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.
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??
- 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
- 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
- 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!!!