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Recht op educatie in CAR

Marieke Hopman

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7 November 2017

Back in CAR to share the results on child’s right to education

7 November 2017 | By | No Comments

Dear all,

Here’s a quick overview of what has happened the first days of my mission to share the research results and try to do something positive for the child’s right to education in the Central African Republic.

Saturday and Sunday 4 & 5 November Arrived in the morning and was greeted by my research assistant Petrouchka. After we left the suitcases full of research reports in the hotel room, we first went shopping for clothes (for which I’d  had no space in the overfull suitcases). Other things to do were to set up internet and phone connection, and get in touch with different people I know in Bangui. When in the evening I returned to the hotel, I found the apple I left on the table eaten and even my container with vitamin pills attacked. It turned out the room was full of rats. I decided to accept this fact for aIMG_0515t least one night (even though the floor was filled with rat excrement and urine,). However, at 4 AM I woke up because one of the rats had entered my bed and started eating my hand. So I decided to move out. The next day I discovered that in my hurry and shock of leaving the room, I’d left behind the money I’d taken (because there used to be no ATMs in CAR), which I’d hidden in the room. I went back and….it was stolen.

Monday 6 november Finally a work day – time to get going! Got up extra early to start working early. But of course things are not as quick in CAR as one would wish – so my moto taxi driver turned out to run out of gas so we had to walk to the gas station and wait in line… Finally got to start at 7AM. Content of the day:IMG_0536 – Visit conseiller mr. Villecroix (employee of the ministry of Education). He helped me set up many other meetings, really helpful! – Visited two schools for becoming-teachers and education inspectors.Met with directors and set up presentations / discussions for their students. – Visit the Imam to give him the report and establish contact and make plans for cooperation on the sharing of the results. – Visit the national radio station Ndeke Luka to see if we can make radio emission about the research. They were very interested and we made some great plans! – Spoke to another journalist for international media IMG_0552– While moving from meeting to meeting, got completely soaked by the rain :(       (on the moto we couldn’t find the house of the Imam so this kid jumped on to show us the way)IMG_0550     IMG_0538

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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15 May 2017

Upcoming event: being young in times of conflict

15 May 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 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.

Marieke Hopman

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21 November 2016

Video journals research CAR

21 November 2016 | By | No Comments

Dear all, I just shared the video journal of day 11-15 of doing research in the Central African Republic. If you are not on the maillist yet but you want to be, please let me know so I can send you the videos too!
You can let me know by sending an email to marieke.hopman@maastrichtuniversity.nl, or by replying below.