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July 30, 2013
If you weren’t there, you should have been! The 18th ICSD Biennial Symposium in Kampala, Uganda, July 15-19, 2013 was absolutely fabulous. The country and the people are beautiful. Dr. Hugo Kamya, Simmons College and Dr. Edward Kirumira, Makerere University and their team, including Jennifer Knott and Isabelle Darling, did a splendid job putting together a first class professional program. The theme of “Opening New Frontiers in Social Development: Facing Opportunities and Challenges” is especially timely and important. The symposium venue and accommodations at the Spekes Resort Munyonuo could not have be better. The staff at Munyonuo were friendly, accommodating, and ready to assist. The accommodations were equal to Cairo, Mumbai, and Dhaka. On the shore of Lake Victoria, we had an environment perfect for reflection and dialogue, while being near and accessible to the bustling environment of Kampala.
Each of the keynote speakers that included Dr. Abye Tasse’, University of Nouakchott, Mauritania; Gary Bailey, Associate Professor, Simmons College; Dr. David K. Basangwa, Government Senior Consultant Psychiatrist and Executive Director for Butabika National Mental Hospital; US Ambassador Scott DeLisi; David Mugawe, Executive Director, Afri-Child Centre; Dr. Sheila Ndyanabangi, Principal Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health and Livingstone Sewanyana, Executive Director, Foundation for Human Rights Initiatives delivered critical, challenging and passionate addresses.
Sympoisum participants spend Thursday afternoon making agency site visits at local social service agencies. Agencies that hosted symposium participants included Center of Domestic Violence Prevention, UNHCO, Butabika Mental Hospitall, YASO, Straight Talk Foundation, Foundation of Human Rights Initiative and Makerere University. I heard nothing but positive comments about the exceptional work being done by these organizations.
In total, over one hundred and twenty-five presentations were delivered as either papers, posters, or workshops. Each session was well attended, and dialogue following the presentations was stimulating. I witnessed many connections being made, business cards and emails swapped, and requests for copies of presentations.
This year, in addition to the Dan Sanders Peace and Justice Lecture delivered by David Mugawe, we also had the Shanti K. Kinduka Lecture in Social Development delivered by Livingstone Sewanyana. For the first time, we presented the James Billups International Social Development Leadership Award to Dr. Antoinette Lombard, University of Pretoria, Department of Social Work, South Africa.
A highlight of the symposium was the cultural performances following each of the keynote addresses. Monday evening, following welcome speeches, and the passionate keynote by Livingstone Sewanyana, we were mesmerized by the dancing of the Ndere troupe and Music for Life. On Tuesday, performers from TASO provided entertainment followed by the University Talent Night. Thursday evening, lakeside, the Qwela Band played with dancing until midnight, and following the closing ceremony, the Kyampisi Children’s Choir provided a wonderful performance.
The program was exceptional in every way.
To wrap-up four days of a great symposium, Drs. Hugo Kamya and Edward Kirumira passed the gavel to Drs. Tan Ngoh Tiong and Kevin Siah-Yeow Tan announcing the site for the 19th ICSD International Symposium, July 7-11, 2015, Singapore. We were forewarned, chili crabs are on the menu.
Following the formal program of the symposium, post symposium safari tours with Wave Expeditions and 1,000 Shades of Green were experienced by many symposium participants. These safari tours showcased different parts of Uganda and its spectacular landscape and wildlife. Our safari to Murchison Falls was really worthwhile. Not only did we stay at a wonderful safari lodge, we saw the range of animals up close and center. It was a great end to a fabulous symposium.
A sincere thanks to all delegates and their families for participating in this wonderful symposium. I absolutely believe that we were disappointed with your experience and you will be determined to join us for the 19th Biennial ICSD Symposium in Singapore, 2015.
As we wrap-up the 18th International Symposium, Dr. Antoinette Lombard, newsletter editor and board member, is planning to put out a special issue of the newsletter highlighting the symposium. Please check the website periodically for this piece. Contributions for the newsletter can be send directly to Dr. Antoinette Lombard (email@example.com). Please send your photos with descriptions.
It continues to be a privilege and honor to serve as your President and I am grateful to all of you for the time and talent you contribute to promoting social development worldwide. It was wonderful seeing many of you in Kampala and I am looking forward to seeing you all in Singapore!
Barbara W. Shank, President ICSD