Multicultural Education and Mental Health with Solenn Daudu: Insights from All Hands

img Dea BukitVista | April 5, 2024

In our relentless pursuit of growth and innovation, the All Hands: Weekly Inspirational Speaker series stands as a testament to Bukit Vista‘s commitment to fostering a culture of continuous learning. And as a team of HR-PR, the innisiators of All Hands, I, Dea Novita, will shares some insights about the meeting. In this article, we will learn about the multicultural education and mental health.

Curious why? Because this week, we had the distinct pleasure of welcoming Solenn Daudu as our featured speaker. Solenn, with her rich tapestry of global experiences, delved into the critical realms of multicultural education and mental health awareness, topics that resonate deeply with our organizational values and the broader challenges of our times.

Solenn Daudu
Solenn Daudu as Weekly Inspirational Speaker

Get to Know Solenn Daudu and Her Journey

Raised from Diverse Environment in Reunion Island

Solenn is the Founder and CEO of Vanillea International, a company that focuses on assisting students with their higher education institutions and international study projects. She grew up in Reunion Island, a French department located in the Indian Ocean, situated between Madagascar and Mauritius

Solenn Daudu
Solenn Daudu's Speech (Source: https://vanillea-international.com)

For Solenn, being brought up on Reunion Island has been a source of pride and an essential part of her identity. The multicultural environment of the island has likely played a significant role in shaping her worldview and her understanding of diversity and inclusion, which are evident in her career focused on international relations and educational initiatives. Her connection to the island adds depth to her character and to her work, as she brings this understanding of cultural interweaving to her professional endeavors.

Reunion's Island (Source: nypost.com)

Solenn’s Visionary Path in Educational Strategy

Solenn’s professional odyssey has been marked by innovative leadership and strategic vision, particularly in her role as Founder and CEO of Vanillea International. Since 2022, she has steered Vanillea International to bridge European and Asian educational institutions, creating international partnerships that embody her expertise in fostering growth and sustainability in education.

Solenn's Journey

In her quest for educational advancement, Solenn launched Wake Up Lab in 2024. This initiative reflects her entrepreneurial spirit, serving as a platform that nurtures educational innovation and long-term viability.

Her strategic insight continued to flourish at aivancity, where, as Area Manager since 2023, Solenn has leveraged her extensive experience to expand the organization’s influence, particularly in managing and potentially widening its outreach.

Solenn’s journey in consultancy also saw her make a significant impact as a Project Consultant at Atermon. During her tenure there, which lasted until 2023, she honed her expertise in guiding educational projects, cementing her stature as a strategist in the field.

Previously, after starting as a Smart City Project Manager in 2017, she developed herself to become the Director of International Relations at ECAM-EPMI from 2018 to 2022, she set the stage for global collaboration in education. Solenn’s career trajectory showcases a strategic climb through various leadership roles, each marking a significant contribution to international education and relations.

Embracing Multicultural Education Trough Community 

Solenn’s background shaped her into a champion for inclusive education. Her formative years on Reunion Island exposed her to a classroom where skin color, religion, and culture varied widely, but where these differences were simply a part of the norm. This contrasted with her experiences in Europe, where communities seemed more insular.

At Vanillea International, Solenn has focused on three pillars: diversity, justice, and peace. Her aim is to foster an environment where educational access isn’t limited by financial means, advocating for the kind of equitable access that she values. Her mission includes encouraging more women to enter the engineering field, breaking down gender barriers.

Meeting with Solenn Daudu
Multicultural Environment (Source: Pixels)

She believes that true security comes from understanding and embracing multicultural communication. She asserts, “Through understanding and multicultural communication, we can better comprehend each other, seeing that different approaches are valid and learning from them.” This comprehensive view is put into practice through group work, a strategy Solenn considers most effective in fostering collaborative and cross-cultural learning. She adds, “You have no choice but to work with people different from you, which is a powerful way to open minds and create a fabric of shared experiences”.

Solenn sees this multicultural education as vital to addressing societal imbalances and fostering a sense of unity and understanding.By navigating through the complexities of diverse perspectives, individuals can learn, grow, and contribute to a safer, more interconnected world.

Multicultural Education: A Kick Start for Vanillea International

Solenn’s pivotal moment for starting Vanillea International came from a realization during her tenure at EPMI. Despite advancing to the role of Director of International Relations, she found that the traditional educational framework restricted her ambitions for broader international collaboration. She experienced a growing urge to do more, to push boundaries beyond what her role permitted.

Solenn Talks about Her Company

Her past, especially her intercultural upbringing on Reunion Island, plays a crucial role in shaping Vanillea International’s mission. Solenn was surrounded by diversity from the start—different races, religions, and cultural backgrounds were the norm for her. She observed that these experiences were not as prevalent in the educational environments she encountered in Europe, which were more segregated and less mixed. This contrast fuelled her desire to integrate the inclusiveness of her childhood into the international educational landscape.

In her words, “It’s about equity—making sure that education is not a privilege of the few but a right for all.” She brings her extensive experience in forming partnerships, managing educational projects, and advocating for mental health to Vanillea International’s mission. The company aims to embody her belief in diversity, equity, and the power of education to create secure, inclusive communities. Through Vanillea, she seeks to enable more students, regardless of their financial background, to have the educational opportunities that foster understanding across cultures—a core value she credits to her days on Reunion Island.

The Significance of Mental Health Awareness

In a discussion that cut straight to the heart of global career impact, Solenn offered a nugget of wisdom for students and educators aspiring to make their mark internationally: Stay open. She credits her success to an openness to new experiences and cultural understandings, an ethos that fueled the founding of her company, Vanillea International.

In a move reflective of growing global consciousness, Solenn has incorporated mental health awareness into the fabric of Vanillea International’s educational mission. During the All Hands meeting, she underscored the importance of this often overlooked aspect. Drawing from a personal chapter where she faced significant mental strain, she stressed that mental well-being is as crucial as physical health, especially in high-pressure educational environments.

Solenn Talks about Tips and Mental Health on Education

This candid sharing highlights a stark reality faced by many in the academic realm. Solenn’s acknowledgment of her mental health struggles serves as a reminder of the silent battles individuals often face. Her experience has catalyzed Vanillea International’s commitment to supporting not only the academic growth of students but also their psychological welfare.

As part of its mission, Vanillea advocates for educational spaces where mental health is openly discussed and addressed, breaking the silence that often shrouds this critical issue. Solenn’s perspective on mental health is informed by both her professional journey and personal challenges, placing Vanillea at the forefront of a movement that champions holistic educational experiences.

Conclusion

The All Hands meeting with Solenn was a compelling foray into the nexus of multicultural education and mental health awareness. Solenn, an expert shaped by her multicultural upbringing on Reunion Island, offered insights into her journey, from her early exposure to diversity to her leadership roles across various educational institutions. Her discussion shed light on the founding of Vanillea International, driven by a desire for equity in education and a comprehensive approach to student well-being.

To those inspired by Solenn’s journey and vision, the All Hands platform offers an invaluable opportunity to engage with like-minded professionals and innovators. We invite you to join future All Hands meetings, whether to gain inspiration, share your journey, or contribute to the global dialogue on education and well-being.

Let’s collaborate to shape an inclusive educational future that values every aspect of the student experience. Register for the next session and be a part of this transformative conversation.

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