Master’s Student Selected for Dutch Exchange Programme
Master’s student in Gender and Religion within the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, Ms Lindiwe Maseko has been selected for the Bridging Gaps Programme at the Free University in Amsterdam where she will spend three months as part of the exchange.
The international exchange programme hosted by Free University brings together participants from all over the world to share an international space for faith formation and intercultural Bible reading. This year the programme hosts 14 participants from various countries including South Africa, Pakistan, Romania, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, India, Nigeria, Ecuador, Canada, South Korea and Myanmar.
The programme aims to create an intercultural and international community of learners in Amsterdam and to bridge gaps between cultures, different knowledge, academia, society and church.
‘I feel humbled. My gratitude goes to the School of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics and the Faculty of Religion and Theology for offering me this great opportunity to learn from as well as represent the School in the Bridging Gaps programme. This is a huge step for me - it will strengthen me to persist and succeed in my future scholarship,’ said Maseko.
The fully funded programme allows Maseko, who is originally from Zimbabwe, to gain valuable international experience and access to academic recourses and conversation partners as she starts to develop her PhD work within the Gender and Religion Programme. She intends to complete a PhD at UKZN exploring the following topic: A Feminist Theological Engagement with the Experience of womb (Chibereko) removal of Karanga women as a Reproductive-Health and Justice Embodied Reality.
The Bridging Gaps Programme is one expression of the ongoing collaborative relationship between UKZN’s School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics and the Faculty of Religion and Theology at Free University.
Head of the Gender and Religion Programme at UKZN Professor Charlene van der Walt said: ‘The collaboration between the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics and the Faculty of Religion and Theology at the Free University is dynamic and creative. It is wonderful that students from UKZN have the opportunity for international and intercultural experience through this exchange and we wish Lindiwe all the best with her research and contextual engagement in The Netherlands.’
Her supervisor Professor Lillian Siwila added: ‘I first met Lindiwe at a conference in Tanzania where during our casual discussion she registered interest to study with us at UKZN. Recommending Lindiwe to come to UKZN was a joy because of her diligence and hard work which was reflected in her execution of duty at the conference. As her previous masters supervisor l found working with Lindiwe heart-warming due to her commitment to excellence. I wish her an excellent stay and pray that she continues with her spirit of hard work as a good ambassador for UKZN.’
Words: Melissa Mungroo