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Kampala & Gulu, Uganda

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I currently have the privilege of working with Elizabeth Robinson, the director of the FINCA Development Academy, the FDA, to create a toolkit for communication techniques that has the potential to be rolled out internationally! I spent a few days this week applying Insight tools and concepts to FINCA’s culture and creating a mini stand-alone lesson. Over the summer, Insight President David and I came up with four ways an Insight Fellow can create value at an organization: designing curriculum, holding workshops, coaching, and research. I’m thrilled because I doubted my ability to build a curriculum, yet here I am! It’s also quite amazing that with my time at FINCA Uganda, I will have done three of the four things David outlined. Surprising myself with what I can accomplish is an unbeatable feeling.

FINCA has been kind enough to take me outside of Kampala to various cities and towns in Uganda to interview their clients. The stars aligned, and when I went to visit FINCA clients in Gulu I was able to visit Insight Collaborative’s Peace Education Project. The Peace Education Project “champions the prevention of violence by providing conflict resolution education to primary schoolchildren and their communities.” Currently Komakec Romanson Matthew oversees the program, which is flourishing in four schools in Gulu, and reaching thousands of pupils. With two other colleagues from FINCA, I visited Police Primary School. It was Teacher Appreciation Day, so pupils were excused from classes (except for the Primary 7 class which was stuck studying for national exams). However, it worked out well for me because I was able to spend the day with Komakec discussing the successes and challenges of the program. I even got to meet his young daughter, Winnie, who showed me her classroom, the campus of Police Primary, and its surrounding neighborhood. At the end of our visit, Komakec took us to Christ’s Church School to meet a teacher, another Winnie, who was very passionate about the program. It was an amazing day, and I am honored to be associated with such people who dedicate their lives to such an important project.

And is the program really having an impact? Skovia, a Ugandan native and colleague of mine from FINCA, thinks so: “You can tell these children have had some kind of education on reconciliation and peace.” She went on to say that Northern Ugandans have a very different outlook on the world, and the fact that the children at Police Primary, many of whom were born during the war, had a sense of discipline and a very positive outlook on their community seems to have come from the Peace Education Project.

If you are interested in seeing pictures from my day, please visit: nicolecarli.com