Our second full day in Kampala started on time at 7:45 A.M. Ugandan time, so approximately 8:00 A.M. by American standards with breakfast at MUBS. After breakfast, we headed up one of the seven hills of Kampala to the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI). Located in a wealthier portion of Kampala, we finally arrived in at FHRI. Upon arrive, I found that the atmosphere was the perfect recipe for a nap. The chairs were comfy. The room was warm, and we had time because we were waiting for Dr. Sewanyana, the executive director of FHRI. However, as wonderful as a nap seemed at the time, Josephine, the research director of FHRI, arrived and quickly captivated our attention by discussing the state of human rights in Uganda, the projects that FHRI undertakes and the challenges faced by human rights organizations. The Foundation for Human Rights Initiative focuses on advancing civil and political rights in Uganda. Each year FHRI researches and publishes two reports on two human rights initiatives in Uganda. These topics range from the right to a fair trial to children's rights. This past year's initiatives were right to a fair trial and labor rights. The current research topics are eradication of extreme poverty (in line with the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals) and the right of fair elections. During her talk, she discussed a wide array of topics including government corruption, police torture and right to food and answered our nonstop questions over an hour. Dr. Sewanyana arrived added to the information that Josephine provided us. One of the most important things that I took away from the meeting with Josephine was the importance of continuous dialogue and advocacy for each topic. For me, this persistence shown by FHRI is something that everyone can learn from. True grit and persistence is key to any accomplishment.
Students: During Josephine's presentation, she said "if you want development, it comes at a cost." In your opinion what has been the cost of the advancement of human rights in Uganda? In your opinion how to human rights in Uganda compare to human rights violations in the United States? What is one thing that surprised you from the discussion?