eLearning Africa: Make your voice heard, send us your Paper

Dear elearning enthusiasts,

Only few days left before the eLearning Africa 2014 Call for Proposals closes! 

This more than ever is the right time to review the eLearning Africa 2014 theme (http://bit.ly/18idkae) and submit your proposal (http://bit.ly/1f1BXai).

We hope to see you in Uganda!

The eLearning Africa Team 

eLearning Africa 2014 Call for Proposals: make your voice heard

eLearning Africa 2014

How do you support ICT development in Africa?

Tell us your exciting story when you submit your proposal and get the opportunity to share your views next year in Kampala with 1,500 education practitioners.


Know more about the eLearning Africa 2014 themes and the Call for Proposals at http://elearning-africa.com/programme_themes.php

LIVE AGAIN ONLINE: Help spread the message of our work

Greetings to our partners and supporters,

Luhwahwa Youth Development Foundation (LUYODEFO) trusts that June has been a great month, and that the half-year brought lots of new activities as well.

We write to you with exciting news, our new website is up and running at a new location – URL, you can now find it at: http://www.luyodefo-ug.org/. Please, we request you to update your database system to link to our new URL at the link above.

We are proud of our new site! We are happy to say that the website designed and hosted by our friends Matt Shane and Kelli Shane at MSK Digital Media is clear, and its solid professional features that make it an incredibly useful resource for all—veteran supporters and newcomers alike. Best of all, it connects us with you and helps you to spread the message of the work we do together! We encourage you to explore it and tell others to do the same. We hope that our website answers most of the questions anyone may ask!

You know that empowering Uganda’s youth is the surest way for them to lead healthy lives, obtain quality educations and build strong communities. This new website is the next step in that effort and we hope that it inspires you to continue or deepen your support and to share and recommend our cause to others.

Opportunity from Global Integrity - Call for Experts: Web Index 2013

For details of countries involved (many in Africa) and to apply to join the research team, see http://globalintegrity.org/blog/web-index-hiring

Global Integrity is embarking on a partnership with the World Wide Web Foundation to prepare the 2013 Web Index.  The Web Index is the first multi-dimensional measure of the Web’s use, utility and impact. In 2012, the Web Index covered 61 developed and developing countries, incorporating indicators that assess the political, economic and social impact of the Web; in 2013 coverage will be increased to roughly 80 countries.  The Web Index is a tool that helps advocates and policy analysts draw upon actionable measures to identify impediments and track improvements in Web access and affordability.  The Web Index also helps inform decision-makers and regulators as to what changes can be made to Web governance in country to help achieve greater and more sustainable development outcomes.

This effort will require a global team of reporters and reviewers around the world to conduct original research and data gathering that will feed into the final 2013 Web Index. 

Quality Affordable Volunteering in Uganda

“To volunteer here is a life changing experience which you will never forget, to Volunteer with an organization Called BoHU ( Beacon of Hope Uganda) Is certainly not only going to put something into a desperately poor community, but also give you an adventure of a lifetime.”- Chris (former volunteer) from- Denmark

Are you looking to do something more meaningful on your travels? Beacon of Hope Uganda recruits volunteers for locally-run community, conservation, teaching, building and sports projects around Uganda. Volunteers are an integral part of everything that happens at Beacon of Hope Uganda. We couldn’t do it without them. There are many ways to volunteer your time, as well as your skills, to help out. Depending on the season, we always have a list of much needed services of volunteers within our projects around Uganda.

Sustainable Volunteer Work in Mukono District, Uganda

Are you looking to do something more meaningful on your travels?

Beacon of Hope Uganda (BoHU) recruits volunteers for locally-run community, conservation, teaching, health, building and sports projects around Uganda. Volunteers are an integral part of everything that happens at BoHU. We couldn’t do it without them. There are many ways to volunteer your time, as well as your skills, to help out. Depending on the season, we always have a list of much needed services of volunteers within our projects around Uganda.

