8 responses to Teaching In Uganda: The good, the bad, and the reality.

  1. Thanks Natalie!

  2. Great read! Thanks for sharing your experiences! I spent over a year in Africa and I can so much relate to your post! all the very best, nat

  3. Thanks for such a wonderful posting

  4. Catherine, some really interesting thoughts on the topic of aid, ones that seem to have been echoed quite a bit over the last.. however long. Does aid work? Is it ethical? What types of aid.. etc etc
    And I agree and disagree. I wholeheartedly believe in volunteer endeavours like teaching, sustainable enterprise, conservation etc. BUT only so far as I believe in the value of those things in any community- as a means of helping individual people and communities, not in an effort to ‘rescue’ entire nations.

    I recently watched a TED talk by Bono, in which he essentially claimed it is our job to feed theses ‘helpless nations’ and to be perfectly honest, I was offended on their behalf (whoever ‘they’ were).

    The issues are complicated, as are those in all countries, and progress is slow, as it always is.

  5. I read this with interest. Peaceful and thinking fighting for their rights combined with education is the only way forward for Africa. I don’t know Uganda but have spent many years in Africa generally. Here is a link to a couple of blogs I did about giving aid to Africa – brought in some very controversial responses, which is why I thought it might interest you.

    http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk/blog/we-should-not-give-aid-to-africa/

    http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk/blog/oxfam-this-sort-of-thing-makes-me-so-angry/

  6. To stop seeing them as victims, using your own words, is exactly what I intend to do, as well as helping them to seeing themselves as people with rights and responsability.
    And yes, you are heroes because you’re transforming someone’s life, no matter how tiny your actions might be. Even if only to make one of them ask why!
    and yes you are heroes, because you care and also because you’re not perfect.

  7. Thank you for your very kind words Bia but Im certainly not a hero.
    The purpose of this post, was to sort of de-heroinise (I’m not sure if that is a word) the concept of volunteer teaching in Africa. Its value is undeniable, however, I think a lot of people like myself go into these programs with the grandiose perception they will completely transform the lives of their students. Looking back, I now realise how important it is to go in understanding that your contribution is a very small part of a much larger and more complicated picture.
    I also think this mentality allows you to connect a lot better with your students, you stop seeing them as victims and start seeing them as people

    Good luck with your future volunteering endeavours Bia!

  8. Thanks for such a wonderful posting. You’re my heroine. I just want you to know that’s why I’m back at school for. I’m eager to work with children the way you’re doing in Uganda. It doesn’t matter where I might go voluntering, as long as I can help them how to read, to write and most important of all how to think and fight for their rights, as much as for being respected just like all children shall be.

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