BY CLAIRSSA MYATT
Tyne Potgieter, a South African native, is working hard for the impending arrival of the Millennium Campus Network here at Lynn.
The Millennium Campus Network is an organization striving to better the world by helping complete one United Nation development goal at a time. Unifying students worldwide from all different cultures, Potgieter has received first-hand experience of what it truly means for people of all backgrounds to work together and create something beautiful.
“Millennium Campus Network strives to connect students from all over with like minded ideas so that they can share and collaborate things together that are in conjunction with the United Nation’s goals,” Potgieter explained. “Their whole view is that the number 10 is more powerful than five. Things in numbers mean that it is going to have a greater result. So by connecting students you will achieve what you want faster and more effectively.”
The UN created eight “Millennium Development Goals,” setting standards that they strive to implement for impoverished countries across the world. These goals vary throughout poverty, hunger, education and global partnership. However, the UN do not try to eliminate these issues faced by countries simply by collecting money, but by sharing and spreading ideas between students. Brainpower is a key component to this organization.
“[The UN] gives kids a platform to express ideas and have those ideas brainstorm from a different perspective,” said Potgieter. “So because we can offer perspectives from different cultural backgrounds, I can say my country did ‘this’ and it worked; how can your country do ‘this’ successfully?”
In addition, connections to established and successful organizations such as UNICEF and the Peace Corps have been allowing students to receive help and have their actions and involvement count.
Having the position of Director of Outreach and Recruitment, Potgieter is in charge of contacting schools and recruiting team leaders from both Lynn and Florida Atlantic University. Of course, this has taught her “telecommunication is not as easy as it seems,” she said laughing.
On a serious note, this experience has taught Potgieter the value of hard work that goes into putting together an event of this magnitude and that having cultural perspectives on things are very important. “A view that I hope may not be right or work for others, so having different perspectives are very valuable I have come to realize.”
She shared a story that is a prime example of how important it is to understand other cultures perspectives.
“There was a group of students that created a water system in a tribe and saving the women miles of walking to fetch water. A few days after the students left, the tribe tore down the water system.
You may frown and say that they were unappreciative, but what the group failed to see was that the long walk was used to talk, create friendships and bond. So while the water system was intended to help, it was taking away from what they value. You must first understand before change can be achieved.”
That is just what those involved with Millennium Campus Network strives to do: Combine cultures for a greater good. This event will take place at Lynn Oct. 10 to 12.