The night when we sat around the candle

15 Jul

Having no electricity and water is also sometimes nice. Fast food from outside instead of cooking, candlelight, no movies and just sitting down and talking. This blog post mainly consists of some notes during the discussion of 15 young people with chinese origin, Canadian and US background, Germans, Indians, Kenyans and Ugandans.

Feelings around the bombblast

Publicly announced that Uganda will experience terror. 2 bombs killing over 60 in an hour that was planned to be full of joy in the whole world and uniting nations. The Worldcup final was used as an instrument to target an innocent crowd.

Shocked by how close terrorism can come to your own doorstep. Relief our friends and family were not involved. It could have hit someone amongst us, the place of the accident is a very common place for students. Fear for the next days. Insecurity where to go and where not. The chinese embassy does not answer their phone. One intern got an ultimatum from her parents to return home within the next 24 hours.

What does Africa need?

A big question but worth asking. Of course the discussion quickly goes to the lines that some europeans draw on the map, tribes pushed together, families split. All true points, but not pointing to a solution.

Mainly we believe, Africa needs leaders.

People, who can life without stereotyping. And act as leaders and encourage even the everyday old lady (“The Muslims have bombed us”) to look at things outside of categories.

Africa needs a sense of unity!

Clearly, terrorism is underway to undermine the opportunities that the East African Community was meant to offer to Uganda: Kenya has porous borders to Somalia, borders between Kenya and the other EAC countries are open now. Workers in Mombasas port wait for ships, which influences trade also in Uganda and Rwanda.
Mindsets need to change: Let us work together, in the real sense of togetherness

Leaders who can take the tough decisions. And not chicken out of areas of responsibility.
Uganda sent troops to Somalia. So Museveni took a tough decision… Was it also the right one?

Somebody today said: “Uganda should not be in Somalia at all. Let this be solved by the USA.”  We discussed this statement and a remarkable quote is.

“If your neighbours house burns, you have two options:
You either pour water on your own house, which keeps on evapurating OR you pour water on his house.”

Is AIESEC relevant?

Man, this question is really as old as AIESEC itself. But after a day like this we really ask ourselves. Can AIESEC actually deal with terrorism?

AIESEC has sent 10,000 students on international exchange experiences in the last 12 months. If every intern touches 50 lives in his host country and 49 lives after returning home, we have shown 1 million people the beauty of having a friend abroad. We have broken prejudices, made friendships across lines on the map.


Can someone be a change agent, when they cant even tell their parents about the nice sides of Uganda?
Can someone be a change agent, if they have not even hosted an intern at their house?

Electricity came back just after midnight.
The lives of the over 60 killed by terrorists not!

One Response to “The night when we sat around the candle”

  1. Claudi (FF) August 25, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    Virtually pressing the ‘like’ button!!! Thank you…

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