News Roundup - October 4th, 2013
Our fourth post in an ongoing series.
The National Teachers’ Union called for a nationwide strike among primary and secondary school teachers, Museveni meets MPs over the strike, Minister of Education interviews about the strike, and an agreement reached Sept 26 (government says called off, strikers say suspended)
An overview of the Sept. teacher’s strike: http://www.independent.co.ug/news/news-analysis/8264-teachers-strike
OpEd on the strike and the state of primary schools in Uganda: http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=27788:is-government-serious-about-education-&catid=37:guest-writers&Itemid=66
The railway that runs through northern Uganda is being utilized for the first time in two decades since it was abandoned due to frequent LRA attacks, with many hoping it will bring a boost in regional trade
A new O'level curriculum to be introduced in 2017 will focus on Life Education: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/647677-new-o-level-curriculum-to-focus-on-life-education.html
Tenants in Gulu face forced eviction at Uganda Railways Corporation quarters: http://www.monitor.co.ug/SpecialReports/Tension-as-tenants-face-eviction-in-Gulu/-/688342/2004354/-/1ersu1z/-/index.html
Makerere evening classes under threat: http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27629&Itemid=114
Our third post in an ongoing series.
Talks begin again with striking lecturers at Makerere University, lecturers reject government offer, MP Reagan Okumu responds to his northern district’s teachers after President Museveni makes derogatory remarks to teachers, strike is called off after lecturers agree to 70% pay raise
Lecturers will work longer hours as a result of the settlement between Makerere employees and the University: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/646719-makerere-lecturers-to-work-more-hours.html
The Malaise of Makerere: Underfunding, Overcrowding, Strikes: http://gga.org/analysis/the-malaise-of-makerere-underfunding-overcrowding-strikes
Students protest the Public Order Management Bill in response to a police vow to block even home meetings as Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister meets with Ambassadors to explain the implications of the Bill
The New York Times Magazine features a collection of photo scraps from Gulu Real Art Studio, and History in Progress Uganda shares Nigerian curator Bisi Silva’s challenging reflection
Student loans bill details revealed: http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=27242:student-loans-bill-details-revealed&catid=34:news&Itemid=114
The International Day Against Enforced Disappearances on August 30th carries difficult memories for northern Uganda: http://www.irinnews.org/report/98669/uganda-struggles-to-come-to-terms-with-its-disappeared
Questions arise over the fairness of land disclosures as Uganda expands its oil industry: http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=27066:oil-payments-affected-people-feel-cheated
A successful end to Uganda’s first film festival hopes to enliven an industry that may provide new avenues for self-representation
News Roundup - August 21, 2013
Our second post in an ongoing series.
Makerere University strike turns to an indefinite closure, police took over the property, staff and the Government respond
Norbert Mao, Ugandan DP leader, and the UN, among many others, condemn the passing of The Public Order Management Bill, which restricts political conversations between three or more individuals without government permission.
Historicizing the Public Order Management Bill just passed in Uganda: http://angeloizama.com/2013/08/06/musical-chairs-history-amin-and-public-order-in-uganda/
Makerere students protest the Public Order Management Bill and the larger context of a now-shutdown Makerere University: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/13+Makerere++Kyambogo+students+held+over+demo/-/688334/1960052/-/drp8ru/-/index.html
Higher Education Bill tabled: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Higher+education+loans+bill+tabled/-/688334/1962248/-/15hkh9d/-/index.html
Uncertainty for Victoria University students after its accreditation was suspended in response to legislation proposed to further criminalize homosexuality in Uganda: http://www.monitor.co.ug/artsculture/Reviews/What+next+for+Victoria+University+students+/-/691232/1960390/-/h74hui/-/index.html
Students develop an app for pain-free malaria tests: http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/08/ugandan-app-for-pain-free-malaria-test/
Kyambogo University loses land to developer: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Kyambogo+University+loses+land+to+developer/-/688334/1961798/-/ro7yl9z/-/index.html
A coalition of 40 civil-society groups petition the Speaker of Parliament over maternal deaths:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/645883-kadaga-petitioned-over-maternal-deaths.html
Students win the top prize at Orange’s Community Innovations Award competition for their app sharing agricultural information across Uganda: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/645889-students-create-agro-market-mobile-app-in-orange-competition.html
We believe in easy, open access to information. Keeping up to speed with developments in a field - especially one with which you may not otherwise be connected - is no easy task. With these two premises in mind we are inaugurating a new series of updates, a news roundup of sorts that will share what we’re reading and thinking about at the moment. Links are by no means endorsements; instead, they serve as entry points to a larger conversation we hope you will join.
