Four UBC students create fundraiser for school in Tanzania.

Photo by Willa Holmwood
Photo by Willa Holmwood

In May of 2019, ten UBC Okanagan students and 4 UBC Vancouver students travelled to Arusha, Tanzania, for a Go Global summer exchange program focused on culture and communication. Professor Joanna Cockerline from Creative and Critical Studies and facilitator of the Go Global course, allowed an interdisciplinary group of students to pursue independent projects within the community.

A group of four students, three from UBC Okanagan and one from UBC Vancouver, came together to create a fundraiser to help build a school in Tanzania. After learning about the current issues facing many schools in Africa, such as corporal punishment and poor infrastructure, these students were inspired to support education for all.

The four students involved in this project are: Alexis Allshorn, majoring in Anthropology at UBC Okanagan; Kebbie Brown, majoring in Mathematics at UBCO; Paarus Kahlon majoring in Management at UBCO; and Selby Wilkinson majoring in Media Studies at UBC Vancouver. Other students on the trip are majoring in Computer Science, Biology, and Creative Writing. Go Global’s ability to unite students in diverse disciplines from both campuses creates a unique opportunity for teamwork and the cultivation of new ideas.

Alexis Allshorn commented on the project and value of Go Global:

“Being able to collaborate with students from UBC Vancouver helped to create a rare bond between students. Working on this project was rewarding – each student brought a different skillset, so we were able to work together by drawing from our different disciplines to brainstorm ideas. I value the opportunity to expand my education beyond the classroom and gain real world skills and understanding.

Selby Wilkinson described the vision behind the leader of the project in Tanzania, Steven Ndosi:

“Having walked the grounds of the school, spoken with the Ndosi family, and felt their love and passion for changing the state of education, I am excited to share with you the fundraising page and video that we have created in hopes of raising the last $40,000 needed to complete the school. Any amount helps bring Golden Soils Secondary School closer to being ready to open its doors for the children of Nkoanrua village.”

While midterm exams and writing papers are essential to university, the ability to take learning outside of the classroom is infinitely valuable. Through Go Global, UBC succeeds in developing a holistic and international education. Although donating money is unrealistic for many students, spreading awareness by sharing the fundraising link can help tremendously and be a first step towards change.