Makerere University Rotary Peace Centre on 16th – 20st October 2022, hosted the 2nd Capstone conference where fellows presented their findings and achievements in their social change initiatives in different communities. The function brought together fellows from the 2nd and 4th cohorts for purposes of interaction and mentorship.
The capstone conference is where Peace fellows present work they have been doing to promote peace in the communities. Cohort 2 enrolled at the beginning of 2021, attended classes and went out in different communities in different countries to execute the projects. The Capstone covers the fellows work in the period of 9months - one year funded by Rotary International.
The fellows converged at Makerere University to present their findings at a colorful ceremony presided over by the Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe at the CEDAT conference hall.
Prof. Nawangwe emphasized to the fellows that they can do small things to build peace in the communities like helping refugees to grow their own food to minimize conflicts with the host communities and engaging and training the youth so that they can engage in productive ventures instead of involving in violence.
Nawangwe hailed the Rotary Peace Centre for promoting the university on grounds that it demonstrates that beyond training and issuing certificates, the university exists to impact on society by creating and promoting peace. Prof. Nawangwe implored fellows never to underestimate what they do.
“Without peace you cannot have development even in your own home. As a country, if we are in conflicts, we cannot develop. Almost every war begins in the brain of one person.
As peace fellows, you play a big role in ensuring that peace lasts long. You can help people solve many small problems that could probably grow into wars. Don’t underestimate the work you do in the communities because it minimizes or prevents conflicts and wars,” Nawangwe said.
Representing the Principal CHUSS, Prof. Patrick Mangeni appreciated the support given by the university management and the amount of the productivity within the university and the significant activities taking place in commemoration of the 100 years of existence.
“It is a year of harvest celebrating 100 years. We want to appreciate your leadership Mr. Vice Chancellor and the support you have given us. It is gratifying that the launch of cohort 2 as they are presenting today, that you are doing this when we are celebrating”. Prof. Mangeni steted.
Prof. Mangeni thanked all teachers and several actors who have given support to cohort 2 fellows welcoming cohort 4 on board.
The Director of Makerere University Rotary Peace Centre, Prof Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala said in the communities, the fellows work with different agencies and groups to respond to different challenges in their local communities, carrying out their respective social change initiatives, thereby contributing to the existing peacebuilding and development initiatives using new approaches.
“Each initiative that is carried out is an impact of Makerere University as part of our community service. Internally, we are already carrying out the training on peace building and conflict , transformative conflict analysis, alternatives to violence and the center advocated for setting up a centre for alternative conflict resolution mechanisms in order to ensure that we can resolve any issues amicably”, Prof. Nkabala said.