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Laurent Masson (20, international student at Erasmus University College)

“Last January, I went to Marondera, Zimbabwe, for about a month. Together with nine other students and two staff-members of EUC we’ve established a project called Fairfight. The aim of the project was to build a dojo where High School girls could go every week to have free karate classes. As we speak, a national karate champion, Gerald Muusha, teaches 20 girls voluntarily. Don’t get me wrong though, the goal is not just to teach girls how to fight, but rather all the knowledge that goes with Martial Arts. With Karate you learn respect and discipline and you’ll experience a growth in self-esteem, which ultimately leads to empowerment.

All of it happened during a tough period of my life, when all I wanted to do was to put everything behind me and go away for a while. That’s what I did. I disconnected from every social media and concentrated on what really matters. I know it’s cliché to say, but it kicked me right back into life. I realized how capable we can be as human beings and that the only thing that’s blocking you from achieving anything, is yourself. I have learned so much in a month and came back with an open mind. The only thing I can think of now is my next destination. Probably India and South Africa.”

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