We have been interviewing CAMPers from our first year to understand what CAMP means to them, to get to know how CAMPers themselves understand the key benefits for CAMP. One of the themes that keeps cropping up is connection. A key benefit of CAMP is that it creates new connections, across cultures and across borders.
One of our CAMPers Feihong, who is from Shenzhen, told us that “CAMP appealed to me because I am really interested in cultural connection. The emphasis on cultural exchange and connection was the key thing that got me to apply.”
Connection is also what Feihong identified as the key benefit of CAMP for her. “You have more connections around the world and it may lead to so many new chances. CAMP is a key that will open doors which you can utilise in the future. Even though I haven’t had a completely different life after CAMP, I have more friends and more connections……..these are all dots, and one day they will be connected in a line. But you will never know when and how this will happen.”
Feihong appreciated the opportunity to create new connections, both with Australians and with her fellow Chinese peers. She told us “It was great that the backgrounds were so diverse. Most had their own social innovation projects that they are working on. This is a very rare occasion that you get to meet so many amazing people within China”
She went on to say “CAMP has influenced the way I perceive the world and how you fit yourself within society. I have a better understanding of social innovation and how an individual can make change within a society. It also influences how you fit yourself in the bilateral relationship. You will never know what this will lead to. I have a wider influence in terms of my life and the thing I will be doing in the future.The potential is there and the gate is open”
We look forward to continuing these connections with our CAMP alumni, and also with the new group of CAMPers for 2016. As Feihong has pointed out, we cannot imagine what these connection will lead to. But one thing is certain, it will be exciting to see the synergies that these connections create, and the amazing things that will unfold.