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Marieke Hopman

Marieke Hopman

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6 november 2017

Publicatie rapport recht van het kind op onderwijs in CAR

6 november 2017 | By | No Comments

Beste allen,

Hieronder vindt u mijn populair-wetenschappelijke onderzoeksrapport over het recht van het kind op onderwijs in de Centraal Afrikaanse Republiek. Links de Engelse versie, rechts de Franse (klik op de gewenste afbeelding)! Mocht iemand vragen hebben, neemt u aub contact op via marieke.hopman@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

voorkant rapport frans

voorkant rapport engels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marieke Hopman

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12 september 2017

SIGN UP HERE

12 september 2017 | By | No Comments

The new field research on the child’s right to nationality has officially begun! As we are dealing with a politically sensitive matter, we will not be posting on social media. So, click here to sign up for updates! We are excited to share our experiences with you.

Marieke Hopman

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5 september 2017

Good news!

5 september 2017 | By | 2 Comments

Dear all,prize 1

Some good news: yesterday, during Maastricht University’s opening of the Academic Year, I won the Action Research Competition!!! This means I get € 3.000, which enables me to go back to the Central African Republic to share the research results. My wish is to start a national dialogue on what we can do to improve education in the CAR, together with the CAR minister of education.
prize 2
You can see the video of the winning pitch here!

 

 

Marieke Hopman

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3 augustus 2017

CAR report: the solution (for now)

3 augustus 2017 | By | No Comments

Dear all,

After my last blog 2 days ago about my dilemma surrounding the publication of my research report on the right to education in the CAR, I got so many replies!! Thank you all so much for all your emails and suggestions. Once again it can be so great to find that there are people who do care, and that I am not at all alone in my mission to help these kids. So thank you.

Today I had a really good meeting with the media&communication experts of Maastricht University. They advised me – and I would never have thought of this myself – to first go back to the CAR and take a small first step with implementing the research results, which is to start up a dialogue on education based on my research findings. Then after I can come back and (hopefully) share a story of “change is possible, and this is the first step, based on this research report” with the media, instead of a cliche story of “look at these poor children in Africa”.

So, I contacted both the CAR minister of education and his adviser to see if they are still interested in cooperation, and if indeed they can provide me with a visa and a place to stay. They said yes, and so I booked my ticket: flying out 4th of November. This time I will stay in Bangui only, and only for a short time – but it will be a first step, and after I think it will be up to other people to carry on with the project, using the research data and working for a longer period in CAR to continue this change. As should be the role of the researcher (or, in the words of my wise and caring father, in reply to my blog: “I think you overstretch your responsibility here … you are not GOD himself”).

On the practical side, this means that I still have to find funding for translation, travelling back and, if possible, graphic design of the report. To find this funding I received some good ideas from some of you, which I will pursue over the coming period. And I’ll definitely do what I can to win the university’s competition…3000 euros, fingers crossed!! I will also need to bring printed copies to CAR, but I guess I will simply use the university printers, put the report in cheap folders and fill up my suitcase with these home printed copies.

Thanks again for all your input and advises, I will definitely keep you up to date!!

Marieke Hopman

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1 augustus 2017

CAR report: a dilemma

1 augustus 2017 | By | 2 Comments

Dear all,

I am coming to the end of my case study on the child’s right to education in the Central African Republic, and slowly starting on the last case study in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Of course part of my efforts are directed to trying to make as much of a difference for CAR children as possible based on my research results.

To this purpose, I have written a research report on the case study which includes advise for different actors involved such as NGOs, politicians but also teachers. Together with the CAR minister of education I wrote a plan on how we could use the research data to really make a change in the CAR – a plan that involved organizing a national dialogue on the national radio and in different villages, translating the research report into Sango and printing and distributing the report. However, by now I have approached quite a few different actors (NGOs, political actors) with this plan and so far it seems that no one is willing to finance and/or execute it.children following class outside

Today I got a phone call from a journalist – I have been getting quite a few of those; the media seems to be very interested in the report. I have been holding them back, telling them to wait for the publication of the report. However, today this journalist told me that if I don’t publish soon, the media will have no more interest because it will have been too long since I was in the CAR.

