Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reflection Blog: Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)

The end of our home stay and the day at Ssese Island marked the halfway point of our trip. This happened to also be the time when we ran our reflection session. Instead of focussing entirely on our theme topic of OVC, we decided that this was a great opportunity to reflect upon the experiences we had in the first half of the journey and those that are coming up in second half. For example, we discussed the lessons we learned throughout the home stay that changed our perspectives on topics that we easily take for granted. In particular, after the home stay many realized how important it is to conserve water in the rural areas, and how we greatly abuse the amount of water we use due to luxuries such as indoor plumbing and showers. 

While we were working at the Rakai Project, the group started to delve into the controversial topic of research and medical ethics. Since it spurred such a heated but interesting debate, we decided to mention the topic again in our reflection session. Therefore, we asked questions such as, "would you rather donate your labor for a volunteer project, or just your money?" and "would you rather work on treatment for HIV/AIDS patients or work on preventing HIV/AIDS with behavior change?" After the discussion of these questions, we concluded that there is no right or wrong answer to these questions. It's a matter of what you personally value and the intentions that you have.

For the second half of our stay in Uganda, we are giving a lot of attention to our theme group topic and presentation. After having a very eye opening experience in the rural village of Rakai where the prevalence of orphans (especially from parents who were victims of AIDS) is very obvious, we are looking forward to finding comparisons of the treatments of orphans in a more urban setting. Tomorrow we are visiting a very popular orphanage called Sanyu Babies Home and then we plan on visiting smaller, more typical orphanages during our free day in the city on Thursday.

Conducted Sunday, January 15, 2012

1 comment:

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