Alumna

Rieke

Master of Arts, Global Communications

I grew up in the Netherlands. Although we didn't have enough money when I was young to travel far, through the stories my father brought home from work trips and the families I met through my mother’s involvement with the local refugee committee, "the world" entered my life at quite an early stage. I went to Art school in Rotterdam, where I studied Advertising and photography. After my first long journey to Guatemala, where I did a participatory photography project with street children, I knew I wanted to use communication for a good cause, to contribute something to the rest of the world. My reason to move to Paris and attend graduate school at AUP was to learn how communication could be used to facilitate social change. Since then, I've lived in India and Rwanda and have worked in Morocco, Uganda, Burundi, DRC and Kenya.

Paris slowly opened its doors to me, and I was able to meet and learn from professionals in a variety of international organizations, something which definitely gave me a better idea of the career I was working toward pursuing. I wanted to gain theoretical knowledge about communication and how tools could be implemented to facilitate change. Having had only a small amount of experience working in other countries, AUP opened up a whole range of opportunities to explore.

Professors and other AUP staff made me believe in myself and understand that with the right support, I could do things I had never dreamed of doing before.

Rieke Weel '12

I discussed my desire to learn more about participatory and development communication with some of my professors. They reacted very supportively and personally helped me gather the knowledge I needed through a directed study. AUP supported my attendance on several study trips to India, Morocco and Portugal, which gave me the opportunity to test theoretical knowledge in practice.

I currently work as a Development Communication Specialist for the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) in Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC. This means that I offer support to agriculture-related projects to ensure key messages get delivered to our main target groups (farmers, agro-dealers, sme's etc) and that the project enables selected audiences to interact, have a voice and increase the quality of the project. I moved to Rwanda in early 2012 and am currently living in Kigali. My work demands lots of travel, which allows me to see more of East Africa and get a better understanding of the role modern and traditional communication tools play in society. I am working fulltime on one regional project and am an adviser on a number of other different projects in East Africa.

Professors and other AUP staff made me believe in myself and understand that with the right support, I could do things I had never dreamed of doing before. I sincerely believe the AUP staff does not always realize how big an impact they have on many of us, but they do and I am very grateful for that.

 

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