Friday, May 31, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
We spent yesterday making our way to Jinja for most of the morning. In the afternoon we finally had the chance to meet Rose and the rest of the staff at the Women's Rights Initiative (WORI), a long term partner of Tawi, to tell us more about their goals to help empower women and youth. Community Based Participatory Research is not a new concept to them; they do needs-based assessments of communities with expressed needs before creating any curriculum or plans and serve as a catalyst to incent individuals to be the sources of change. WORI, as well as Tawi, focuses on sustainable change by not only teaching women to sew, for example, but also how to fix a faulty machine.
Being as my project focuses on poverty, I have been attempting to observe and ask about that as well. I am not planning to disperse many of those findings or my own insights on that here until possibly after I have had time to digest them through working on my project and conducting more interviews with social protection agencies to avoid any premature assumptions.
So far our time in Jinja has been exciting and interesting, most of all speaking with WORI. I look forward to meeting with additional NGOs and to continue learning.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Today's the day!
Thank you to my wonderful friends for the journal, booklight, and first aid kit for my trip.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. And many of our people need it solely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" -Mark Twain.
Friday, May 17, 2013
There isn't a country I would not like to visit. There are indeed countries I should not or cannot visit, but none that I would not like to visit. This curiosity is what drew me to my upcoming travels to Uganda.
Earlier this year, I was introduced to Tawi , a new student lead organization on campus focusing on professional and international development as an option to grow beyond the classroom (you can find more information about Tawi here). While I was originally drawn in by the free ice cream at the info session, its mission began to speak to me. Tawi stresses sustainable change similar to what I have learned through my social welfare studies. Instead of showing up as an outsider asserting our expertise, we need to go in to ask questions, learn, and listen.
I am not going to Uganda because I aim to elicit change. I am not going to Uganda because I aim to provide aid. I am not going to Uganda because I think I am a greater expert than Ugandans. I am not going to Uganda because my culture and experience have lead me to understand the right way.
I am going to Uganda so that I can begin to understand aspects of another country. I am going to Uganda to explore the picture of poverty in a country other than my own. I am going to Uganda because I hope to gain experience and perspective on how individuals who are part of another culture are different yet very much the same. I am going to Uganda to ask questions, to learn, and to listen.
Hopefully I will find time to keep up with this blog, but it will be a bit of an experiment. I may post daily, weekly, sporadically, or not at all but I hope to write at least enough as to not forget the good and the bad and the in-between.