Peace-Building and Community Development in Uganda Essay
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Community development is a multi-faceted activity that has different ends. It also has different requirements depending on the needs of people inside the community. Development can be achieved through sustaining small and medium businesses, ensuring education for all, managing inclusion and diversity, keeping peace and order, and creating comprehensive disaster management. Through these, a community like Uganda can be sustainable.
In Uganda, the dehumanizing aspects of slavery in the South and racial discrimination in the North are more than just the beatings, but also the parting of children from their mothers, the denial of education, and the sexual abuses of slave masters (Davis, 2004).
The civilization that developed in Uganda reflected the variety and contrasts found on the continent. The peoples of Uganda differ greatly in language, customs, and appearance. The geography of this huge continent also shows sharp contrasts.
Along the Nile River, which flows from the tropical forests of Central Uganda through the deserts of the north, several early civilizations developed.
One of the most influential regions was Sahara. Sahara’s political, economic, and cultural influence had an effect on the history of other kingdoms. Later, empires based on trade grew up in the region of Sahara (Davis, 2004). Patterns of settlement and trade were influenced by the varied climates and natural sources of the Uganda continent. The hottest and wettest regions of the continent are near the equator, in the basin of the Congo River.
Heavy rainfall and warm humid air encourage the growth of lush rain forest. Near the edge of the rainforest is the savanna, an open grassland dotted with shrubs and scattered clumps of trees. The savannas provide land for farming and herding. These grasslands are also home of Uganda great herds of wild animals, gazelles, giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, lions, and elephants (Davis, 2004). Racism in Uganda has been associated with reduced spirits, lower efficiency and a greater probability to experience terrible stress and nonappearance in the major activities in a community.
People who go through racism speak of having feeling of timidity or letdown and lowered levels of self-esteem. Minorities who sense that their identity and culture are not cherished may also live through lowered levels of self-confidence and self-respect and think that they have are not welcome in a neighborhood or community. This mindset may bring about a feeling of denunciation of their own values, language, and ultimately their culture, and an ensuing loss of individuality (Hooks, 1994). In Uganda, the ways of thinking of people concerning cultural miscellany of their communes differ extensively.
Amongst a number of minorities, there is a devotion to a deepened insight into cultural diversity and multiculturalism. Some “mainstream” people are anxious about variations and sense antipathy towards people of color. If the person of color is suffering discrimination of any sort, he or she may feel forlorn and miserable. He or she may also attempt to evade incidents where racist activities could happen, and pretend to be unwell or be anxious of deserting their homes (Kressel, 2001). In some nations, significant segments of the population reject coexistence with minorities in equal terms.
These minorities have faced discrimination in such areas as housing, education, and employment. Although no scientific proof supports racist claims, racism is widespread and has caused major problems throughout the world. Racism is most often used to justify the creation of political or economic systems that encourage or maintain the domination of one racial group over another. Such beliefs were long used to rationalize the enslavement and persecution of people viewed as inferior (Stoessinger, 2002).
Throughout history there have been persecutions and atrocities that can be described as cases of genocide. The Russian pogroms (persecutions of the Jews) during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s were an example of genocide. During World War II, the Germans practiced genocide. They killed about six million European Jews. Victims of the Holocaust went through dehumanization simply to make the killing of others psychologically easy for the Nazis. Many victims of the Holocaust suffered from various experiments which eventually led to the death.
Some of the experiments were things such as: sun lamp, internal irrigation, hot bath, warming by body heat, hypothermia, among others (Clemens and Purcell, 1999). In recent years a debate has raged over the question of whether opportunities for black economic advancement are more affected by race or class position. Sociologist William Wilson believes that racial discrimination has become less important than social class in influencing the life chances of black Americans (Hinkle, 2004).
He says that civil rights legislation and affirmative action programs have substantially lifted the cap historically imposed on black social mobility by segregation, resulting in greater educational, income, and occupational differentiation: Blacks with good educational backgrounds and job skills rapidly moved into the American middle class; blacks with limited educations and job skills became the victims of dehumanization and welfare dependency. Now poor urban blacks find themselves relegated to all-black neighborhoods where they are further dehumanized and socially isolated from mainstream American life (Zanden, 1993).
According to Maiese (2003), the United Nations defined peace-building as an interplay of “capacity building, reconciliation, and societal transformation”. For other organizations, the short-term goals are more evident; peace-building revolves around promoting peace in an immediate situation. The United Nations drew up an international convention in 1948 that made genocide a crime. On Dec. 9, 1948, the United Nations passed the Genocide Convention, which was designed to overcome the claims of Nuremberg defendants that they had violated no law.
