On the Ugandan roads…

Since the previous post, we have been busy at the assessment of M&E, Networking, Lobby and Advocacy procedures of the UPA organization.

After designing specific questionnaires related to different stakeholders of UPA we conducted and are still conducting interviews. First of all, we met different partners that are hosting UPA volunteers in their projects. It appears that these collaborations have been going on smoothly and that improvements are mainly necessary in terms of M&E. Then we went for a two weeks travel throughout Uganda to visit all UPA branches. We divided into two teams :
The Terego team, visiting mainly west Nile area (Terego, Arua, Packwach)
The Gulu team with Gulu (recovering from late conflicts with the LRA, the Lord Resistance Army of Joseph Kony) and Apac
We joined to visit the last branch in Kikooba.

Those visits were really interesting to get the all picture of the organization. As it has a strong secretariat comparing to branches’ activities, you would be tempted to think that UPA is reduced to Nansana area and its activities. But in those branches, we met motivated members full of good ideas, locally active and mobilizing the youth in community development. It is clear that one of the main gap is financial resources but they still implement projects thanks to volunteers and ingenious generating income activities. It was also an enriching personal experience for all of us, as Uganda is not just one specific culture but a mix of really different cultural identities with its own language, its own history, its own social system and traditions. We were friendly welcomed and had the opportunity to share meals and accommodations with the members.

We are now back in Nansana where we are conducting interviews with local and international volunteers that are the main beneficiaries of the organization. Next week, we will finish interviews with the secretariat with whom we will confront and check information gathered earlier. We are also starting to analyze the data collected and next weeks we will be dedicated in the writing of a report, the result of our assessment. We can’t wait to share our conclusions with you…

Beside Nansana life style is going well. We are now part of the danse class and one of us is the official guitare teacher in the cultural troup of UPA. The final of Africa Cup was a major event around here. Unfortunately we were supporters of the loser, Burkina Faso. We can say by now that we coped with cultural differences since we don’t notice anymore street life activities as strange or weered. It seems we are used to it. And, we hang out mainly with Ugandans that help us to catch up with behaviors and language norms.

Welaba! (Bye)