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There is no university experience like this one!

Stories

Wanja Munaita, School of Humanitarian Studies

What this time in Uganda did for me was literally life changing.

The quality of the Master of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding is top notch. To be able to work and at the same time gain a high quality education from dedicated experts, while engaging with a cohort from various backgrounds and perspectives was an enriching experience in itself. 

The funding that I received for my placement and research time in Uganda was vital in sharpening my understanding of post conflict reconstruction. What this time in Uganda did for me was literally life changing. I had gone to Gulu with the thought that I would fit in easily coming from Kenya - that I would simply become one with the people of Gulu.

My preparation for work in Uganda through my research was one thing, but immersing in a community working so hard to return to normalcy after conflict was a complete different tale. Having never experienced conflict, I learned deeply through observation, and by sharing and engaging with the people of Northern Uganda. I realized how important it is to support other women in order to improve the conditions in a woman's world. In Uganda, my eyes and heart popped wide open. Women were first up and last to sleep. They laboured hard in the sun, traveled along dusty roads on oversized unconditioned bikes loaded with firewood, water, goats and their children. These women farmed on leased farms as they did not own land, as some of them found that their right to their husband's land did not apply once their husbands had died. These women became my teachers in the field. They toiled hard for their families. These women are what I refer to as the pillars of society.

The beauty of Royal Roads is not only in its location, but also in the connections I made while there, the alumni who guided me, and above all the depth of commitment from colleagues, alumni, faculty and the staff. There is no university experience like this one!

*Recipient of the Canadian Federation of University Women Victoria - Helen Joy Russell Bursary