Davis Projects for Peace Summer Fellowship Recipient
“With my Davis Project, I reaffirm the immense importance education has on young people. It is a tool, which provides a student with the means to persevere through war and hope for change. And that experience can only be had in the classroom, the sanctuary where the students of Gulu can come and learn.”
The goals of my project were to coordinate and assist in the building of a classroom structure for Youth Vision Uganda in Gulu, and revive the daily school lunch program. For many Ugandan children, things such as school buildings, furniture and lunch programs are irregular and rare. For many students, regular meals are a luxury and it is clear that malnutrition impacts concentration and learning. When I left Youth Vision in 2009, I knew I had to return to help construct classrooms and sponsor the lunch program.
Before arriving in Gulu, Pat Robert and I created an excel sheet of costs and businesses available to work on the construction of the classrooms. Communication was a huge factor for the construction project, as we needed to be in constant contact with the businesses we would hire. We were able to use the free Wi-Fi in the local radio station to maintain contact with the construction crews via email.
Classroom construction began a week before I arrived to ensure that I would be able to oversee the bulk of the assembly. The school’s food program was revived, with the construction of a grill used to support a large pot to cook porridge. Additionally, we were able to plant vegetables on school land. Now, the students have the opportunity to eat porridge and vegetables during lunchtime.
The students of Youth Vision lived through war and saw the tools used to perpetuate it. But peace is also a tool. It can equip any person with hope and provide them means and drive to enact change. The students at Youth Vision are no longer terrorized by a guerilla force and are now able to come to a classroom to live, learn and experience the world around them. Their fear has dissipated and is now replaced with newfound knowledge that they absorb in their new classrooms.
- Date September 1, 2012
- Tags 2012, Africa, Davis Projects for Peace, Education, Social Service