Dear all, This is just a quick message to tell you all that I have arrived safely in the Central African Republic last Wednesday and I am busy setting up the research. So far I have done 3 official interviews, and many unofficial conversations on children’s rights to education in the CAR. It promises to be an interesting research, among other things because a qualitative research on the right to education has not yet been done yet in the country – at least as far as the people who I have been working with know (or from what I’ve been able to find).
I am so lucky to be working here with CARITAS (NGO), who have been incredibly supportive of the research and are providing me with all kinds of logistic and practical help (also with security issues as this conflict affected area is far from safe) as well as the chance to exchange thoughts and experiences. They really work closely with the locals – in fact, there is only one European employee I have met so far – which is just perfect for my research purposes. Hopefully this will enable me to really get to understand the child’s right to education from the inside out, even though I never feel more white and different than in Africa. I am hoping to be able to share some more about the research soon, in between organizing research interviews, visiting places, waiting waiting waiting (it is Africa after all), seeing if the internet is working … So far the plan for next week is: to visit M’Poko refugee camp, the Bangui pediatric hospital, the ministry of education, Kaga Bandoro and the orphanage in Bangui. Which is probably slightly unrealistically ambitious, especially at local (sometimes very frustrating) pace… On the bright side: connecting to children so far has been very powerful and provided me with a lot of inside information. Some of which makes it hard to sleep at night.