BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY

April 21, 2008
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Martina Hanulova with a resident of the Liberian refugee camp

Martina Hanulova with a resident of the Liberian refugee camp

BGSU senior sees hope, sorrow in Liberian refugee camp

Seen from a distance, the camp looks like an African village. But inside, it is a place where people who have experienced the most tragic and wrenching events are trying to make a new life, often side by side with those who have terrorized them or against whom they themselves have been brutal.

That is the scene in Ghana’s teeming Buduburam Refugee Settlement, where BGSU senior Martina Hanulova worked last semester. The recipient of a Givens Fellowship from Bowling Green, the international studies and French major from Slovakia was able to continue her avocation of working with African people. Her stay was organized through the Global Volunteer Network, a private, nongovernmental organization based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Affectionately nicknamed Decontee, or “everything has time,” by the residents for her intense desire to “meet everybody, talk to everybody and see everything,” Hanulova said “living in the camp was a life-changing experience for me. I didn’t think it would have such a huge effect on me. But it was like a focused light that gave me a clearer idea of what I want to do in international development.
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