PPLE Student Dina Hrastović
Class of 2018
'I grew up in Zagreb,' Dina Hrastović starts her story. 'Though it is a capital city, it is not so cosmopolitan as Amsterdam. I want to use the opportunity of being here to develop my interests to the utmost. This is my chance to get involved.'
Dina is an active member of PPLE's study association AIM. She is one of the founders of the magazine Pandemic. 'Pandemic is very different from other student magazines, it's far more academic. It's not about local gossip or drinking parties, and we don't want to be connected exclusively to Amsterdam. We aim to make our readers think and to question the topics we write about. Everyone is welcome to send in a good, thought-provoking article, not just PPLE students.'
Fund-raising against child labour
Dina has also become active in other ways. Through PPLE tutor Michelle Oliel she became involved in the Stahili Foundation. 'The Stahili Foundation was founded by three former volunteers in Kenyan orphanages. They found out that the children there are not really orphans, and are exploited as child labourers throughout the year except during the Western holiday season when volunteers pour in. The Stahili Foundation wants to liberate the children and their families from these circumstances and make sure they can live at home and be supported there. The foundation works on a child per child basis, which is very intensive work, but we want to be certain that all promises are delivered.'
Several PPLE students are involved in the Stahili Foundation. 'We are building a network to raise money for the children,' says Dina. 'We are organizing a big fund-raising event next month, that should not just attract other students but also be an interesting event for other people living in Amsterdam.'
Doing something well
'I feel honoured to be part of both of these projects, Stahili and Pandemic, right from the beginning. It feels great to be part of a group of smart people who are ambitious and who really want to put themselves out there to make a change. A lot of people feel comfortable just giving their opinions without actually getting involved, but these people are willing to invest their time and efforts into doing something well.'