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Kaniya Abubakar

Leah Bekedam

Elsie Cullen

Irfan Suleman

Filipa Tamlyn Serpa

October 26th, 2021

Student experience: Cumberland Lodge trip on Health, Politics and Development

0 comments | 1 shares

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Kaniya Abubakar

Leah Bekedam

Elsie Cullen

Irfan Suleman

Filipa Tamlyn Serpa

October 26th, 2021

Student experience: Cumberland Lodge trip on Health, Politics and Development

0 comments | 1 shares

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Students in their second year of part-time study on the MSc in Health and International Development, Kaniya Abubakar, Leah Bekedam, Elsie Cullen, Irfan Suleman and Filipa Tamlyn-Serpa share their reflections on the Department’s first Cumberland Lodge trip of the academic year (15-17 October) which focused on Health, Politics and Development.

Welcome to Cumberland Lodge! A time to make bonds, stimulate imagination, and most importantly, escape from reality.

We are the part-timers, also known (okay we won’t generalise, maybe not by all) as the ghosts. The people who might be in one of your seminars, rarely at all the social events, and the ones quietly lurking in the group chats. Due to the nature of our schedules, being immersed in a fun and educational environment with colleagues, for a weekend, in the International Development department, was something of a novelty.

But there we were, in the heart of Windsor, surrounded by a range of likeminded, curious individuals, who, just like us, have a burning passion to contribute to the field of international development.

After a rapid coach journey, we arrived at the beautiful Cumberland Lodge and settled into our lovely, spacious, Victorian style rooms. Not for too long though, as dinner awaited us, with fishcakes on the menu, to everyone’s delight! The food throughout was amazing, with a great variety of cuisines on offer throughout our time there including a generous breakfast menu. We would expand, but perhaps best not to tease your taste buds!

All sessions were stimulating in their own respect and were delightfully varied in their research focus. As students who have worked or are currently working in fields including Public Health and Communications/Marketing, or who have embarked on development projects in Mozambique, we enjoyed the sessions, and we could draw parallels to our own experiences.

One such example was a session led by Professor Peter Waiswa of Makerere University, who kindly tuned in on Zoom, to discuss the Covid-19 response from Uganda. A key theme we took away from this was how quickly governments in Low- and Middle-income Countries like Uganda mobilised, including significant collaboration with local academics and researchers to ensure accurate health intelligence was guiding decisions on interventions to ensure continuity of emergency health services. It raised questions on how to extend this challenge of maintaining health capacity beyond Covid-19, an issue that some of us had experienced in the same region prior to Covid-19.

Sandwiched between the sessions, we went on a walk towards Windsor Castle. We followed a beautiful trail to the castle, taking us past the infamous statue of King George III, and got our 10k steps just as we got there! The castle was a worthwhile visit, with a lovely village atmosphere surrounding it, giving ample opportunity to take in the scenery.

Cumberland Lodge scenery

Fast forward through the delicious meals, the evenings were a great opportunity to get to know more of our fellow students in the department. This opportunity was most welcomed, particularly as many of us did not attend all induction and welcome sessions! Whether it was through a game of table tennis or pool, which at times got competitive, or a challenging quiz aimed to fry the last cells left in your brain, we enjoyed the opportunity to socialise with people (yes, get to know people’s Harry Potter houses and their Netflix taste), not only from the MSc Health and International Development programme, but from across the department.

Cumberland Lodge group picture

The weekend closed with a spectacular session on nudges and libertarianism in health run by Tiziana Leone and David Lewis from the department. As a couple of us had worked in the Marketing and Communication industries related to health, it was interesting to see how students framed their behavioural intervention policies around public health problems. From ideas discussing adjusted formats of the ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’ campaigns for flu and Covid-19 to providing grants to businesses running non-alcoholic drinks campaigns targeting pregnant women, we learnt how Cass Sunstein’s theory of ‘nudge’ came to play in the world of health communications. Those of us who had completed optional courses in health communication from the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Sciences felt very well placed to do this task!

It’s painful that these joyous travel occasions go by so quickly. Having said that, it’s another valued memory banked in the diary of a part-time student. Here’s to more!

A group photo of the blog's contributors.

 


The views expressed in this post are those of the authors and in no way reflect those of the International Development LSE blog or the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

About the author

Kaniya Abubakar

Kaniya Abubakar is a Health and International MSc student who has previously studied International Relations and Development at undergraduate. Her hobbies and interests are in wellness and sporting activities such as boxing and football. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaniya-abubakar-476739180/.

Leah Bekedam

Leah Bekedam is a current Health and International Development Masters student. She has a foundation year qualification in Public Health from the University of Greenwich and Bachelors in Global Health, from Queen Mary. She has worked on a project for IPAS which was assisted by the LSE, prototyping a post-abortion voucher scheme in Pakistan and with UNICEF creating state profile of equity measure impacting immunisation rates across India.

Elsie Cullen

Elsie is an Intensive Care Nurse, Community Manager at GUAP magazine and studying a MSc in Health and International Development at the LSE. Aside from that, she is also the founder of a community interest company ‘ourppls’ which champions the use of creativity and culture to promote wellbeing and development. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elsie-ayotunde-cullen-4abb639b/

Irfan Suleman

Irfan is on the Health and International Development MSc programme and has a background in public/global health. He is simultaneously working in local government in conjunction with his studies and has had placements in Covid-19 Communications and Public Health. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/irfan-suleman/.

Filipa Tamlyn Serpa

Filipa Tamlyn Serpa is half American half Portuguese and is in the MSc Health and International Deve0lopment Program. Her background is in political science and anthropology.

Posted In: Fieldwork and Travel | Student Experience

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