What does International Day of Friendship mean at ISS?

Celebrating friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals
Maurice Oduor Okoth

On 30 July 2022, the UN observes the International Day of Friendship, a day that celebrates how friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

At the International Institute of Social Studies, many such friendships are made and still cherished many years later. We asked current MA students and alumni to share their best photos exemplifying the unique connections they built during their programme. Here are just a few images of the lasting friendships made at ISS.

Carla Calero

'In the photo (from left to right) we are Nancy (El Salvador), Daniela (Bolivia), Carla (Ecuador) and Angela (Colombia). Our batch year was 2005-2006.

The photo is at Galapagos- Ecuador. We used to plan trips. Currently, we live in different places: Washington D.C. (Nancy), UK (Daniela), Peru (Carla) and Colombia (Angela). We are always in touch.'

María Angélica Nieto

'This is at my wedding party, the 23 of July of 2021. Their company was really special for me since it was the 4th time, I had to reschedule this celebration due to corona and 20 people had to cancel. It was an epic celebration and Paola (in yellow,) Camila (in red) and Martha (in dark purple) were there with me (María Angélica), we had a blast as always.

I also met my husband when I was writing my thesis in summer 2015, and came back to live in the Netherlands in 2020. We are from Colombia batch 2015.'

Maurice Oduor Okoth

'My cherished photo with my South Sudanese friend, Andrew Ohide, class of 2014-2015 at ISS, Netherlands.'

Elita Mwenda

'I am part of ECD class of 2008. I love and show my treasured ISS friendships.'

Worrin Muivah

'SJP 2015-16 class trip to Belgium and Germany!'

Tara Cavanagh & Chris Picha

'#Bestbuds'

Saskia Carusi

'ISS 2003-2004 — we still meet and talk to each other.'

Amanda Pokuah

From left to right: Livia, Tg, Pokuah and Rafy.

Ezinne Aninwe

Ezinne Aninwe - 'My Livia (pictured left), God answered my prayer, and I knew it right from the day you walked into my room on 24 August 2021. I had asked for like-minded people to be a support system here. We've grown better through the tests and testimonies we share. Thank you for the laughter and light we share.'

Dan Soucy

Dan Soucy - 'I am lucky enough to have met Militza when she agreed to make some beautiful "Safe Zone" stickers for the ISS Sexual Diversity Committee. Her talents were not just limited to her incredible design skills. Indeed, she also is doing some really fascinating research for her RP; she constantly challenges me to think deeper as we explore our major (Social Policy for Development) together, she makes incredibly delicious vegetarian food and of course, she finds the most wonderful adventures when we have galivanted around Prague, Lisbon and the Netherlands together this year. I am so grateful to know this incredible human and call her my dear friend! I am also hopeful that one day I can visit her in Peru, and she can visit me in the US!'

Militza Martinez Meneses - 'One of the best gifts from ISS is definitely Dan’s friendship. He is my inspiration to make things happen. We love to say, "why not?" before trying something new. Dan is one of my favorite humans to enjoy life with and having beautiful conversations about social policy and life 💕 I can’t wait for our next adventures together in the Netherlands, the US, Peru or around the world.'

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