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Uganda Project

UgandaThe Douglas College Uganda Project  began in 2005 and has since enabled more than 70 students to fulfill  international practicums and/or  internships. Students who are  interested in completing their  practicum or internship in a global setting, and who are pursuing an  education in CFCS programs, have the opportunity to live and work around the vibrant community of Masaka Town,  Uganda. And most recently, students  from the Psychiatric Nursing Degree  joined the project as well.

The for-credit placements are organized, by Douglas College CFCS faculty, to suit each student’s unique educational goals in consideration of their focus of study. In this way, students are encouraged to build a globalized identity and develop meaningful connections with their international colleagues in Uganda. However, the College is not in Uganda as a service provider.

Practicums usually take place in the spring of each year and run for a duration of ten weeks. Douglas College has partnered with a variety of Ugandan organizations, thus offering site placements in multiple health and social service agencies, mental health facilities, hospitals, and schools. Students are able to gain practical skills and awareness when working with vulnerable groups such as people who are living with a disability, mental health issue, and/or youth at risk.

All aspects of The Uganda Project are informed by three primary principles:

Go as learners 
We undertake the work in Uganda as partners with our hosts, with the intention of discovering local solutions to local issues.
Do no harm 
Interactions and interventions are made thoughtfully in order to provide efficient engagements with people and to prevent any long-term or short-term harm.
Promote sustainability
Any projects that are generated must be purposefully constructed so that the local community is able to sustain it after students leave.

Mainly, students go to Uganda as guests with the intentions of learning from the host country and its people. It is believed that working and learning in Uganda will help students become better practitioners, who are able to provide culturally enhanced and sensitive services to clients, in future professional work.

Students who are chosen to go to Uganda must commit to a year of pre-departure fundraising efforts and regular team meetings leading up to the practicum. Many students who have been a part of the Uganda Project have stayed actively involved in international development in Canada, Uganda and other countries.

Literacy Project

For the past 5 years, the Douglas College Foundation, the Rotary Club of Coquitlam Sunrise and the Uganda Project have partnered to present the Uganda Project Quiz Night. Each year approximately 25 teams compete in the event to support and raise funds for literacy related projects in Uganda and Canada. Students who are selected to participate in the Uganda Project oversee funding contributions while in Uganda. Projects to date include the construction of a library at COTFONE (Community Transformation Foundation Network), in the rural village of Kitwangala, along with purchasing of teaching and learning books/materials for Kakunyu inclusive school and the local library in Masaka town. Upcoming projects involve expanding solar energy systems for Kakunyu school, to support a sustainable power system, as well as the construction of school rooms and a computer lab at Anaweza Skills and Talents.

Uganda Endowment Fund

The Uganda Endowment Fund was first created in 2006, to provide funding for social service agencies in Uganda, with the main focus being to inspire children, strengthen families, and build community resources for Ugandans. The faculty and associates at Douglas College believe that education is empowering for everyone, as it is universally recognized to be the most important component of independence and development. Thus, the fund was designed as a way to make positive contributions through the support of education in the host country. 

Education has been highlighted by many, including Stephen Lewis, as being particularly important for improving sustainable conditions of young girls living in Africa. As a post-secondary institute, Douglas College accountably participates and contributes in this way. ‘To give so that others can lead’ is an important value exemplified in providing these opportunities. 

If you would like to submit an application form to the Uganda Project, or are interested to know more information, please contact Lawrence Becker at beckerl@douglascollege.ca or Deborah Allenby at allenbyd@douglascollege.ca.

For more information about the Uganda Endowment Fund, please contact John Fox at foxj@douglascollege.ca.

IYIP Uganda Interns

In addition to the Uganda Project, Douglas College administers a grant from Global Affairs Canada, through the IYIP (International Youth Internship Program) initiative to partner with Development projects in Uganda. There are currently 20 interns living and working in rural Uganda, supported by Douglas College staff and instructors. These interns are working with a variety of organizations, including Community centres, libraries and healthcare centres. Read more about their experiences here.

For more information about the IYIP Uganda Intern Project, contact Alyssa Wiens, International Project Coordinator.