Exchange to change June 2016 - Page 3

edito You have been truly amazing ... twice! Dear alumni, It was that time again. Time for the alumni seminar… From our point of view, it is always exciting to learn about the work you have been doing since you left IOB. Particularly exciting this time was the explicit call to showcase the impact you make through non-academic work in other people’s lives, or in society as a whole. Even though IOB has been evaluated and audited several times during the last years, these applications in a way are the real assessment of what YOU are able to do (partly!) due to what you learned and shared at IOB! And … you made us graduate with flying colours, magna cum laude! We were proud when reading about Tu Mai’s work on collaborative research teams involving underprivileged ethnic groups as researchers, we were excited about Rose Villar’s geotagging M&E project in the Philippines, hopeful when reading about Jacinta Okwaro’s work on communities and extractive business, looking for ways to make local communities benefit from revenues generated through oil in Kenya and touched while reading about Winifred Qin’s ‘journey’ culminating in starting up a mental health facility direly needed in Beijing, to name only a very few! So much so that we’re spreading the news …Lanny Jauhari was invited to come to IOB in Antwerp and present her work on “Pioneering NGO transformation to Social Enterprise (Torajamelo) in Indonesia”. The work of other alumni was presented in poster format during the alumni reception, some work has been shared with VLIR-UOS and other interested organisations, or in this Exchange to Change edition or will feature on our website. We will make an interactive world map, where you can have a look at the work of our alumni. There is even an ‘alumnus of the month’ in the IOB kitchen for IOB staff to read up on while getting coffee. You have also been amazing in a completely different way! When it was Belgium’s time to be hit by terrorist violence, you responded in great numbers and with spontaneous compassion. You inquired about our safety, hoped (and prayed) for us, shared our surprise at how in a country where you felt safe once, violence has also flared up. You sent us a short email, posted Manneken pis peeing on a machine gun or changed your Facebook profile picture into the Belgian colours. I did not ‘Belgicise’ the IOB Facebook profile picture, as many of you did earlier with the French coloured Eiffel Tower or the Belgian flag to express your sympathy. No, I felt ashamed … for all those times we should have changed our profile picture in the colours of YOUR flags, all those times the Atomium should have been lit up in the colours of all those other countries hit by violence. Instead, we ‘internationalise’ the experience of the terrorist attacks in Belgium, by presenting you the testimonies of IOB staff, students and alumni from different parts of the world living in Belgium on how they experienced that particular day. Even better, no? Sara Dewachter IOB Alumni officer Exchange to change June 2016 3