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Season’s greetings to partners and friends



2020 has been an unprecedented year. The implications of the Covid-19 pandemic have been extensive and sad. First and foremost on an individual level for the victims of the global pandemic and their families and friends, but also on a collective basis for countries, economies, sectors and professions.

At Danida Fellowship Centre, we have also felt the effects of Covid-19. In normal years, we assist and host more than 1,500 fellows who participate in our learning programmes or pursue a master’s or PhD degree course with Danida’s support.

Though we started 2020 as usual and implemented eight learning courses “in-person” during the first three months of the year, we have only been able to carry out one course in Burkina Faso and one in Denmark since March. In addition, we have hosted fewer PhD and master students than normal. Like everyone else who collaborates with global partners, we have had to reorganise most of our courses, meetings and workshops from “in-person” to online formats. We even streamed our annual Danida alumni award ceremony on Facebook from Uganda.

Looking back it has been far from easy to deal with lockdowns, travel restrictions and social distancing. However, the staff at Danida Fellowship Centre has worked tirelessly throughout it all. As a team, we have grown and learned together. We have taken an extensive leap into online collaboration. We have also learned that regardless of the obstacles we have faced, it never prevented us from finding new ways to collaborate with our partners and colleagues in Denmark and abroad.

There shall be no doubt that we miss welcoming our fellows to Denmark. We are very aware that the mutual inspiration, energy and learning that the physical meetings generate are harder to inspire in interactions via a screen.

However, even though we know the coming months will be hard, we face 2021 with optimism. We believe in the work we do and the value of the learning we facilitate for partners in emerging economies and Danida priority countries and for partners in the research collaboration projects we administer.

At the end of this year, I am therefore glad to share with you, five individual stories from our alumni. They each illustrate how Danida supported fellows are making use of the knowledge and skills they developed in collaboration with their study places in Denmark.

With season’s greetings,

Ulla Næsby Tawiah

Director, Danida Fellowship Centre

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