Thoughts from the RUFORUM Alumni meeting
By Pauline Atim
It is good to know that RUFORUM still thinks about us and cares about what we are doing” Mrs. Chimwemwe Chamdimba, RUFORUM Alumni now working with NEPAD.
It is great that RUFORUM organized a side session where it interacted with the Alumni students who have been in the field to listen to them in order to know the changes needed in the approach to the career path. The meeting which was hosted by Eduardo Mondlane University took the form of motivation talks by renowned personalities and Alumni who shared their personal stories and what to expect in the field as a way to build confidence among graduate students and inspire.
The guest speakers included; Hon. Dr. Zerubabel M. Nyiira who shared his own development pathway and stressed that“determination, perseverance patience and thinking outside the box to mention a few as key pointers to achieving success”.Prof. Nzula Kitaka also shared thoughts on working across disciplines and encouraged graduates to be eager to look for knowledge.
Prof. Kitaka further told the graduates to have a vision and stop lamenting on problems but rather be thankful for what they have as they focus on achieving even better. Other key note speakers included Mrs. Chimwemwe Chamdimba and Dr. Wellington Ekaya who gave inspiring stories about their transformation from studentship to a change agent and encouraged the current RUFORUM-supported graduate students to be dedicated and work hard. Most of all, students were told to look at challenges as opportunities and don’t let workable hindrances get in their way as some of these are chances of a life time.
The students discussed the top most important change agent practices such as mentoring others, being bridge-builders, proactive, team players, having an eye for the finest detail to mention but a few. They also discussed where they wanted to see RUFORUM improve in relation to students training and welfare and through group discussions students were able to air their voices and come up with ideas which RUFORUM should look into account such as harmonizing the curriculum, mentor-ship programs and help link students to publishing journals for far reaching impact/effect.
In the closing remarks, Prof. Kay Leresche encouraged the Alumni to use social media networks to keep in touch with each other and inspired students were later treated to a dinner and dance where they enjoyed themselves and show cased their talents in the field of dance.