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DMU helps communities at home and abroad


De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been helping communities in Berlin, India and Leicester through three different #DMUlocal programmes over the past week.

More than 20 students took part in a #DMUglobal trip to the German capital as the university continued its work with the United Nations’ Together campaign.

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Meanwhile students were also working with a community of former leprosy sufferers in the Gujarat region of India to help to build houses for families who are most affected by the monsoon season.

And at home, young people from secondary schools around Leicestershire have been on DMU’s campus to get a taste of university life in the #DMUtalented initiative.

The students in Berlin worked with partner universities to assist refugees and also had the chance to see how other institutions and organisations are working to support refugees in the German capital.

Their activities included helping charities who run workshops for refugee families, discussing free law clinics run by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin for refugees and migrants and meeting teams who help refugees to settle in the city.

Through Square Mile India, DMU has been transforming the lives of some of the poorest areas of India. Last week’s trip was to the Loving Community, which is a community of former leprosy sufferers.

During monsoon season, contaminated rain water floods homes in the Loving Community and residents are forced to live in a community centre for several weeks.

DMU is aiming to ensure that the two worst effected homes are protected from the monsoon in June by raising their homes above the water level. Volunteers on this week’s trip helped by producing tiles that will be used on the new houses.

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In Leicester, the four-day #DMUtalented event is the university’s widening participation programme for gifted and talented students from local schools. It aims to raise the aspirations of pupils who may not have considered university as an option for their future.

Around 130 students from 14 schools came to DMU to take part in various academic activities. They then had the chance to exhibit their work during a special celebratory lunch held in the Hugh Aston building on Friday.

The experience of spending time on DMU’s campus has given the visiting students an insight into what they can expect if they choose to go to university.

Nasma Ajmayeen, a year 10 student at Rushey Mead Academy, said: “It’s been really fun. I’ve been doing Art and Design and we did a variety of things for example animation, pottery and charcoal drawing. It was fun to try a variety of things and cover a lot of subjects.

“It’s definitely made me want to come to university. It’s been really interesting to see all the different things you can do at university.”

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Pippa Goldstein from Lutterworth High School spent the week studying law. She said: “It’s been really interesting. The best thing was getting the experience from doing the law course so I know what I want to do in the future.”

Amy White, Deputy Head of Public Engagement at DMU, believes the activities over the past week show DMU’s commitment to helping local and international communities.

She said: “Over the past week our students have done some incredible work to support people in Berlin and India who are in difficult situations and it is amazing to see the effect that their work can have.

“It’s been very rewarding to continue our work on the UN’s Together campaign and we’ve learned some great lessons from Berlin that we can use in our work with refugees in Leicester.

“It’s also been great to work with school children from around Leicestershire who have had a brilliant experience on campus. All of the activities this week show how much DMU values our role as a force for civic good around the world.”

Posted on Friday 6th April 2018

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