Thursday, April 26, 2007

Field Notes

Here's an excerpt of a recent email from Global Studies major Curry Anton, who is currently studying in Uganda:

"I am working for the Kabarole Research and Resource Center (, an indigenous NGO that has been operating in the Rwenzori region since 1996. KRC has a holistic program for poverty reduction in the region which entails integrated interventions in peace building, human rights, and economic empowerment of the rural poor. After studying development here in Uganda and seeing so many ways in which NGOs, earmarked donor funds, foreign aid and top down development policy have failed, resources have been squandered, and dependency mentality has been instilled, it is incredibly refreshing, encouraging and inspiring to be working for an organization that truly does walk the talk of grassroots, participatory holistic approaches to development and empowerment. I am working under the auspices of the Human Rights and Good Governance Department. For the past few weeks I have been acquainting myself with their civil peace service program, which includes peace education/peace clubs, community peace committees, and conflict resolution and mediation programs. My particular focus has been on the work of the 9 peace committees operating in the 5 districts of the Rwenzori region. They work 'to promote a culture of nonviolence and peaceful coexistence among all people despite ethnic, political, tribal or religious difference.' On my first day of work I was ushered off with a personal driver to go attend the first ever joint peace committee meeting with representatives from all 9 sub counties in the region, traveling on foot, by bicycles bearing the 'KRC peace promoter' sign, and by bus, many undertaking long and strenuous journies through the mountainous terrain to attend. It was wonderful to sit in a room with about 40 Ugandan civil peace promoters and talk about the challenges, successes, future plans and visions for peace in their rural communities..."

We look forward to hearing more from Curry when she returns to WWC this fall.


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