Archive for June, 2006

SOS Children’s Village

P6220134, originally uploaded by ficubc.

It’s been a busy week here in Uganda! This past thursday some of our members travelled outside Kampala to the village of Kakiri, which is home to one of three Kinderhoff children’s villages in Uganda. They are basically model villages with housing, sports facilities, health facilities, and schools for orphans. There are approximately 160 children and 60 youth staying in the village currently. We had an excellent day hanging out with the kids and playing some football, especially exciting with World Cup fever here in Uganda! SOS is actually an important partner of our group, as the volunteer abroad program at Concordia University that many of our FICCU members lobbied to create is working in partnership with SOS in Gulu to build a new chldren’s village for orphans affected by the conflict in the North.

For more information on SOS visit:


June 26, 2006 at 11:48 am 3 comments

Participatory Appraisal aspect of the project is over…almost

P6160405, originally uploaded by ficubc.

After almost a month of implementing a community development program in the urban slum of Namuwongo, in Kampala, Uganda, we are finally wrapping up the participatory appraisal aspect. Following mobilization of the community for the project, which included electing representatives from each of the four zones from varying interest groups such as youth, men, women, the elderly, landlords, the disabled, and local chairpersons, we have used a number of tools to better understand the nature of the community.

The tools are as follows:

1) Community Resource Map
2) Transect Walk
3) Demographic Survey
4) Daily Calendar
5) Seasonal Calendar
6) Historical Profile
7) Income/Expenditure Analysis
8) Gender Analysis
9) Problem Identification/Prioritization
10) And we are currently in the process of doing pair-wise ranking of problems and creating a problem tree

Following the use of these tools, our group (which includes FICUBC, the Practicing Environmental Managers Organization (PEMO), and the elected community representatives) will have the necessary information and knowledge to produced a Community Action Plan (CAP). The CAP will outline all the necessary background information for development work to be carried out in the community by our group, local residents, government agencies, or other NGOs. Once we have identified the problems and opportunities faced by Namuwongo, we will be in a position to take further action through long-term projects and/or our peer education program that should begin next week.

It has been a long and stressful month (with some exciting and fun moments along the way) but things are finally coming together. To witness the empowerment and energy that pervades our meetings these days is truly a wonderful experience!

June 24, 2006 at 12:20 pm 1 comment


Notes from First GFIC Mini Conference:

Mobilization of Youth for Development


1)      Apathy, overexposure to developing world poverty through ineffective means of communication, poor methods of dissemination of information

2)      Lack of opportunities to increase personal identification (i.e. field projects)

3)      Media Bias (on the part of
Africa and the West)

4)      Identification of incentives for youth/No feeling of ownership of projects

5)      Distractions/competing interests/lack of available time

6)      Mistrust due to previous failed projects by NGOs and governments

7)      Students know that they WANT to do something, but they don’t know HOW


1)      Targeted development education

2)      Continuous and energetic promotion of issues

3)      Promoting transparency within organization in order to build trust

4)      Offering opportunities for field work alongside financial subsidization in order to make such work accessible to a large variety of individuals

5)      Alternative youth programmed media (literature, websites, podcasts, music, films)

6)      Increase awareness in the West of the benefits of international development to our own country (culturally and economically)

7)      Peer education Programmes

8)      Sports involvement in local communities

9)      Integration with school curriculm at jr high/high school level

Participatory Approaches to Community Development

–         Need partnerships with CBOs, not just NGOs

–         The involvement of many stakeholders increases the ownership of the project as well as the financial resource base

–         Long term sustainability is the major benefit of community participation/leadership

–         Direct interaction with the community requires cultural sensitivity and awareness

–         Mobilization of the community can be difficult due to issues of population size, mistrust, and limited resources/incentives

–         Problem identification at the community level prior to project design limits ability to plan projects ahead of time and makes it difficult to secure resources from aborad ahead of time

–         Following problem identification, need project design and implementation as well as long term monitoring, availability of time is a huge factor when dealing with university students (need to integrate follow up internship program)

June 24, 2006 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

Skipping in Namuwongo

P6120310, originally uploaded by ficubc.

Despite the conditions, there’s always time for fun in Namuwongo and you’ll always be greeted with a smile!

June 17, 2006 at 12:45 pm 2 comments

Historical Profile Panel

P6160405, originally uploaded by ficubc.

In order to better understand the history of the community of Namuwongo we gathered longstanding residents to help narrate their story for the last 50+ years. It was very interesting to learn the patterns of migration, which came in waves from Western, Eastern, and Northern Uganda. The historical profile is one of the tools of participatory appraisal that allows the community to better understand the source of its problems and identify where opportunities lie.

June 17, 2006 at 12:44 pm Leave a comment

Drawing the community resource map

P6120267, originally uploaded by ficubc.

Namuwongo representatives constructed a map of their community using locally available materials, in order to identifty resources, problems, and opportunities.

June 17, 2006 at 12:39 pm Leave a comment

Namuwongo Community Resource Map

Namuwongo Community Resource Map, originally uploaded by ficubc.

This is the map as drawn by the community. The original was created by the representatives and measured approx 15 x 5 feet. It was constructed using ash, maize, reeds, jerry cans, bottle caps, and other materials. You can see the close proximity of the railway on the one side of Namuwongo, many people including children have been killed by passing trains. You will also notice the lack of wells, considering we estimate the population of Namuwongo to be between 10 and 20 thousand. The blue river at the bottom of the map is Nakivubo channel, which is fill with industrial waste from upstream, raw sewage from namuwongo and the community elevated above namuwongo, and other contaminants. It is freuqnetly crossed by Namuwongo residents, and many have died when it becomes a raging river during heavy rains.

June 14, 2006 at 8:17 pm 1 comment

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