Africa Roundtable at OfficeXpats on 6 July, 2012

Summer has come to Bainbridge Island which brings us to the next roundtable event at OfficeXpats on 6 July. As usual Kabissa is bringing people together for networking and to learn from featured speakers about their projects in Africa. As you will see below, we have a great lineup of speakers. Whether you are able to come in person or want to join us remotely via Skype, you are very much invited! Click here to register.

Dave Danielson: I am a local lawyer and Bainbridge Island resident who in recent years has taken an interest in helping third world countries coming out of huge conflicts. I have been invited to come and speak at the roundtable about my recent experience in Uganda, where I worked on a study of Uganda's IDP (Internally Displaced Person) policy to determine what went right/wrong, and what lessons are available for other countries around the world with significant IDP populations. It is estimated that there are about 11 million IDPs in the world, many in countries without policies on how to deal with them. As time permits, I also would be glad to discuss transitional justice (e.g. amnesty and truth and reconciliation commissions) and traditional justice.

Larry Casazza: I am a Board certified pediatrician and public health specialist working in malaria and childhood survival programs for several decades. I have dedicated my career, spanning thirty years, to implementing community-based activities aimed at improving the health and welfare of women and children with an emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. Currently I am the Director of ACAM, African Communities Against Malaria. In my talk I will discuss the need to close the gap in global health programming to ensure engaging the beneficiary communities for truly sustainable interventions. 

Hope you can make it! A note about the Africa Roundtable and social media - to maximize the benefit of the roundtables, we use Kabissa, Facebook and Twitter before, during and after the events. For this to work we need your help in spreading the word and sharing Africa Roundtable content to people and organizations that you think will benefit from it. Thanks!  

  • Kabissa: We will post updates to the Africa Roundtable page and Mailing List, and write about the events on the community blog. If you are new to Kabissa, see http://kabissa.org/about for a checklist of ways to jump start your (free) membership.
  • Facebook: Like the Kabissa and Africa Roundtable pages on Facebook, add them to your organization's page and share them with your Facebook contacts. Like/comment on posts about your roundtable to help spread the word. 
  • Twitter: Follow Kabissa and AfricaRoundtabl on Twitter. The twitter hashtag to follow along during the event and review it afterwards is #africaroundtable

Cloth Pads, Share The Benefit

Come on everyone, let's work together here.

“We have been piloting the introduction and use of reusable cloth pads among girls/ women in 2011. Even when we were working with very limited resources, the project is creating impact, and the demand for our services is growing among girls/women, school leadership and parents.”

“LUYODEFO has launched a mass campaign to help promote the affordability, use and application of reusable sanitary pads among women and girls in Kasese, western Uganda. The campaign aimed to teach communities on the benefits of the reusable sanitary pads over the disposal pads; creating awareness on puberty, menstruation and menstrual hygiene; reproductive health issues; sexually transmitted infections (STIs); and girl child education. Key focus will be on the phase of the menstrual cycle discussing the functions of the relevant body parts, and the use and management of cloth pads including cleaning instructions for long term use/benefit.

There will be some time for questions where the girls/ women can ask about anything pertaining to female hygiene, the menstrual cycle, and any other issues the girls/ women may face today.”

4 May Africa Roundtable featuring Jane Bowman on Refugee Law Center in Uganda and Auwal Musa on CISLAC in Nigeria

Registration is now open for the Africa Roundtable taking place on May 4th. Space is available for 10 participants via video skype and 20 participants in person at the OfficeXpats co-working space on Bainbridge Island. Click here to register.

Kony 2012: The Message Should Match the Medium - Nonviolent Peaceforce

As people who have toiled in relative obscurity for years over the very issue this extremely widely viewed video raises, the abduction of children by the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), we have to admit we felt a pang of jealousy along with our gratitude at seeing such hyper attention paid to this ongoing tragedy. Yet, as we view and review the YouTube sensation, we are moved to take a more critical look at what can and has been done before Kony 2012 brought about the media explosion.

