(Lea Dibong, 20, Student EUC)
“I was born in Paris, but my parents are from Cameroon originally. I was raised in the US, Cameroon and France. In 2014, I came to the Netherlands to study at Erasmus University College.
During a bike ride through the city, I was talking to a Dutch student. She was the first to mention the culture of indifference; it means that many students settle for a six instead of striving for an eight or ten. This got me thinking about the past, about life in Cameroon. My grandparents went to school. That was a feat in itself because, for the most part, families in those days were unfamiliar with the European concept of schooling in a classroom let alone having to pay for it. Both of my grandfathers had to walk several kilometres, barefoot sometimes, to school and back. There are still many people in Cameroon who would love to send their children to school especially university but they simply do not have the money. So it really is a privilege to be able to sit in a classroom.
It’s hard for me to just settle for a six, while at home many would kill to be in my place. That’s my drive to make the most of my studies. Melinda Gates said that people in developing nations walk for 10 kilometres and line up to get a vaccine because they know the power of vaccines as they have seen death. I also feel this applies to education; if you have seen poverty, you realise even more the importance of an education.”