The convention made genocide a crime. The next day, the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Fifty years later, in 1998, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda became the first international court to pass a guilty verdict for the crime of genocide. The verdict related to crimes committed during the 1994 conflict in Rwanda (Kim, 2004). In 1999, there was already a convention, called the Geneva Spiritual Appeal, which made history in collecting in one venue the Catholics, the Jewish, the Buddhists, the Muslims, the Protestants, and the Orthodox Christians.
Then again, there remain Christians, Animists, & Muslims in conflict in Nigeria; Christian-Muslim discord still abounds some parts in Asia as Indonesia and the Philippines; Buddhists and the minority population of the Hindus Tamils are at odds in Sri Lanka; and incredibly, Animists and Witches are cursing each other in Uganda (Reich, 1998). Sometimes, it is appropriate to entitle these conflicts nationalist ones, because they impact on the endeavors to build nation-states, in which the majority gets the state.
More like the winning territory takes over or designs the administration. Defining such a nation is typically by linguistic or religious yardsticks. Hence, we have the Ugandans in the continent of Africa singled out as the inferiors by tongue and by faith, and Germans differ from the French by their verbal and non-verbal communication (Carter, Gwendolen, and Herz, 1991). Perhaps there’s a tendency of people growing to be defensive about their identity if they sense that it is under cordon. There is really not a single ultimate peace resolution plan that can referee the unrest.
Attempts had been made like the 1999 Convention but the conflict is not exclusively attributable to spiritual diversity alone. It may be distributed among ethnic feuds, religion-based worldviews, economic modifications, and political coalitions, among several others (Carter, Gwendolen, and Herz, 1991). On having the United Nations’ enforcement of globalized paradigms, they would need to try harder. Peculiarities factor in on the extent of their reception. If the country’s fragile, they are more likely to get involved. If the country’s sturdy, they are more likely to lag behind and perform diplomatically around the edges.
The key is not to establish globalized benchmarks but to develop local, internal avowals (Stoessinger, 2002). They said there is only one Bible and a million interpretations. But there is a single quotation in it that speaks of harmony: a house divided against itself cannot stand. Proclaiming a house partitioned to be a condominium cannot be expected to work out when many of the occupiers want instead to demolish the edifice entirely and put up their own, unattached houses. Speaking of houses, local religious sects could construct and ring a Peace Bell at the beginning and end of their spiritual observation.
Ugandan victims could ask their municipality to formally declare their observance of the day (Kim, 2004). It would also be certainly wise for any intercontinental organizations to use workforce from countries that went through related experiences, rather then using the abstract approach brought by peacekeeping squads from Western nations to intervene in Uganda. One specific strategy possibly is to have this staff encourage the people inviting other faith traditions to join them in a prayer service for peace in Uganda (Carter, Gwendolen, and Herz, 1991).
International treaties should make it easier for local organizations to get concerned in the region of Uganda where genocide is concentrated without misplacing valuable time as they wait for the pronouncement of the United Nations Security Council, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, or the Organization of African Unity (Reich, 1998). But it should always be made a point that the auxiliary time is spent on deepening interfaith commitments to dialogue and cooperation for promoting peace.
In the 1990s, Jewish groups pressured those who had profited from the Holocaust to compensate Holocaust victims or their descendants. Groups that paid reparations included the German government, certain Swiss banks, and some German companies (Clemens and Purcell, 1999). In the country Uganda, Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager played the hero in the lives of thousands having different cultural backgrounds. In the middle of European colonization in Rwanda, Paul made an uncompromising initiative to communicate with the most relevant redeemers from the camp of Brussels’ headquarters.
This way, he succeeded in playing the peacekeeper among the threatened people he hid in their hotel (Carter, Gwendolen, and Herz, 1991). The United Nations also played an indispensable role in Uganda. Led by Col. Oliver, the organization gets to know what is actually happening but not to make contingent actions and resolutions to put a stop to genocidal cases that mete out Rwanda. He stood the middleman between the U. N. superiors and the people under the wings of Paul Rusesabagina (Carter, Gwendolen, and Herz, 1991). However, it was also evident that the situation could have gone smarter if the likes of Paul Rusesabagina and Col.
Oliver were given ample attention or at the very least, not ignored. Apart from the United Nations, a multitude of support and private-owned groups advocate against dehumanization and as such, campaign for a zero-dehumanized world and for a healing process to start with (Stoessinger, 2002). For instance, Interact Worldwide is an advocacy-driven virtual institution with the purpose of building support for and implement programmes, which enable marginalized people to fulfill their rights to sexual and reproductive health.