Game Changer. Global meme. World connectivity. Digital media miracle! Viral Spiral! TV and computer screens have screamed the story of the invisible children over the last few days. Last we looked the film had over 70 million hits. The campaign is slick and compelling. But we are deeply disturbed with the direction all this enthusiasm is taking.

Don’t get us wrong: it is wonderful that millions of people are now prompted to act on behalf of the children abducted and exploited by the LRA (or other warlord factions in Central Africa today). It is even better that millions, especially young people, are recognizing that wars impact real people and that they can help to end one.

Telling the story of Kony’s victims through the figure of Jacob is brilliant — was it Stalin who said, “one death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic”? But to demonize a single individual and urge others to “take him out” is not only over simplistic, it’s dangerous.

Joseph Kony is not a lone rogue who is “not supported by anyone.” He stays armed, fed and alive because he serves a multiplicity of political leaders in a sinister multi-state balance of terror in east-central Africa. And to vilify one person, however deserving he seems to be, as the lightning rod for our hate does not solve conflicts. It reinforces the belief that we can use violence to solve them. History has shown over and over, that disciplined and sustained nonviolent strategies can change violent regimes. Ask Marcos or Mubarak.

It was painful to watch the director, Jason Williams, teach his son that the world is divided into “bad guys” (them) and “good guys” (us) — the very rhetoric, and mindset, that has caused the waste of tens of thousands of lives over the last twenty years in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Most disturbing is the film’s call to join “an army of peace” and urge Congress to continue supplying US Military advisors for a military response for removing Joseph Kony from the battlefield. Here a revolutionary medium reduces itself to a reactionary solution.

Kony must be stopped and brought to justice. Children must be released and protected. Yet, there are transformational responses worthy of this revolutionary media call. And the fact is, we have been doing this, albeit at a small scale so far and well below the media radar, with a real army of peace.

Gandhi coined the term “peace army” (shanti sena) for the network of unarmed, nonviolence-trained volunteers he had begun to send throughout India to stem her regional and communal conflicts. Today, following his lead, Nonviolent Peaceforce has teams of specially trained unarmed civilian peacekeepers coming from several countries living and working in a village on the western border of South Sudan. Florington is one of those peacekeepers. He comes from Sri Lanka where he trained communities on how to protect their children from abduction to child soldiering during the long civil war there. He now teaches communities in South Sudan how to protect themselves and prevent abductions by Kony and the LRA. Other unarmed peacekeepers retrieve child soldiers. They do all of this without guns and therefore without escalating the violence.

These are just two examples of courageous peace work that if properly brought to scale could break this cycle of violence by demonstrating an effective nonviolent approach that empowers local people to protect themselves. If we had ten trained nonviolent peacekeepers in each threatened village working closely with local people to prevent abductions, it would not only allow thousands of children to sleep in peace but herald a methodology that could change the face of war. Remember: we are not talking about a “maybe” here — nonviolent teams of this kind, sometimes numbering far fewer than ten, have protected lives in Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Columbia, Mindanao, and places too numerous to mention — many of them, like most of these, embroiled in severe conflict. And all this could be done at a fraction of the cost of military interventions.

Civilians, especially women and children, are now often the intentional targets in violent conflicts from Colombia to Syria. Demanding military interventions in each of these desperate situations will only escalate violence and feed geopolitical agendas unknown to most Facebook Friends. Indeed, as the wildly popular film reminds us, what we do and don’t do will affect every generation. But how we do it can be even more important. Let us seize this moment while we have to world’s attention to not only show that we care but also reshape the way the world responds to violent conflict. Then, indeed, the transformational message would match the revolutionary medium.

Crossposted from the Nonviolent Peaceforce blog: http://www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org/blog/%5Buser-raw%5D/kony-2012-message-should-match-medium

Michael Nagler
President, Metta Center
Professor emeritus of Classics
and Comparative Literature
UC, Berkeley

Mel Duncan
Founding Director
Nonviolent Peaceforce

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