Contributed by Ssekimpi M. Ssemambo, 2nd Deputy Prime Minister – Buganda Kingdom
I attended the congress as a travel awardee; but also as an elder from Uganda the next (ISE Congress) host country in 2016.
Here below are my general remarks briefly on the above congress:
I didn’t have any knowledge about the ISE and its activities.
My participation was pleasurable but also a big blessing to me in my capacity as a community/traditional leader in the Buganda Kingdom (my work revolves around the preservation, Protection & Promotion of our culture and indigenous rights and practices).
The 3 days Journey to Bumthang, Bhutan including the 12 hours bus drive through the Himalayans was a unique experience to me. The beautiful scenery of Rocky very steep mountains and deep narrow valleys, at times looking out of the bus window would leave me breathless!!
UWICE, Bumthang in Bhutan a perfect site venue as it brought together the ancient mode of living together with the modern in the same village. We had opportunity to see the natural adaptation of the people, flora and fauna to the natural environment that has been preserved. What an experience !!
I salute the UWICE institute and the Executive council of ISE for putting up a very well organized flawless congress and special recognition goes to Natasha Duarte the ISE Managing Director for her indefatigable and total commitment in attending to all of us (participants).
PARTICIPANTS & PRESENTATIONS:
The congress was attended by over 500 participants from over 56 countries from all continents of the world.
Presentations ranging from lectures, films & documentaries, story-telling, and posters on various topics but very rich in content.
I had two presentations.
- A documentary about “Maintaining Culture and Heritage” the case of Buganda Kingdom. This was shown in the film festival and attracted and impressed many participants despite poor visibility inside the tents.
- Under Community-led initiatives for well-being in a changing world; I presented with power point: “Nurturing Well-being in Buganda” This was hurried through but had similar messages to those by other presenters.
- I was impressed and amazed by the various presentations about knowledge possessed by indigenous people on their day-to-day survival. I enjoyed every session but never had chance to attend many others!
- I realized that we come from different backgrounds but have much in common.
- I was delighted to be interacting with people from different communities and wide ranging professions. (Professors, Scholars, Researchers, community leaders, indigenous leader from Africa, Amazon, Jamaica, Vanuatu islands etc. etc.).
In conclusion, I am grateful for the sponsorship from ISE. Again, thanks to Dr. Christine Kabuye who invited me to join the ISE. I strongly believe ISE is doing a good job of defending the indigenous people, flora and fauna and probably their cause read squires collective efforts and deserves global support.