We finally got our internet to work, so you can expect many more blog posts and pictures from us. YAY!
Quick update. Since our first visit to the field on Friday, we have:
- Become addicted to Pasión Morena and Beautiful but Unlucky, the best soaps on Ugandan primetime.
- Met UNC‘s GROW team (Hi Trini and Susan!) that’s working with Health Alert in Gulu. We went to the Luo Talent Centre, a dance center that offers free dance classes for neighborhood kids in primary and secondary school, to watch a dance practice with the Gulu Theatre Artists. The directors of GTA told us they started giving pounds of sugar and tea to the parents of the kids, so the parents would allow their kids to spend so much time in dance practice and not work.
- Attended a women’s rights group meeting with Wilfred and Tykun/Tycoon (no one, including Tykun/Tycoon, will tell us how to spell his name) in Bobi, a town a little outside of Gulu. This deserves its own blog post, but in summary, the women’s rights group in Bobi, one of 5 supported by GWED-G, organizes women’s rights education sessions in their communities and works closely with the local police to run a rape and domestic violence hotline.
The name of their group is “Loko-Kwo-Pe-Yot” or “It’s not easy to change attitudes,” and the women told us they chose this name because they recognize the difficulty in changing attitudes and behaviors but want to champion the cause anyways. They use community dialogue as their primary method of intervention, as does GWED-G. Wilfred said GWED-G has a “very simple formula” for development: “The best way to end poverty is through economic empowerment of women. If you give a man 5,000 shillings, he will spend it in a day in town. If you give a woman 5,000 shillings, her entire family will eat.”
- Visited Rupiny radio station, part of New Vision media in Uganda, and heard about their different social responsibility projects, including a newspaper subsidy program and a school books donation program in rural villages. As Monica, the Director of the station, said, “Information is key to development.”
Theme of my trip so far – getting smacked in the face with things I didn’t know I didn’t know. It’s awesome.
For example, I didn’t really know what it meant when Liza (previous GlobeMed at Columbia co-prez) told me I was about to have an experience that would CHANGE MY LIFE, but yeah, CHANGE, in all caps, is happening. WHAT?
Lots of Love,