I have started this blog because I am, hopefully, about to embark on an amazing adventure into African Democracy. I am an honors student at Wayne State University, and the program offers an elective course called the African Democracy Project. Students must apply and partake in a competitive interview process to join this class.
The program was initiated in 2009, and this will be the third project of its kind. In previous years, focus had been on democracy in Mozambique and Botswana. I have the great opportunity to focus my studies on Liberia, a small west African country with a small population of roughly 3.5 million. This country was demolished by decades of civil war, and has only been peaceful for 8 years. In 2003, UN peace missions were deployed in Liberia to de-arm and de-weaponize the country. In 2005, the first non corrupted democratic election took place, electing Africa’s first woman President.
Students will do an intensive study on the history and political history of Liberia before landing in Liberia for a hands on view of the election process. The trip is timed correctly so that the students will be there on October 11th for election day.
I have gone through the application process and have landed myself an interview for tomorrow afternoon! I am beyond excited, and nervous. This trip would allow me to get an ‘early start’ on my future career. I have a strong passion for peace, and peace psychology. I want to help in situations like Liberia’s, where people have been through years and years of war, rape, cannibalism, and genocide. These people are suffering not only with poverty, starvation and lack of housing, but also mentally. I am pursuing a career in psychology and counseling in international trauma situations.
Wish me luck tomorrow! I really hope that I have good news to report back, and that I’ll have the opportunity to report on my should-be amazing experience!!