Redefining Progress works with a broad array of partners to shift the economy and public policy towards sustainability; that they can measure the real state of a country’s economy, our environment, and social justice with tools like the genuine progress indicator and the ecological footprint; that they design policies to shift behavior in these three domains towards sustainability; and that they promote and create new frameworks to replace the ones that are taking us away from long-term social, economic, and environmental health.
Other popular organizations include The Family Alliance to Stop Abuse and Neglect, National Down Syndrome Congress, Resources for Children of Holocaust Survivors, Amnesty International, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Reebok Human Rights, among many others (Carter, Gwendolen, and Herz, 1991). Prejudice provides for the safe release of hostile and aggressive impulses that are culturally tabooed within other social contexts. By channeling hostilities from within family, occupational, and other crucial settings onto permissible targets, the stability of existing social structures may be promoted.
This is the well-known scapegoating mechanism, another common method to dehumanize (Zanden, 1993). In Uganda, scapegoating resulted in the inhuman treatment of Ugandan tribes like Tutsi. Bound by his duty-based ethics, Paul Rusesabagina could be pictured having utter, intrinsic moral commitments to some external source to carry out certain actions, notwithstanding his particular situation and personal goals (Carter, Gwendolen, and Herz, 1991).
The ways of thinking of people concerning cultural miscellany of their communes differ extensively be it in Rwanda or in some other place in the world. Amongst a number of minorities, there is a devotion to a deepened insight into cultural diversity and multiculturalism. Some “mainstream” people are anxious about variations and sense antipathy towards people of color. If the person of color is suffering discrimination of any sort, he or she may feel forlorn and miserable.
But with Paul Rusesabagina around, the people kept safe in Uganda were saved not only from the harm of genocide but from the deadly bias posed against them by the larger society that is morally wrecked and uncharitable (Carter, Gwendolen, and Herz, 1991). An inherent debate has raged over the question of whether opportunities for black economic advancement are more affected by race or class position. Some believe that racial discrimination has become less important than social class in influencing the life chances of Ugandans.
Civil rights legislation and affirmative action programs have substantially lifted the cap historically imposed on black social mobility by segregation, resulting in greater educational, income, and occupational differentiation: Blacks with good educational backgrounds and job skills rapidly moved into the middle class; blacks with limited educations and job skills became the victims of dehumanization and welfare dependency.
Now poor urban blacks find themselves relegated to all-black neighborhoods where they are further dehumanized and socially isolated from mainstream Ugandan life (Hooks, 1994). The risk is that when chauvinistic behaviors and attitudes are allowed to go unimpeded in any environment, a climate cultivates which sees these incidents as natural and so permits racism to become deep-rooted. Whereas not many complaints are collected every year, this should not be compared to a low frequency of racist incidence.
Inadequate understanding of legislation, fear or apprehension on the part of victimized minorities to disclose racist activities or disinclination by parents to engage in legal amends are factors that may thwart the conveyance of official complaints. As well, formal treatments for grievances of racism are not constantly suitable, with arbitration usually being considered as a preferable substitute (Kim, 2004). Racism has been a steady problem in Uganda all through time. Other forms of racism are, perhaps, less obvious.
The hierarchical structure, academic elitism, and the whole way of life of mainstream society are directly opposed to cultural values and world views. How all this conflict is experienced by people of color can only be explained adequately by the citizens of the society themselves; it will be different depending on their past experience and even non-existent for others, but the suppression of the values and way of life of the mainstream society will adversely affect everyone because racism against these people of color eats at the hearts of the dominating as well as the dominated people (Hinkle, 2004).
Peace-building can concentrate on resolving current issues between constituents. It involves moderating by authorities or other members of the community to maintain understanding between parties. On the other hand, it is also creating a society where the constituents are educated and transformed so that they do not only know peace but also lives peace. In these terms, education plays an integral role. This creates a community which is not only dependent on intermediaries but with self-regulation of peace as well.
In the end, a community filled with peace-loving citizens is a community where peace has been built (Stoessinger, 2002). Personally, if I were a member of a certain low-income urban neighborhood similar in nature in Uganda, I would offer my full knowledge of the end and the means to achieve it. As part of the will for a “sense of community,” I will take the initiative to conform to shared leadership or become servant leaders.
After all, a leader providing positive reinforcement is a leader creating a positive climate and peace-loving attitude all over a community. So long as there will be provision of opportunities that allow me to exercise responsibility and creativity in our common endeavor, my active participation would include extensive information dissemination, be it online or via available physical infrastructures, and active civic participation.