Growth Does Not Happen Within Comfort
The main contribution I had was being heavily involved in being a project leader on several grass root projects. I was heavily involved in the evaluation and decision-making processes of which organizations, schools, etc., we would be working with throughout the summer. It was really eye opening to learn how non-profits and humanitarian aid organizations decide where to put their funds. The projects I was mostly involved with was teaching at different schools and advocating for reusable menstrual pads.
The two biggest course theories I saw at play in the “real world” in Africa was Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological theory. When teaching classes, I noticed we would lose the kids attention quicker than you would here in the US and that after a mealtime, kids would also be quieter. Why? Most of them were not eating and did not have sufficient water to drink. This showed me that without those basic needs being met, those higher needs could not begin to be touched. This goes along with the human growth and development across the lifespan within Family life content area. In regard to Bronfenbrenner’s theory, the corruption within the Ugandan government leaked into every aspect of life and culture. It affected growth and opportunity everywhere. It showed me how the exosystem, microsystem, chronosystem, etc., all intertwine and interact with one another. They all have an effect on the others. This reminded me of the family life content area families and individuals in societal contexts.
I saw a lot of Family Resource Management and Parent Education and Guidance in the real world of Africa. I spent a significant amount of time with different families within different villages in Uganda. It was unique to see the different in parenting resource management between villages and between Uganda and the United States. It affirmed to me the differences between collectivist and individualistic cultures.
Lastly, it was fascinating to see the youth organization working in family law and public policy. I didn’t have much hands on experience with it, but I was able to read their policy proposals and hear about their meetings. It was interesting to see that unfold in real life.
- Family and Consumer Science - FCSC