This will be the beginning of an ongoing series of posts collecting news, commentary, and other media relevant to the work that we do. We’ll link mostly to education and (post) conflict related issues in northern Uganda and the region more broadly with other, related stories occasionally interspersed. We hope to serve as a forum for collecting what often feels like an overwhelming amount of information, highlighting what we’re reading in a given week or month in an easily digestible format.
Think we missed an important piece in the roundup? Let us know in the comments!
Commentary (and dissenting voices) on a new, much-discussed report by Resolve on a weakened LRA: http://www.irinnews.org/report/98509/lra-weaker-than-it-has-been-in-at-least-20-years
Government to charge interest on student loans: http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=26111&Itemid=114
The World Bank makes a significant policy shift and emphasizes the need for investment in higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/644758-university-education-the-new-world-bank-darling.html
Commentary on Caesar Acellam’s June 28th public address, including his story of defection: http://justiceinconflict.org/2013/07/31/a-rebels-escape-an-lra-commander-tells-his-story/
Ugandan Army accused of land grabbing in Lamwo District: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Army-accused-of-grabbing-graves/-/688334/1930960/-/12t1u9f/-/index.html
President Museveni warns teachers against participating in a planned, nation-wide strike: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/644982-don-t-strike-museveni-tells-teachers.html
Government embarks on expanding six universities and two degree-awarding institutions: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/644811-govt-to-expand-universities.html
Makerere Students Win Microsoft Women’s Empowerment Award: http://allafrica.com/stories/201307190079.html
Dr. Alcinda Honwana on “Youth, Waithood, and Protest Movements in Africa” (full transcript and introductory remarks for the International Africa Institute’s 2013 Lugard Lecture): http://www.internationalafricaninstitute.org/lugard.html
Yesterday, a team from Rationale joined St. Jude on a very special trip to their food security farm in Nwoya District (the district just to the southwest of Gulu). Our students are very familiar with the farm; they often work on the farm during their holiday breaks in order to give back to the larger St. Jude community and to learn important agricultural skills. The farm is a familiar space for most of Rationale’s team, which on this trip included Aciro Gloria, one of Rationale’s student-scholars, Ocitti David Okech, Rationale’s mentor, and Matthew, Rationale’s founder and director. The older women who serve as adopted mothers for the younger children at St. Jude also regularly visit the farm to help produce the food that their children consume back at the Children’s Home in Gulu. There is one group, however, that is not familiar with the farm: the children themselves.
St. Jude currently has almost 150 youth in their full-time care. Many rarely – if ever – visit the farm, as a result of both practical concerns (how to transport and then watch over so many children on the farm) and issues of safety. Yesterday was a special visit where we brought about twenty-five of the youngest children who stay at St. Jude to the farm in order to learn about where their food comes from and how it is produced. For some, this was their first time leaving the compound, for others, their first time leaving Gulu. They sat in absolute wonder and with progressively widening smiles as they struggled to see over edge of the window. With wide eyes they danced to the radio and sang in unison in the back of the truck throughout the hour-long drive.
As Denis, the farm’s manager, showed David and Matthew around the new fields, Julius accompanied the children as they learned about each of the crops being produced on the farm (maize, cassava, groundnuts, bananas, rice, beans, millet, boo, eggplant, and others) and participated in the many activities that their regular upkeep requires. They toured some of the hundreds of acres of land on the property and at mid-day each enjoyed a fresh plate of posho [a starchy food made from boiling maize flour] and beans produced and cooked directly on the farm. This is a meal they often have in Gulu without any idea where it comes from. Yesterday we were able to change that.
We believe strongly in the importance of lifelong learning, a process that must start early. While Rationale is intent on focusing on secondary and university youth, we were happy to join St. Jude for this fantastic community-building visit to their farm in Nwoya.
We are proud to announce that this Saturday we will be partnering with Pan-African Association for their PAAWR to Empower 5k Walk/Run in Chicago! We’ve all been involved with PAA in various capacities for a number of years and we’re honored to be a part of this great event. Come by and visit our table and support PAA and the very important work that they do!
See you there!
