to the Embassy she says “ my mind was expanded as I was exposed to many new ideas”. While at Bergen University College she prepared and made presentations on ‘Stress and combating stress for students in the South’, on ‘cultural aspects and cultural differences...’ as well as on ‘Differences in the health system in Sudan and Norway’. She also made a presentation for new exchange programme participants. In addition to project’s workload, she also did some volunteer Counseling at a refugee camp in Sotra, Norway. She is one of seven Sudanese participants in the exchange programme from her department so far. In November this year another two Sudanese will travel to Bergen, while two Norwegians will come to Omdurman. So far six Norwegians have been in Omdurman, some even extending their 11 month exchange period.
As for the benefits of the programme Dana mentions particularly that Afhad University now has an international standard physiotherapy department. She says this can be attributed to the support from FK and Italian OVCI. She believes that Ahfad now is in a position to maintain this standard. However, FK will continue to support another phase of the exchange programme for another three years. The programme has run for 4 years and the first batch of physiotherapy students will graduate in April of 2012.
In addition to her professionals gains and the contributions she can make to Afhad University Dana adds that she also “made a lot of friends in Norway.”
For further information about FK Norway, please see: www.fredskorpset.no and www.fk-world.com