In 2008, Richelle Matthews applied for a Cuso International volunteer placement that brought her to Kenya for a year, working with children with developmental disabilities. The experience made an impact and set her on a new path.
One of the highlights for her was learning about a new culture. “I like new experiences, and I’m fascinated by culture,” she said. “I believe that an in-depth understanding of how culture affects our perceptions is massively important. My work in Africa helped me learn how to navigate in an intercultural environment—with humour and authenticity.” Following her placement in Kenya, Richelle worked in Sub Saharan Africa and Bangladesh.
Just recently, at the University of Calgary working on a Master’s degree, Richelle applied for the Hult Prize, a prestigious competition for start-up projects. This year’s challenge to participants was to create innovative solutions to address the world’s challenges with refugees.
Her group was one of six from around the world selected for the opportunity to compete for a million dollars to execute the project which aims to support refugees from West Africa.