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Graduate to teach conflict resolution in S.Africa

A University of St Andrews graduate has been offered a job as a visiting lecturer with the Peace Studies programme at a South African University.

Having completed an MA in International Relations and Spanish at the University of St Andrews last month, Gert Danielsen, 24, will be lecturing undergraduate students in Conflict Resolution and promoting peace building in local communities affected by tribal tensions and the HIV-epidemic.

Prior to his exams in St Andrews, Danielsen, a Norwegian citizen, was selected to be part of the exchange programme Fredskorpset, financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Employed by the Centre for Conflict Management and Peacebuilding in Oslo, he will teach modules in Conflict Resolution, Democracy and the Politics of the Global Environment at the University of North-West in Mafikeng. The University was established in the 1980s to offer tertiary education to marginalised communities during the apartheid regime.

Gert said, “It is an extraordinary challenge as I will be using interactive and workshop-based education. True democracy can only be taught through participatory learning.”

Gert previously taught Conflict Transformation in Colombia and Latvia and was a trainee mediator for Fife Community Mediation. An important part of Danielsen’s work will be capacity building in local community groups, especially women and people affected by HIV and AIDS. He also plans to learn Tswana, the main language of the region and the official language in Botswana.

Gert continued, “The Peace Studies programme at the University is quite new so we will design the modules, methods for assessment and help strengthen the programme. As we work in Mafikeng, we will select two senior students who will work for our organisation in Oslo. The idea behind Fredskorpset is that exchanges will increase competence and enhance international understanding. I consider myself an idealist, trying to make the world a better place!”

ENDS

MORE INFORMATION AVAILABLE FROM:

http://www.fredskorpset.net/nor_ny/ fkerne/deltaker_detail.asp?Deltaker ID=438 or from Gert direct – gert@fredskorpset.net or telephone 00 47 22 12 99 20 (Oslo)

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or email cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: gert- job/standrews/chg/4july2002

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