I’m leaving for Uganda on Saturday and I haven’t really gotten a chance to think about what that means. I’ve been so busy getting the logistical details together that I haven’t even looked at the big picture and realized that I’m going back to Africa in a couple of days.
Now that I’m in Washington, DC for training with the other Advocacy Project Fellows it’s all starting to feel real. I feel anxious to go, nervous about how things are going to work out, and sad about leaving home again before I even got a chance to enjoy being there. Mostly though, I feel incredibly grateful to even have the opportunity to travel and to work in a part of the world that so many people never have the privilege of experiencing. Overwhelmingly, as difficult as some things are right now, I feel that I am doing what I should be doing, what I am meant to be doing, and that gives me a great deal of peace.
Just so that everyone starts off on the same page, I want to give a quick overview of what my goals and projects are going to be this summer. I have been selected to spend the summer in Uganda as a Peace Fellow for the Advocacy Project, a Washington, DC based organization that specializes in advocacy for Human Rights, Gender Equality, and Conflict Resolution. I will also be partnering with Survivor Corps, another DC area organization that works primarily in post-conflict zones addressing the needs of those who have been physically injured and otherwise traumatized by violent conflicts and its aftermath. Finally, in Uganda I’ll be working with several Ugandan organizations that also advocate for those who have been affected by violent conflict.
Uganda has experienced more than 20 years of civil war, but as the conflict lessens in intensity the Ugandan government and innumerable NGOs and other development organizations are rushing in to the country to try and rehabilitate the country’s civil society and to put into place institutions that will prevent the conflict from picking up momentum again. As a student of International Affairs focusing on Security Studies and Diplomacy, I am interested in being a part of the process of state-building and helping a badly damaged country get back on its feet and act as a model for other African countries that have gone through similar destructive processes. As a human being though, I am thankful for the opportunity to see a new part of the world, help the people that live there, and act as an ambassador to bring your world and theirs a little closer together. Thank you for your prayers and good vibes; I’ll write again soon. See you in Uganda!
Posted By Bryan Lupton
Posted May 27th, 2009