So here’s the dilemma: currently I do not have the money to
– pay for the graphic design of the book (which I think is crucial for anyone to read the report) (costs about € 3.500)
– pay for the printing of the report (costs at least € 5.000 – 7.000)
– pay for being able to go back to the CAR and present the research results so that it can actually have an impact in the country (costs at least € 2.000)
– pay for the translation of the report from English to French (costs € 600)

I signed up for a call for action research of Maastricht University, to win € 3000 to be able to help the children in the CAR, but I will only hear at the end of August whether I have even been selected to compete for the prize in September. Another crowdfunding is not feasible at this point either, since my students are already preparing a crowdfunding for the Cyprus case which also still needs funding.

So what to do??

  1. Wait until I find a sponsor for this part of the project and give up on (at least part of) media attention for the research
  2. Publish the report online early September, and reach out to media, with or without graphic design, or even print it – I could cover these costs from my research budget at the Maastricht University Children’s Rights Research Fund, and hope for the best in trying to get to the end of the PhD without serious financial shortage
  3. Do I go back to CAR to share the research results or not?? I feel that if I don’t, in a way, it feels like it has all been for nothing. I do not think that international attention for the case will really change anything for CAR children.

So if anyone has a great idea about what to do, or a very rich uncle who is looking for a great purpose for about € 10.000 –  €15.000 (all reported on and controlled by the independent Maastricht University Children’s Rights Research Fund), please share!!!

Marieke Hopman

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15 mei 2017

Upcoming event: being young in times of conflict

15 mei 2017 | By | No Comments

Dear all,

Just a short message to let you know, and invite you to, an event where I will be speaking on the 1st of June. The event is titled “Being young in times of conflict: Readings from the Central African Republic“. As the organizers write: “While rebel-leaders and combatant- voices tend to reach our media sources, the voices of ‘ordinary’ young people have difficulty being heard both within the country and abroad”.

In addition, today the children’s rights index 2017 has come out today. This index ranks how countries adhere to and are equipped to improve children’s rights. CAR has been ranked LAST IN THE WHOLE WORLD.

So, even more reason to take an interest in the young people of this country!! You can read about, and register for the event here.

 

Marieke Hopman

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28 april 2017

Overzicht inkomsten en uitgaven 2014-2016

28 april 2017 | By | No Comments

Beste allen,

Hierbij deel ik graag met jullie een overzicht van alle inkomsten en uitgaven van het onderzoek, over de periode 2014-2016. Zoals je kunt zien, komt het meeste geld binnen wanneer ik onderwijs geef en projecten coördineer – dit zijn werkzaamheden die ik doe, in ruil waarvoor instellingen een donatie overmaken naar het onderzoeksfonds. Een belangrijk deel van de inkomsten komen van donaties – heel veel dank daarvoor!!

overview costs income

Het grootste deel van de uitgaven bestaat uit de beurstoekenning (een maandelijks bedrag van € 1.630. Dit bedrag zal gelijk blijven voor de hele onderzoeksperiode, resulterend in jaarlijks < € 2.500 lager dan een reguliere PhD medewerker). Reiskosten en overige kosten bestaan uit kosten voor de twee veldonderzoeken (transport, vertaler, overnachting, etc) en wat kosten gemaakt voor het onderzoek zelf, zoals de aanschaf van boeken. Voor een meer gedetailleerd overzicht van alle kosten, zie:

Als u kinderrechten onderzoek wilt steunen, kunt u hier een donatieformulier invullen

 

Marieke Hopman

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13 april 2017

Published: Lipstick Law!

