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Oyesi Falmagne

Oyesi is our Communications intern. She was born in Belgium but has never lived there. After living in England for 10 years, she moved to America where she stayed for 5 yearsOyesi has been living in the Netherlands for the last 9 years. Moving around so much in her formative years forced her to become adaptable to new people and environments. This eventually encouraged her to learn more about the world and the various systems that structure society as we know it. This led her to do a Bachelor`s degree in International Studies at Leiden University, where she specialised in North American Studies and European Union Studies. She is now writing a thesis about the impact of social media and its political disposition.  

What was your role at Aflatoun International? 

I am a communications intern. 

What do you like most about the organisation? 

We are an NGO that gets to see the direct impact of the work we do, which is so unique and inspiring. Thousands of students receive social and financial education across the world and share stories of the businesses they’ve created or the initiatives that have been developed within their communities. So, we get to see first-hand how learning about one’s rights and finances can empower and encourage people to create something life-changing and affirming from a simple idea. We have had calls with students of various regions and their energy is infectious. As a fellow young person, it’s a nice reminder that we can always create something new to contribute to society as we are the drivers of modernity and improvement! 

What did you get out of this internship?  

The organisation is made up of a diverse group of people from various backgrounds, so we are constantly learning something new from each other and from the partners and students that share stories with us. I feel like Aflatoun really gives people the space to contribute and grow within the organisation, as the organisation itself is also growing and adapting to changing times. 

Which of your accomplishments during this internship are you most proud of, and why? 

I was given the opportunity to spearhead the Aflatoun Financial Literacy Campaign! It was amazing to be able to start the new year by showing our audience a sneak peek of the specifics that Aflatoun programmes teach to students worldwide. I personally learned a lot about savings, budgeting and spending while creating the campaign, and I hope that others were able to take something from it too. Especially because I think many people wish that there was more focus on financial literacy in our early education! 

Why is social and financial education important?  

I think, generally,  we underestimate the power and autonomy that comes from understanding our rights and how to navigate our finances. The cliché: ‘knowledge is power’ is extremely true. The world is constantly changing and when we are unaware of our basic rights, we are more susceptible to being taken advantage of, and more likely to not take advantage of the opportunities that might be available to us.  

What is next for you? 

The pandemic has made it hard to predict what the future might hold for people worldwide, myself included. Although for the foreseeable future, I will be finishing my Master’s thesis while I attempt to navigate the job market and find employment somewhere where I can put the skills I’ve learned at Aflatoun to use! 

Share with us a motto or a quote close to your philosophy of life.  

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift! That is why it is called the present