Why Uganda and not Brazil?
Since we started the project, we have received a lot of support and care from everyone! What moves us on this walk surely are the votes of confidence and strength that come from everyone around us. But a question is asked to us quite often and we consider it natural: why Uganda, in Africa, and not Brazil? We also find ourselves thinking about this question several times, after all we are fully aware of the social problems of our country. However, there are several reasons why we chose Uganda right now, and we will share our thoughts with you.
We are often induced to compare tragedies. When we stop to think that sometimes they make us choose which people suffer more, Brazilian or Ugandan, a sadness invades us. The world in which we live compels us to decide who is the most hungry, who is the most excluded, who suffers more violence and, thus, who deserves more attention. We should not be comparing the sufferings; this only fosters disunity and lack of empathy with others.
There are thousands of causes in the world that we all need to fight on a daily basis – fighting slave labor, child exploitation, racism, machismo, LGBTophobia; the situation of refugees; the extermination of the Indians – and only with a joint movement in which each one acts, in some way, in what touches it is that we will come to a real transformation. The hard reality of the children of Kikajjo, the regions of Piauí or the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro deserve equal attention. One struggle does not exclude the other; on the contrary, they are strengthened.
We are on the same side seeking a fairer and more humane world, and we believe that everyone should give this change role to themselves. However, nobody alone saves the world, and giving that role to someone, or to themselves, is distorted. The important thing is to go together, act consciously and ethically, and raise awareness and others about how much we still need to build and deconstruct current paradigms.
The relationship of us Brazilians with Africa should not be so distanced; do we recognize our African roots? We know of our European origins, but the African ones, not even due to a historical erasure. We lose a lot with this, because part of our identity we do not know and we are not encouraged to know. Cultural matrices from Africa shape our social relations, and the martyrdoms through which these populations have passed, such as 350 years of slavery, are not properly recognized as a violation of human rights that is reflected in our society today: the population young black woman is the one who dies the most in Brazil.
To understand who we are we need to know African history, its texts, films, books, customs. Going to the African continent means getting in touch with the great nations to which we are connected, to understand a part of our true history. One of the project’s guiding principles is not to reinforce the fallacy that the white population has more knowledge and will provide aid to the needy, suffering and passive black population. We are going to listen to them, see their potentialities, learn from them and exchange knowledge.
Globalization has its two sides: the domination of one culture over another and the possibility it provides of communication and exchanges of knowledge. Based on the latter, we have come to experience this experience in Uganda. We believe that academic knowledge enables access to information and the concept of human rights, as well as fostering a critical sense of the world. The knowledge of the community is very rich and encompasses its vision of the world, the functioning of that territory, its way of life. This exchange of knowledge is the most valuable of the process and from there arise the results and the learning that we will take for the whole life and we aim to apply in other contexts and countries, including Brazil.
We are young and we have many future plans, we feel fulfilled to start our professional life with this little challenge that we enter head first. Everything we are living has demanded of us skills and efforts that go beyond what we have been taught to do, practice here is a mixture of psychology, pedagogy, architecture, social sciences, agronomy and we do our best to account of the message Work with the community has taken us out of the comfort zone and in the aggregate.
We believe that things happen for a reason and when they should happen, and it seems that everything here fits into this. TORUWU had the idea and need to reformulate the school and the three of us from Brazil always wanted to work with education, to live something different and challenging after graduating and we had this chance and privilege to come here to work on something that we believe and dream about. The works and projects that we have participated in in Brazil have brought us here. The paths we traced and people we know contributed to being here, and many people have helped us from a distance and we thank them very much.
We’re just getting started! For us, we would run the world to carry out initiatives like this, learning and exchanging experience in different communities, who knows this also comes true one day? Everyone is invited to visit us, if contaminated with the energy of children and our work!