For details of countries involved (many in Africa) and to apply to join the research team, see http://globalintegrity.org/blog/web-index-hiring
“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.
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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
President, Metta Center
Professor emeritus of Classics
and Comparative Literature
Jane Bowman, a researcher with Refugee Law Project in Kampala, sent us her musings about KONY 2012. Jane is returning to Bainbridge Island in April and has graciously agreed to be our featured speaker at the Africa Roundtable on May 4. Click here for details and to register.
It is remarkable to be here in Uganda at the time of the KONY 2012 release. Before I came here in January, more people knew about Uganda’s silverback gorillas than they knew about Joseph Kony or the LRA war. Explaining my project to friends back home was a non-starter. Instead we shared jokes about Idi Amin. I myself had only a naïve understanding of the scope of the conflict that I would be researching here. So putting aside the roiling controversy about the video and its creator’s motivations, I can’t help feeling that having Uganda in the spotlight is a good thing. There is a lot of important work to be done here.
Whether you love it, hate it, or know nothing about it, the online phenomenon that is the “KONY2012” video offers many valuable lessons for us in communicating the work we do.
What is this KONY 2012 all about?
Never has a video – and certainly not one created by an NGO – generated such heated and conflicting responses, or achieved such immediate global reach. Fast approaching the 100-million-viewer mark, in the week following its launch, coverage of the KONY2012 video infiltrated every major news outlet in the world, and ignited a storm of commentary among Facebookers and Tweeters of all ages.
If you have not yet seen it, KONY2012 is a slick, expensive 30-minute film produced by a US-based NGO, Invisible Children, as part of an international campaign to arrest the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Joseph Kony. It gives a brief history of the LRA, and creates a sense of urgency about the fate of the children abducted into the LRA. Viewers are told that the solution lies in their hands, through passing on the video, contacting US government representatives and celebrities, and buying bracelets and posters to spread the message.
The video has attracted enormous support, but also enormous criticism. Detractors accuse it of being dangerously simplified, patronizing, inaccurate and manipulative. To learn more, I encourage you to read some of the truly excellent pieces of investigation, analysis, satire and reflection published on the issue, including a growing number of responses from Ugandans.
WOUGNET is one of Kabissa's oldest and most innovative member organizations, and always helped keep Kabissa at the bleeding edge of ICT services for African civil society. Please help spread the word about this great opportunity - deadline to apply is 11 February.