13 april 2017 | By | No Comments

Beste allen,

Met veel plezier kondig ik aan dat een stukje van het theoretische frame van mijn onderzoek – waarbij ik pleit om wetten te begrijpen door niet alleen de wetboeken te bestuderen, maar ook te kijken naar de regels die bepalen hoe mensen leven – is gepubliceerd in de Journal of Legal Pluralism!

Je kunt het artikel hier gratis lezen. Kijk aub ook even onderaan naar de “acknowledgments”!

Een korte verdere update; de komende 2 weken rond ik zowel het rapport over onderwijs in CAR, als het academische artikel over wetten in CAR, af. Daarna hoop ik een uitgebreide nieuwsbrief te sturen, met een update over afeglopen werkzaamehen en financiële verantwoording van kosten en baten over 2016. Dus u hoort snel weer van mij!

Marieke Hopman

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29 januari 2017

Recht op onderwijs en de autoriteit van een CAR dorpshoofd

29 januari 2017 | By | One Comment

Transcribing interviews today, and came across this conversation where I was discussing authority and the possibility to create a school in the village with a village chief. The question: can he tell the literate parents of the village to all teach a few hours a week, so that the children will have education?
 
Resp:       They cannot accept to teach if we don’t pay them.
MH:          But what if they would just teach half a day a month?
Resp:       That would be good, but it is not possible. They have to go fishing. If they don’t go, how                      will they feed their children?
MH:          I have trouble believing that teaching for only 4 hours a week will make the difference                          between eating and not eating.
Resp:       I cannot command them. If they don’t want to, can you force them?
MH:         You are the chief, do you not have that power?
Resp:       I have power, but I cannot force people.
MH:         So what kind of power do you have in relation to education?
Resp:       If I command someone, who wants to go fishing, to teach and to force them to teach?
MH:          I am just curious to see how it works in the village, the relation of power, authority and                         autonomy…
Resp:      Before, the young people were receiving the village chief. Nowadays, after the arrival of                       human rights [a relatively new concept in the village, apparently], if you ask them to do                      something, they don’t accept it. When they don’t accept it, you have no right to take it by                    force.
Marieke Hopman

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28 december 2016

Coming back from CAR again

28 december 2016 | By | 4 Comments

Dear all,

Since two days I am again back in the Netherlands, and even on the plane I started working on processing the results. There is so much information, so many impressions, and I am hoping to have a report and a PhD chapter finished in two months..!
Today I wanted to make the last video journal but I cannot really get myself to watch the images just now. It is my second time coming back from CAR and it is not necessarily easier. I guess when you are in the middle of it, you kind of absorb and postpone all emotional reactions. Then when coming back, it kind of hits you in the face. Which is normal and good, but, I just need a minute :). So the video is coming up soon, but not just now. In the meantime I just wrote a poem – it’s not a very good one, but I think it explains very well what it’s like coming back, and what reality in CAR is like. For now, it is all I can do not to get back on the next plane to Bangui…

It is usually around 4PM
I’m studying, I’m reading,
I’m listening, I’m understanding
taking a nice, analytical
distance

Until at 4PMDCIM100GOPROGOPR0383.JPG
it hits me
reality
I go out for a cigarette
my stomach starts hurting
I go to the toilet
I sit, I shit,
I lost
again

Reality sweeps me off my feet
turns my head upside down,
saying
Remember what you did?
Remember whom you talked to?
Remember you did not go back
to see if they were still
alive?
Remember the one trustworthy
government official
with his crooked reading glasses
who told you everything
who got killed?
Remember the girls?
Remember those you left
behind, who are waiting,
hoping, praying, while
things are getting worse?
What are you doing,
sitting on a sofa, reading
a book?
When do you go back
to die with them?
What gives you the right
to leave?

I know I don’t have a right to anything. I don’t
need to take this warm shower, wear
these warm clothes, glasses, wine, throwing
away the food that we did not finish,
using lamps,
heating the whole house,
playing violin.

But I don’t know what
else to do.