HIST 403: NGOs and Refugees in Uganda

Program Overview

Eligibility Criteria

This program is open to both Arts and non-Arts students who have completed 2nd year (54 credits) by January 2017.

HIST 403 has multiple components

  • Pre-departure learning program from January – April 2017
  • Seminars run on campus from January to April 2017
  • 12 weeks of fieldwork in an International Service Learning placement from late May – August 2017
  • Return seminar and final coursework on campus in September 2017
  • Re-entry debrief and International Development Symposium on campus in September – October 2017

Course Description

HIST 403 is a 3 credit course that will examine, within an analytical historical framework, the social and health dimensions of refugee movements to Uganda from neighboring countries, particularly Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Sudan. Although the majority of refugees to Uganda in recent decades have arrived from outside the country, large numbers of Ugandans have also been refugees, both within their own country and in neighboring areas as a result of the Ugandan civil war in the mid-1980s. The course will thus view Ugandans as both refugees as well as providers for neighboring populations. Students will gain a contextual understanding of refugees in the framework of other forms of migration and social mobility within Uganda since 1972. Attention will be paid to the role refugees play in setting health agendas for the NGOs, health conditions in UNHCR camps, the success of NGOs and the Ugandan government in attending to the health needs of refugees, and the challenges of dealing with poverty and health in comprehensive ways in a country within the Global South.

HIST 403 satisfies the International Relations Seminar requirement for International Relations Majors in their final academic year. This course will be taught by Dr. Steven Lee.

Placement Description

As a part of the HIST 403 course, you will be enrolled in an International Service Learning placement. Specific placements will be announced in the Winter Term 2017. Placements go from May – August 2017. Below are examples of placements previously offered to students in the course:


Sustainable Livelihood Development for People Living with HIV/AIDS

Students will collaborate with staff from the AIDS Support Organization (TASO) on a multi-year project aimed at creating a strategy and approach to implementing, monitoring and evaluating sustainable livelihood programs for the purpose of improving overall health. More specifically, students will work on the design of a sustainable livelihood pilot intervention program for a community in Uganda paying particular attention to the context of mobility and migration. The aim of this program is to ensure that the intervention is accessible to those who are marginalized and less likely to access this kind of support within their community.


Health & Mobility

Students will work in the community of Lyantonde with the Salama Shield Foundation. Salama Shield is an organization that is focused on community development through interventions in the fields of health, income generation, access to clean water, nutrition, and skills education. Students will work alongside the organization and the health sector to strengthen the overall health system through initiatives such as the development of workshops and educational material on topics such as HIV, TB, malaria and reproductive health. These initiatives will impact other areas such as income generation and safe water activities. These activities are particularly relevant to this community as Lyantonde was the site of the very first known HIV outbreak in Uganda.

Living Environment

You will live with host families in modest conditions. In most cases, you will take public transport to and from your placement.

Program Dates

Date Activity
Dec 4, 2016 Program application is open and will close when full. Applications will be considered in the order they are received.
Jan – Apr 2017 Orientation and pre-departure learning sessions (all successful applicants will be expected to be in attendance at all sessions)
Jan – Apr, 2017 HIST 403 course
May – Aug 2017 12 week International placement including a facilitated workshop approximately mid-way through (exact dates TBD)
Sep 2017 HIST 403 course – Post Placement seminar and assignments due (exact dates tbc)
Sep – Oct 2017 ISL Post-placement reflection sessions and International Development Symposium.

**Please note these dates may be adjusted but will be confirmed prior to offer.

Program Costs

The cost* of this program may be funded by the ARA award. Please see the Awards & Eligibility section below for more information. The costs below are per student and are yet to be fully determined, but will be within the following ranges.

Location Full program fee Fee with 70% ARA funding
Uganda $3,900 – 4,400 $1,170 – $1,320

Students applying for the ARA award through HIST 403 must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those listed under the Arts Research Abroad section.

  • Be enrolled in a qualifying major for the course (History, Political Science, International Relations, Anthropology)