Connecting continents

Travelling the world, I have been lucky enough to experience different cultures, but one thing is the same amongst us all, we hurt the same. After hearing about the house explosion in my home city of Leicester and seeing that two of my friends from secondary school had sadly been caught up in it, I felt it would be right to bring this up in my Leadership class Bloomsburg University. The objectives of our leadership class encourage us to take charge of situations which may seem scary and dark and turn them into opportunities which influence society positively.

Within an hour of explaining to my class what had occurred in Leicester, we had already planned to hold an event which would bring the students and staff on campus together, to pay their respects to the victims and also show their support for the people of Leicester. Everyone in the class stepped up into a role, from holding T-shirts for people to sign, advertising the event on social media etc. It was personally uplifting and moving for me to see how willing everyone was to help with an event that had not directly affected them in any way.

My leadership class

Five days after initially planning the event, it was the big day! Everyone worked in sync and the event ran smoothly. The turnout was amazing and there was a great buzz around the place. We were able to record a support video for the families of the victims and the community of Leicester.

balloons released in memory of victims

The video is now being shared all over social media and the feedback has proven being an ocean apart, should not stop us from reaching out to those in need. The video has been a boost for the people of Leicester and shown them that we all here in Bloomsburg are thinking of them. The media interest in this has been phenomenal too, the likes of BBC and ITV have reached out and wanted to interview us to understand our motives for holding a gathering for the victims.

On a personal level, this project will be the highlight of my study abroad experience. It has taught me that opportunities to help others don’t find you, you have to create them.

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