Rationale is happy to announce that Vertigo Sky Lounge will be hosting Rationale’s one year anniversary fundraiser on Friday, March 22nd! Enjoy skyline views on an evening that will include complimentary Grey Goose and Bacardi Signature Cocktails from 5-7pm for just a $25 donation, with Rationale receiving 100% of the night’s proceeds to support our scholarship and food security programs in Gulu, Uganda.
There will also be a raffle throughout the evening with prizes including a Lululemon yoga mat and strap, Argo Tea tea 101 tasting parties for you and four friends, Exhale “Week of Transformation” spa package, box of 25 Macanudo imported Dominican cigars, Aveda private wellness & beauty party for five, and two tickets to Chicago Chocolate Tours’ walking and tasting tour.
Join us in celebrating our students’ success in their first year and looking forward to success in the next!
Please share the flyer below with your networks
Facebook Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/135563656622050/
We look forward to seeing you there!
When: Friday, March 22nd, 5-7pm
Where: Vertigo (2 W Erie St, Chicago, IL 60654 [right off the Chicago red line stop])
Why: To raise funds for Rationale’s scholarship and food security programs in northern Uganda and celebrate Rationale’s one year anniversary
Cost: $25 donation will get you a bracelet and complimentary Grey Goose and Barcardi Signature Cocktails from 5-7pm
Before beginning the new year with an expanded team in Chicago, we would like to take a moment to thank everyone who made our 2012 such a success.
A very special thank you goes to Sarah and Mamadou for making our largest fundraiser of the year at J-Bar Chicago a reality.
The gift baskets and raffle donations for that night would not have been possible without the work of Deborah and Tammy. Half of the night’s donations were generated as a direct result of their dedicated work and we cannot thank them enough.
Finally, we would like to thank all of the business that supported us in these past six months:
Tate’s Ice Cream
CorePower Yoga in Chicago’s South Loop
Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter
100 E. Walton Street Chicago, IL 60611
Exhale Spa Chicago
Chicago Chocolate Tours
Conscious Cup Coffee
Barnes and Noble
Thanks for standing with us in our first year – we look forward to the years ahead!
Happy New Year! Before we move into 2013 we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year.
Thanks to our team in Uganda, our partners and volunteers here in the States, and everyone who has supported us in our inaugural year, 2012 was a year to remember for Rationale. What began as a partnership between two individuals in 2009 has blossomed into the organization we now call Rationale and we couldn’t be more proud of our early achievements.
This year we…
2012 has been a momentous year for Rationale and we cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store for us!
From all of us at Rationale: Thank you for making 2012 a success for our young organization.
Top Row, L-R: Francis, David (mentor) Bottom Row, L-R: Emily, Gloria, Scovia (prospective scholarship recipient)
Volunteer Positions with Rationale
We are happy to announce that we are expanding our team! We are seeking motivated, creative individuals who are committed to furthering Rationale’s mission.
(Some of our staff in Gulu)
Rationale works to improve access to education among vulnerable youth in northern Uganda by building community-driven scholarship programs. Our current partnership is with St. Jude Children’s Home in Gulu, Uganda. Together we have created a scholarship program that supports secondary and university students while simultaneously investing in their food security farm which provides agricultural skills-training for our scholarship recipients as well as essential, nutritious meals for younger children still living at the home.
Rationale is currently seeking: a communications & operations volunteer, a grant & research volunteer, working group members, and fundraising volunteers.
Below is an outline of each position:
Communications and Operations Volunteer
Grant and Research Volunteer
Working Group Members (1-2 meetings per month, ~2 hours per meeting)
*we are looking for working group members in Chicago, IL and St. Louis, MO! *
Group members will be responsible for meeting once or twice a month to brainstorm how to best promote Rationale, develop fundraisers, or discuss issues related to Rationale’s programs in Uganda. The discussions will be wide-ranging and critical in nature, resembling more of a discussion group than an organizational meeting. A primary goal of this group is to ensure that our work consistently remains in line with our name and our mission.
Fundraising Volunteers (time commitment varies)
We value critical dialogue and an inclusive working environment. All of our staff are 100% volunteer. Individuals interested in the above positions need to be highly motivated with the ability to communicate with other members through email or phone on a consistent basis and work successfully without a central office.
If you are interested in any of these positions we would love to hear from you! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, using the position’s title in the subject line. Please include a brief description of why you are interested in the position as well as a bit about your background (a CV/resume can also suffice).
We look forward to hearing from you soon!