This is a part of follow up to a workshop held in Kampala at the end of July with South Sudanese women. Which was very well and women who participated were so happy for being part of such an activity.
Since I came to Kampala I met some women who were part of a one day workshop conducted to them by Professor Khalid Kodi. And their response was positive and they were also looking forward to having another workshop and lasts longer than the previous.
The meeting was attended by eight women and myself:
- Mary Michael
- Amira Malual
- Angelina Iballo
- Shakra Mustafa
- Caroline James
- Jen Henry
- Adau Kuol
- Achol Deng
Reelections on the workshop:-
I asked them what they have learned from the workshop and whether they have benefit and the way forward.
Angelina: said that she learned a lot from the workshop and although it came suddenly and it was for a short time but she went back hope at the end of the happy and relax because she found new things in the workshop such as what women can do in the society.
Caroline: she said that this workshop has reminded her of her study in school and university when the same workshops are held. And the common thing that people were talking about is “WAR” every group in the workshop talked and did their work about war. So I said to myself why shouldn’t we do something different, and there we made African continent and showed that there is always hope. I explained our work but what I said there just came out at that moment I never prepared myself to say it.
Amira: what I realized from the beginning is that women who came hate each other for no reason and that was clear. But at the end especially when they were divided into groups they cooperated for they had no other choice. So this workshop taught us the meaning of unity and if we are united what we can do. It was clear to everyone at the end that what we achieved was a great deal although the time was so limited one day wasn’t enough. But we have learned also how build and we must help others by carrying what we learned to them also.
Shakra: expressed that although the workshop came in time she didn’t expect it, but it turn to be good and another workshop should be held sooner than later.
Jen: when we came to the workshop our hearts were field with hatred.
But in the end we learned to love and respect each other. And I knew how I can be positively effective in the future.
The way forward:
After that we talked about the way forward especially after realizing the passion to working and making difference not only in Uganda but also in the country.
Mary: raised up a very good point which how we can fight the tribalism that is tearing down our community. And in her case she`s from Dinka and her husband is a Nuer, she was unable to go to either side after the war broke out because she knew that she will definitely disagree with them so she stayed at her place only and was helpless. Her words were touching each and every one of us in the room, so there was agreement that there should be body that bring South Sudanese women in Kampala together. And many ideas came up but all agreed that this group should be part of the Hope Society and they will work together to achieve their goal which helping in recovering the community that has been weaken but political and ethnic crisis.
Those who attended the meeting agreed that they should again twice or three times in order to put together the objectives and to know each other very well plus recruiting new people. And then they will inform Hope Society leadership in Juba of what they did and how the cooperation can happen will then be justified.
The outcome was:
- Forming Hope Society in Uganda by above mentioned attendees
- Working to bringing people especially women together by arts and using “Flags and Banners as Voice” to making their voices heard and be united.
- Having more workshops and make it loner and bring more participants.
- Working with women in Refugees camp also as part of the program.
- Expanding the work into different cultural levels and addressing the problems that South Sudanese society is facing not only politically.
After I have been in Uganda for two weeks I did a follow up on the workshop and how it can be develop into a bigger one, where I met ambitious women who participated and even those who didn’t attend it were willing to being part of another one in the future. Because last workshop gave HOPE and showed light that enabled all of them see the way and choose the right path; a path of positive change in the community.
- Therefore having another bigger and longer workshop with these women will be helpful to them and will make “Flags and Banners as Voices” more effective and definitely change their lives!
- On the other side I met with chairman of Ugandan Art Association we discussed how the Hope Society could cooperate with their Association, at the end we agree to exchange visits and have workshops and exhibitions on both sides.
- I also met many Ugandan Artists among them was a self-taught artist Mathias who agree as well to work with Hope Society because he have an artist organization.
- Having a workshop in Kiryandongo Refugees Settlement for women and youth is necessary for the coming time. The project will change a lot of things to them and their lives.
- And above all five (5) South Sudanese artists will participate in East African Visual Arts Connect in Kampala on October 14th as it has been confirmed on September 1st so the Hope Society will call for artworks of all artist and a committee will be formed to choose the ten (10) artworks that will go and artists who will participate although three (3) artists only will go but works of five (5) artists will be chosen.