Uganda Field Class 2017
The recent field class to Uganda was a unique opportunity for students to learn about the challenges and opportunities for development on the ground, as well as experiencing the challenges of carrying out research in the global south. Nineteen students chose to go on the field class as one of their level 3 options. Working with local NGOs, the Burgosa Trust and The Guardian Angels Foundation in Walakuba Masese, Jinja, meant students were able to conduct interviews with people living in different, and often very challenging, circumstances in various communities in the town of Jinja.
Talking with people about their everyday lives and the places they live and work gives a unique and valuable perspective on the theories and concepts of development. Visiting rural initiatives around water access, sanitation and health helped focus more on examples where a very clear difference is made through well designed local initiatives working directly with communities. A guided boat tour on Lake Victoria also let the group fit in a visit to the source of the Nile while learning about changing livelihoods and the politics of conservation around fishing.
The daily debriefs between staff and students further helped students' learn from the fieldclass experience, and highlighted the detailed engagements the students developed - not only with the academic content of the fieldclass, but their personal development and reflections.