For the first time the participants from Rwanda and Uganda with their USA counterparts participated in Fellows 2016 working under Smith College to conduct a trilateral exchange program on “Cross-Sectoral Development in the Fields of Tolerance and Conflict Resolution in Rwanda, Uganda, and the US”.
On my own experience as one of the Fellows and participants from Rwanda and Uganda which are countries that have manage to sustain the peace and stability in a short period of time in such a volatile region of the Great lakes of Africa.
The main focus during our Professional Fellowship Program was to empower the researchers and None governmental Organizations with knowledge to promote Tolerance in conflict resolution and peace sustainability in the region as a whole.
During the fellowship weeks we had a productive time of exchanging knowledge, experience and skills with Fellows and the host organizations both in Washington D.C, New York, M.A, Springfield, Greenfield and Northampton.
We enjoyed the trip in various cities and States where we had a good time in visiting Museum of Natural history, of Natural Science and learning about American history and other cultural activities.
We had a chance to interact in different activities like attending Jewish ritual for Grief, Loss and Forgiveness, Open church prayers and many more different cultural from around the world.
We also made very many connections from Fellows and Alumni. We were encouraged to share our thoughts, insights, experiences, impressions, photos and videos. We learnt a lot about leadership skills in regard to Tolerance and Conflict resolution.
During the Fellowship period and after some of the participants had their remarks “This program was an opportunity for me to exchange ideas, strategies, and best practices, processes and policymaking, while also improving leadership skills and developing sustainable and enduring linkages with professional counterparts.
As I was matched with a U.S. organization, I had the opportunity to increase my understanding of the U.S. legislative process while engaging in civic life through enrichment activities, such as meetings with key stakeholders, dialogues, and site visits and more themes” Said Chokri Mansour
Founder President Association Pinna for the Development and the Promotion of Ecotourism-APDPE Ecomel-IUCN funded project coordinator
“We were impressed by Diane who continued our education on historical and current conditions in Rwanda, both through conversation and a presentation. We watched her presentation and gave her feedback as she developed plans for future development and empowerment with her community. We at Aris found working with Diane to be inspiring and to make a difference in the communities.”
Said, Michaelann Bewsee, Director of Arise, Springfield, Massachusetts. Narrated.
For Diane to have participated in the PFP will help her increase the social justice in her community and will become a model for others in the implementation of what she gained from the Fellowship Program. As alumni she also has wider networking. I salute her.
lidia naibaho Executive secretary Petrasa foundation Indonesia
Arbi Chouikh, Projects Officer from Tunisian Organization for Defense of Rights of Persons with Disabilities said; “My fellowship was in Seattle, Washington in the NGO Disability Rights Washington, and the purpose was the promotion of rights of persons with disabilities. I had informative meeting with the Organization’s staff, and I made site visits to the Voting centers and the King County Elections, I designed also a Survey related to the Web Accessibility of the Counties Election Websites for the Deaf and the Visually Impaired People”
After the six week Professional Fellowship, we came together as groups and finalized the action plans and every participant agreed to go and put into action in their home countries all they had learnt.
Am grateful to the sponsors of the Professional Fellows Program on Tolerance and Conflict Resolution in Rwanda and Uganda namely, Institute for Training and Development, Smith college, ACYPL, AC_PFP, ICFJ, LEGACYIntl, NCUSCR, Umontana, Uofokahoma, Worldchicago, Worldlearning, WSOSCAC and U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.