We are currently in the midst of what is commonly referred to as the world’s worst refugee crisis in history, with an estimated 68.5 million forcefully displaced people worldwide. We also find ourselves at the beginning of the worst environmental crisis in history, including the fastest rate of species extinction ever, climate change that puts billions of humans in danger, and air, water and soil pollution that puts us all at risk. The causes and effects of this environmental crisis are only increasing and are inseparable from social, political, and economic global trends. However, while these forces that are devastating the environment are far reaching around the planet, it is vulnerable populations who are the most adversely affected by them.
Big organizations, some focused on social issues, others on environmental issues, operate based on colonial and neoliberal thinking and are failing to provide effective solutions to global socio-environmental deterioration. Moreover, initiatives put forth by these large organizations themselves are often responsible for augmenting social conflicts and injustices.
Conversely, local, indigenous people, and activists are initiating and carrying out effective actions all over the world. True activism is based on the pillars of stewardship, social justice, inclusion, passion, and compassion towards nature and humanity. These activists’ work is mostly ignored, marginalized and even blocked by the dominant, large organizations.
The course is designed to be both an eye-opening and life-changing experience for the participants. The setting will be a refugee camp in Uganda. Here, participants will have a chance to view and experience first-hand the fate of the most vulnerable victims of the crisis situations in the world. Ideal candidates for this course would be social and environmental students and practitioners who are interested in very different perspectives and experiences.
The primary goal of the course is to facilitate in-depth discussion and sharing of experiences between an international group of teachers, local activists, and academics, regarding problems and dangers of current aid models, development and conservation trends and the alternates that exist. The outcome of this dialogue will be the establishment of a network of strong and determined activists that will drive change that is so crucial to our survival in the world.
This field course will take place in Kyaka II refugee camp, Uganda, where participants will have the chance to meet refugees from different African counties, providing an opportunity to understand their current situation and the challenges they face in their daily lives. The one week course is organized and sponsored by Turget Uganda, Reclaim Conservation, Aniye and PPDR Foundation.
Primary course topics include:
- The relationship between the environment and social injustices;
- Resource exploitation, arms trade, and the production of wars;
- Racism, territorialisation and economy derived militarization of aid and environmentalism;
- Activism as a way for change;
- The ethics of aid and activism;
- Understanding and investigating organized crime and corruption;
- How to create and run efficient, clean and transparent organizations;
- How to encourage and support community led initiatives and activism;
- Personal and legal protection for activists.
We are currently looking for partners in organizing this course. For more information please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org