Courtesy of our partners at the University of Westminster
My adventure from Ghana to the University of Westminster started almost a year ago now when I decided to undertake a master’s degree in International Development Management. I fell in love with this course the day I volunteered with International Service UK back in Ghana. From that moment, I decided to pursue my change of career path into International Development Management. My name is Narian Lincoln, and this is my London adventure of sunshine, rain and an orchid plant.
I have just left my former abode on Baker Street, where our Marylebone campus is located, in central London. The campus is virtually a walking distance to the popular Oxford Street, a vibrant shopping street that attracts many international tourists. It’s a lovely day today at my new home in Willesden Green. Thoughts fill my mind as I glance through the window watching the sunshine. Then the next minute, the raindrops fall, and then the sunbeams spring up again. I find it fascinating! It’s funny now to look back on how during the London winter, every time I stepped outside the cold wind made my eye extremely teary. One special memory I will always remember is the day I visited Buckingham palace and decided to walk my way back to Baker Street. I was so proud of myself.
With volunteering changing the course of my career path, I decided to volunteer with a number of organisations in the UK as well. My first voluntary experience was in my early days in London at the One Young World 2019 summit for change-makers. I had actually previously applied to attend this summit whilst in Ghana but wasn’t selected. Upon being in London and discovering via LinkedIn that they needed volunteers, I just said “hurray!”. Investing my time in making it a success was very rewarding.
I also tried volunteering in other areas like fundraising, but I realised it required further processes. So in the end, I had to give up on fundraiser volunteering. During this Covid-19 times, I have been volunteering with City Harvest a charity that makes sure foodstuff doesn’t go to waste. Instead, food is channeled to charities and people that need it the most. Thanks to City Harvest, lockdown doesn’t mean a food supply shortage for the needy. I really admire the initiative because unlike some hospitality companies I’ve worked with, whose regulations allowed leftover food to go to the bin, at City Harvest, food is precious.
Incredible new friends to share my adventure with
“It reminds me that people can be loving and that kindness does still exist and can be shown by everyone across the world.”
One remarkable solace has been the friendship my coursemates and I have found through meeting on our master’s degree course. This still continues even in our new Zoom world. We soon realised that our class was solely international students and was the best place to make incredible new friends. We’ve enjoyed many social events and fun times together going to the cinema, a visit to Southwark Park, and Wetherspoons to relax in a warm and lively atmosphere.
And of course, I won’t ever forget 28th February, that’s my birthday you know. Who was there with a surprise? My classmates of course. Haha. I remember, we received a cheesecake in class one day, and upon tasting it, I said ‘Oh my God, that’s my favourite cake!’ I never stopped talking about that cheesecake!. So on my birthday, I received one with a beautiful Orchid Plant from the class. One friend who presented the plant said she chose it because an orchid plant is gentle and resilient, like me. I can still gaze at the plant as I type these words. It reminds me that people can be loving and that kindness does still exist and can be shown by everyone across the world. And not only from people we’ve known for decades.