Meet the New PULSE Participants

2023 is well underway, which mean we can welcome four new PULSE Participants to the team in South Africa.

Ann Elise Reigem

Ann Elise Reigem is a student at the University of Bergen, and currently writing her master’s thesis in global development with a specialization in Health Promotion Theories. She was doing a two-month internship September — November of 2022. Turned out this was way too short for this eager student who decided to apply for coming back as a PULSE Participant. She also has a bachelor’s degree in Pedagogy, and several years of experience with working in a non-profit organization.  

— Even though I’m not a professional musician, FBF´s focus on improving health and well-being in communities at social risk is straight in line with both my background and goals. There is such a big potential in the impact FBF can make in the lives of so many children and teenagers, and this is something I want to be part of.   

In PULSE she is looking forward to be working with life skills and social inclusion content, and use her academic and educational background to promote upskilling of staff.

— In my time here, I want to use my knowledge and skills to further promote the work of FBF, and also learn new things to bring back home to Norway. 

Sangeeta Hessen

Sangeeta is educated as a teacher with a master’s degree in social science didactics for teachers. Throughout her education she has had a particular interest in social development and the African Sahara. During her master´s, she focused on education and gender equality in Tanzanian Secondary schools. She has since then been working as a primary school teacher in Norway for approximately four years. However, Sangeeta wanted to get new global experiences to broaden her opportunities and expand her set of experiences. This is why she applied to be a PULSE participant.  

As a pulse participant she will focus on teaching skills and how to implement them. She sincerely wishes to use all the skills which are already present in the various bands, and thereby expand the knowledge of teaching skills together with the members. She is not a musician, but would like to expand her knowledge on how to teach music as well as contributing with her expertise as a teacher.  

Kaja Henriksen

Kaja is a 30 year old music therapist who since graduating from the University of Bergen has been working to improve young people´s mental health and wellbeing through various music activities. In 2019, She did an internship with the music therapy organisation MusicWorks in Cape Town and was inspired to write her master´s thesis based on her experience. In her work she puts the joy of music at the forefront and is passionate about creating safe spaces for people to express themselves and experience meaningful connections. 

— I was introduced to PULSE when I met one of the South African PULSE, Thembeka Joe, at a conference in Bergen, and everything fell into place; I have been looking for an opportunity to come back to South Africa and continue expanding my knowledge on how to use music as a means to improve holistic health and provide possibilities for growth. I feel very much at home in the FBF´s values and goals. 

During her exchange Kaja will among other things be using her music theraputical skills. She wants to learn as many new songs, games and moves as possible and take them back to Norway with her. 

Fredrik Arntsen Haga

Fredrik Arntsen Haga is a 27 years old saxophonist with a Master’s Degree in Musicology. He has been playing in bands since he was 7 years old, and for the last few years he has been working as a producer at a cultural center in Northern Norway, coordinating and organizing concerts and cultural events, logistics with traveling regional theaters and a wide variety of cultural events for children and the elderly. After two years in the Norwegian north, he packed his bags and joined PULSE in South Africa.  

— My goal is to learn as much as possible during my exchange, both about the FBF, South African culture and history, and hopefully some isiZulu. I’m looking forward to working with something meaningful and meeting a lot of new people. 

The four new participants have already gotten well into their work. You will hear more about their work in the coming months.

You can read about the current PULSE Participants here

Written by Ann Elise Reigem, Sangeeta Hessen, Kaja Henriksen and Fredrik Arntsen Haga
Photos by Sondre Aksnes Yggeseth

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