After moving to Stavanger, Cohort 8 student Daniel Braga Nascimento started volunteering at SAIH (the Norwegian Students and Academics' International Assistance Fund), a solidarity organization of students and academics in Norway. SAIH supports 40 organizations in 8 countries in Latin America, southern Africa and Asia that advocate for academic freedom. Daniel was motivated by SAIH's role in defending the equal access to education globally, so he decided to join the Stavanger Chapter in the role of secretary. He combines his university work for the EMMIR semester with volunteering activities, including the opportunity to network with students from across Norway at SAIH's winter gathering. .
"We learnt more about Paulo Freire theory of Education for Liberation, we had a lecture from Professor Meera Sabaratnam (SOAS University of London) related to decolonizing Education, workshops on access to higher education in Zimbabwe and we worked on a campaign related to the reduction of fees in higher education in South Africa."
Daniel explained that the event also had an awareness-raising dimension towards the importance of being free to love and be who you are, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Daniel is not the first EMMIR student to be involved in SAIH. Cohort 6 students were also part of SAIH's local chapter and participated in the winter gathering two years ago. Alumna Elisabeth Roura emphasises the importance of volunteering throughout EMMIR: "When you have to move every four months to a new city, it seems complicated to engage with social initiatives. However, I think it is really important to complement the academic training with life experiences that bring you the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds. I remember we had a lot of fun being part of SAIH".
The University of Stavanger fosters students engagement in activism and community activities. Besides SAIH, EMMIR students have supported initiatives such as the environmental protection group SPIRE or the cultural space FOLKEN.