18 students from Africa and more developing countries, all professionals in the field of Child Development, graduated from the University of Haifa’s International MA Program.
The group includes social workers, early educationalists, pediatric nurses, speech therapist, a pediatrician and even a journalist, were training a year long master’s program one of its kind.
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Leaving their families, jobs and local communities behind for a year and coming to Israel, the master’s program is the only fully-funded program of its kind in the world, providing individuals from developing countries a truly unique opportunity, thanks to the support of University of Haifa’s partners Vital Capital Fund, Open Society Foundation and the Two Lilies Fund. This funding ensures prospective students have their tuition fees taken care of in addition to housing, food, and medical expenses.
This unique MA Program in Child Development equips professionals with the knowledge and skills that are necessary when returning to their home countries to affect and influence the well-being of children and their families. The program includes core courses in child development, concentration-specific courses, and workshops to enhance the students’ knowledge of child development from an international perspective.
“From all these courses, I’ve learned, and with the life experiences they’ve shared with us I’m really ready to go and make a change,” said Emma Murumbe Fynn, a graduate from Ghana. “They [the professors] helped us but now it’s up to me to make the change in a way that it will suit my community and my country.”
“The international master’s program in Child Development is one of the jewels of University of Haifa. The program itself is unique, providing training to professionals that they could not receive anywhere else. At the same time, the students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Israeli life and culture and return to their home countries as ambassadors for Israel,” said Karen Berman, CEO at the American Society of the University of Haifa. “This program is yet another example of the global influence of the University of Haifa and of the humanitarian role Israel plays throughout the world. We are all incredibly proud of the program and look forward to its expansion and growing impact on society.”
Thursday’s graduation saw a number of government officials and diplomats attend the ceremony, including the likes of new Tanzanian Ambassador to Israel Mr. Daudi Msima, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Israel Mrs. Frankie C. Obianagha, Ambassador to Slovenia Ms. Barbara Susnik and Kenya’s Ambassador to Israel Mr. Jon Chessoni, and other senior diplomats from Ghana, Liberia, Myanmar, Georgia, and Belarus. Graduate families from their respective countries will also be in attendance as the graduate students embark on taking their newfound knowledge and skills back to their respective countries and local communities. Graduates come from a range of developing countries that include Uganda, Myanmar, Nepal, Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Vietnam, India, and Georgia.