30 former Norec participants met in Nairobi during the first weekend in June to help get the brand new Norec Network up and running.

– It has been fulfilling and exciting. I am especially happy that we got the opportunity to network with other former exchange participants, says Duncan Mutuku (44).

The Norec Network will be a place where experiences can be shared, and new ideas developed. In other words, a network for the future. More than 130 former exchange participants applied for the Norec Network gathering, and of those, 30 were chosen to be part of the first group ever called the Norec Network.

The Norec exchange opened a lot of doors for me. If we can bring something back through this network, nothing would be more satisfying.

Duncan Mutuku


Shared many ideas

Mutuku was on exchange in Oslo in Norway back in 2005, when he was with Global Entrepreneurs. Today he lives in Nairobi, where he runs his own company working as a professional master of ceremonies.

– The Norec exchange opened a lot of doors for me. If we can bring something back through this network, nothing would be more satisfying, says Mutuku.

During the weekend the network participants had several sessions and workshops where they shared ideas of how they would like the network to function.

– This is brand new, and the former exchange participants are an important part of working out what we and they are to get from this network. This is only the beginning, says project consultant Tonje Polden Steinsland, who was responsible for the network gathering.

Wants the network to be sustainable

All the participants were asked to address their expectations before the gathering started.

– All my expectations have been met. It has been very interesting to hear the other participants’ views on different things. With the ideas we have been able to share, we can have a sustainable network, says Mutuku.

Beth Kawira (34) went for her exchange in 2020 when she stayed with KFUK-KFUM Global in Oslo, Norway. She cannot be more pleased with the weekend of networking.

– My expectations were to meet and connect with new people, and a hope that we would form an alumni group. I also hoped that we would share, and exchange ideas of what people have done after the exchange. All my expectations were met, says Kawira.

She especially found it motivating to hear how the former participants’ lives had been changed due to the exchange.

– I hope that we leverage on the platforms that we have, like the LinkedIn group and our WhatsApp group. People must stay active. I hope that we keep the connection, and that we share ideas. Let this be the beginning of a great engagement, says Kawira.

Found the gathering very useful

Consolata Tracey Adhiambo Owegi (28) went on exschange in 2017 when she stayed with TVIBIT in Tromsø, Norway. She is full of excitement after having spent time with other former participants for a whole weekend.

– I came with an open mind, and I have learned so much, both from my fellow former participants, but also from the Norec staff. The part about LinkedIn comes in right handy for a project I am doing in my job, says Tracey.

She describes the network as “coming home”.

– It feels like home. It was easy to break the ice, even though I hardly knew anybody when I first arrived. Now I know that I can reach out for both help and advice on so many topics, thanks to the network, says Owegi.

For Norec it is a great achievement to finally be on track to having the network up and running.

– This is something we have been thinking about for years. We are thrilled that we finally will be able to get the Norec Network up and running soon, says Head of Section Knowledge and Training Øystein Garfors.