A boy reads a book in the new Community Learning Centre in UVira
A boy reads a book in the new Community Learning Centre in UVira

One of these days Project Diaspora will mature into this massive database of African development projects helmed by Africa’s Diaspora. The database will feature coverage of socially relevant projects from Cape Town to Rabat, all undertaken by Africans for Africans. But, as with all goals big and small, every vision must start with a first step. As such, it is with no small amount of pride that we present to you the first entry into the DAW database.

Bear with me if there are some hiccups in the quality. The audio isn’t the greatest, so you might need to turn up your speakers. Soundslides video on the next page.

While traveling in Norway this summer, I made a detour to a small coastal town of Kristiansand, Norway. Acting on a tip, I found the nearest Peppes Pizza and made my way to the basement. There I excitedly found a board meeting for Project Uvira about to begin. The project is the brain-child of DRC Diaspora member, Janvier Nzigo and friends Hilde Larsen and John Reidar Torgersen. They had a vision to build a community library in small town of Uvira in Eastern Congo. I caught up with John and Janvier after their board meeting for an impromptu interview about Project Uvira. Well it’s less a traditional “interview” in a sense, and more like an impromptu discussion on the Diaspora at work. It’s also happened to be my first journalistic interview since my glory days as a high school newspaper staff reporter.

I also managed to have a brief chat with international development student, Christian Slaaen, who is spearheading the upcoming documentary (in Norwegian) about the project. As a Development Studies major with a penchant for film, it was refreshing to hear some of his impressions on his first time visit to Africa. He also shared some thoughts on the difficulty of Africans depending on themselves instead of Western AID and the work of NGOs.

Interview with Christian (mp3)

SOME FACTS ABOUT PROJECT UVIRA:

Project City and Country: Uvira, Democratic Republic of Congo
Project Base Country: Norway
Project Age: 2 years

Contact Info:
http://uviraproject.wordpress.com/ [In Norwegian]
Contac: Hilde Larsen
Email: uvira.project@gmail.com
Phone. +47 46371216

 

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