Placement case study - Oscar

Oscar Mclaughlin

Placement: NAPE (the National Association of Professional Environmentalists) in Kampala, Uganda

Placement UgandaOscar has completed the first two years of his BA in Geography. He spent six months on placement before returning to complete his final year at UWE Bristol. Oscar was on placement with NAPE (the National Association of Professional Environmentalists), in Kampala, Uganda.

"I arrived in Uganda not knowing a single person, having never been to Africa before and never having lived outside of the UK. There was definitely a moment of apprehension just before coming to land where I asked myself ‘what on Earth are you doing?’

"That thought did not last for long. Doing my internship at NAPE in Kampala, Uganda has been the steepest learning curve I have ever encountered, but the most fascinating. Actually being involved in projects and meeting the ‘communities’ and stakeholders I’ve spent the last couple of years reading about has done more for my understanding of the world than another five years in the University library could have.

"My roles at NAPE included helping to find funding for this financial year’s projects, writing project proposals, editing reports on a NAPE study on the rights to water and sanitation in Uganda, assisting in independent consultations in the field, including interviewing a range of government officials and community committee representatives, writing articles and proof-reading a lot of work. I've also produced a bilingual handbook for local water user committees.

"Just living in a different culture for an extended period of time opens your mind to how differently the rest of the world live. I even went to a conference on climate change and God’s role in it.

"The expat community in Kampala is very well established with an interesting mix of volunteers and research students and a nice escape from the madness every now and again. There's even an Irish bar that shows the Six Nations rugby!"

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