Happiness Is A Right! Speaking about Foundation Academy of Amsterdam and its work

December 4, 2019

 

In recent years, higher education has become more and more commercial with an emphasis on grants, fees, prestige, and ranking, which result in competition among both the educators and the students. The pressure on educators and the students is increasingly dangerous and unhealthy.  Many students end up in debts, and a lot of people cannot even afford to access higher education.

 

Therefore, there are institutions, grassroots organizations that come with alternative programs, to make education affordable, accessible with good quality education for people in their communities. This is where Foundation Academy of Amsterdam comes in picture! Allow me to explain:

 

Thousands of migrants leave their homes, families looking for jobs in search of happiness! Happiness is not a crime as some right-wing politicians are portraying. The entire universal declaration for human rights may be summarized in one word: happiness!

 

The cause of their migration might be different, economic, political, wars, genocide, or even personal reasons! They come to our countries, like in the Netherlands! Some indeed find true happiness, but these are very few! A large group of them are permitted to live here but have to go through the system which is very hard, learning the language, culture, and adaptation. Some become refugees and wait in the camps for being permitted to be part of the system!

 

Others end up being invisible; they exist, they live, but the system does not recognize them! They breathe the same air, share the same sun, and rain, but they are not there! On the margins of society! They live in fear, insecurities every day!

 

Imagine what the system on this level does to such people; it undresses them of their humanities, turns them into numbers, objects, and sometimes even criminalize them.

 

Foundation Academy of Amsterdam's philosophy is to make high-quality education available for these groups of people I mentioned a while ago! At Foundation Academy of Amsterdam, the students are being mobilized by studying human rights, globalization and yes even religion, which plays a vital role in both conflict and peace in the world. Gradually the students start having visions, new ideas and plans:—hope starts to flow like a river! Our students begin to believe that nothing can imprison our dream and imaginations for a better personal life and a better world.

 

Allow me to emphasize that just because we offer education for migrants and refugees does not mean that our programs are of lesser quality: this is what some might think! On the contrary, because we, the people who are working here, are highly educated people who do volunteer work! We share our science and experience with our students! We are not here for salaries, incomes, and promotions or prestige--- we serve because we love, we serve because we care! We serve because we still believe in humanity! We still believe that it is possible to make the world a better place! This motivates us to create educational programs of good quality! 

 

The value of an education is not in its diplomas, certificates, credit points only; higher education is only successful when it transforms the individual lives and empowers them to change their communities.

Remember a better world is possible!

 

for more information or if you want to support us, visit www.foundation.eu.com 

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© 2010-2019 by Samuel C. Lee

 

Samuel Lee (Ph.D.) is university lecturer, at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Faculty of Religion and Theology (FRT-VU), and director for Center for Theology of Migration, the educational program of Samen Kerk in Nederland at the FRT-VU. 

He is the founder of Foundation Academy of Amsterdam, offering higher education in liberal arts and humanities for migrants, refugees and persecuted minorities.

 

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