Sunday, July 14, 2013

Research Thoughts

     This is Africa or better vocalized as T.I.A. has been a coined phrase amongst us researchers for the latter part of our stay. I can most certainly say we have experienced our fair share of " the ebbs and flows" from many circumstances here but in the end, we yielded positive results.

     Now into more of the specifics, the second part of our research has started off on the right path. We (Amanda and I) have designed and began facilitating our community needs assessment on population health concerns, with a particular focus on sexual gender based violence. With the aid of our organization here in Uganda, the communities have received us well and are eager to not only help us in our plight of research but to truly establish a sustainable change in their rural, agri/horticultural society. In our community focus groups, I've had the opportunity to talk amongst the men of the certain sub-counties on their sentiments of current communal issues such as land disputes, domestic violence, and even as they say "unexplained" cultural practices.
One of the over-looming themes coming from the discussions and interviews were the need for local organizations to permeate thorough out these remote areas to establish accountability in other sectors presently quoted as "corrupt," and the need for basic human rights respected. Coming away from these discussions it gets so hard not to get caught up in their struggle and not have an immediate solution for them. That said, when I further thought on the issue I realized for the structural change not represented as of now, I did give them an emotional outlet to get their ideas across and another reason to hope for a better future. I know our work won't go in vain and will be personally interested in following up with our organization to see their development in the future.

     Due to many political and cultural stigmas present, I realize that an immediate change is not as easy as one would hope but can't we correlate that to the many events that occurred since our country's inception? Given the time and empowerment, I am quite assured that Uganda has social change coming their way soon, I just feel like we (researchers, NGOs, missionaries, and others) have to sometimes take a step back and reflect upon ourselves of our progress in helping fulfill that goal. I realized a lot of the multidisciplinary approaches we have on social juice are sometimes redundant in the services we provide, most likely due to a lack of communication. So even outsiders like ourselves have much to reflect on in our hopes for a better Africa.

     So I end this blog with T.I.A in terms of reverence and pride so until my next post, love and live life folks....

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