CARP students studying Agricultural and Rural Innovation at the Makerere University gathered to kick-off the “Micro-Gardening Project” at the Uganda Peace Embassy on March 26, 2016 under the guidance of the Makerere University CARP Chapter Leader, Mr. Alinaitwe Cleofash.
This project was organized after the seminar with the theme, “Understanding leadership towards environmental changes in building world peace” that was held 2 weeks prior. After the discussion, participants came to the conclusion that one way that they could make a positive impact on the environment was to start up sustainable projects such as micro-gardening to address climate change and food security.
Ten students participated in the “Micro-Gardening Project”, eight of whom decided to participate in CARP activities after hearing about its activities.
Vice President of CARP Uganda, Mr. Kyalo Ivan gave a short introduction explaining the vision, mission and strategy for this project. Then the students jumped right into the first stage of the project: setting the bed of tomatoes.
Students were very inspired by this project and many officially signed up to become regular members of CARP. One participant shared, “It was a great and amazing experience because it opened up a practical world for my life.” The participants left feeling accomplished and agreed to return in 3 weeks for the next stage: setting up the stakes and transplanting the seedlings.
Stress is a funny thing. We all experience it, but in different ways. When we’re stressed, we lose sight of why we’re here (our purpose) and what we want (happiness). A quick Google search can clue you into the many techniques used and recommended to combat stress. Although this may give you a new idea or an inspiration, that alone won’t change your life.
Reflect on how you deal with stress.
Get to know yourself. You may find that you de-stress by moving your body, meditating, being alone or with other…but you won’t know until you take the time to look inward. Self-awareness is the key to intentionality.
I discovered that when I manage my stress with these techniques, I am fully present, happy, and free. Then, I am able to be more grateful for the people around me, sensitive to others, and motivated to invest in my big dreams.
Here are 10 ways that I handle stress:
Compassionate friends: When I’m feeling sad or down, spending time with people who are caring, empathic listeners is my number-one way to de-stress. It’s important for me to feel heard.
My “Feelings Journal”: When I’m overwhelmed, I used to stifle heavy feelings because I didn’t like to be too “emotional.” I realized this just prolonged the problem. I find peace and closure by writing down what I feel and why in a small book that only I will ever see.
Gregarious friends: You know those people in your life that are always ready with a laugh or joke? When I’m ready to take life on, I connect with one of these friends and it gives me confidence to ‘Just Do It.’
Prayer: For me, connecting to God and looking for His perspective brings clarity to my present situation. Getting too wrapped up in the day-to-day can prevent me from seeing the bigger picture. That’s when I reach out to God to keep myself centered.
Creative expression: Jotting poetry, sketching, abstract art, and writing are some ways that I release my feelings onto paper. Being able to visualize and bring to life patterns, designs, metaphors with the stroke of my hand and flick of my wrist sooths me any day.
Power naps: Sometimes, a total reset is in order. For me, that means grabbing a pair of sweatpants and hunkering down for a quick nap. It doesn’t have to be long, but comfort, warmth, and detachment from my racing thoughts and feelings are much needed. (To learn more, read our article, “Taking the ‘Nah’ Out of Naps.”)
Stare at the Water: I have always loved water–oceans, bays, wide rivers, etc. It’s no wonder that when I’m feeling anxious, gazing at the shifting ripples on a tranquil shoreline can do wonders.
My sister: I’m blessed to live with my younger sister while away in college. There’s something incomparable about sharing what weighs me down with her. She’s not going to solve my problems, but she’ll always be by my side while I figure it out.
Action movies: Sometimes, watching an intense movie causes me to feel invigorated and motivated. Something about seeing a character overcome the odds to succeed encourages me too.
Write a to-do list: I get lost in all the things I need to do fairly regularly. I then waste energy trying to juggle between tasks, further slowing myself down. When I choose a single item or two to tackle in a given session, I stay focused.
What are some ways that you tackle stress? Let me know. 🙂
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “how I handle stress.”
Did you know that we’re all storytellers? I don’t mean science-fiction or fairy tales. I’m talking about our stories, the ones we tell ourselves every day about what we can and can’t do, what we like and don’t like, how we feel, and what we are. Our stories are powerful—they literally determine the journey we take to achieve (or miss) our goals.
How can we make our stories work for us, to get the most out of this journey?
When we set a goal for ourselves, we start out with a lot of motivation and hope. We want to succeed, and we believe that we can. Then, along the way, we get discouraged, sidetracked, and, the next thing you know, we’ve wound up far from our goal with little hope or motivation left to continue.
Why does this happen?
First, we stop paying attention to the journey. Along the way we notice when we’ve made the first mistake, taken the first “cheat” day, skipped the first gym session, etc. After a while, we feel guilty about it, like we’ve let ourselves down, and our story begins to turn against us. When our stories take a turn for the worse, we don’t want to “read” them, and we stop paying attention. That inner discouragement can lead to giving up entirely. After all, how many of us are still pursuing new year’s resolutions by mid-March?
Also, when we challenge ourselves, especially with a new habit, a part of us may feel like we aren’t cut out for this change. I can’t count the number of times I’ve told myself, and other people, “I’m just not athletic,” and used that as a reason why I couldn’t get into sports or exercise consistently. I felt daunted by trying to change and too self-conscious to ask for help.
What can we do to change our story?
Telling yourself that you can’t do it will continue to get you nowhere. Instead of looking at the mountain, don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Just embark. It’s not about getting there right now. It’s about proving to yourself that you can do it–that you can create a journey of your very own by making one, single step.
By embarking on this journey, you build trust and confidence in yourself. Yes, you CAN go out for a jog. Yes, you CAN skip the morning coffee. Yes, YOU can. Be your own number one advocate, instead of a negative self-fulfilling prophecy. Even big goals are not really “big” goals. They’re often just a series of small goals. Divide them further, and you get your first step. Want to run a marathon? You have to build endurance, day by day.
Don’t do it alone.
When I finally decided to start jogging a few times a week, I shared that goal with a friend of mine. Then, I would text her after each session and she encouraged me, helping me feel that I succeeded on my journey for the day. That boost makes a huge difference – it feels like earning one poker chip with each step. After a while, you feel more confident with the more chips you earn, recognizing that losing a chip here and there doesn’t hurt as long as you keep trying.
Start shaping your journey. You CAN go anywhere and you’ll discover something about yourself. You may find it can be quite rewarding and fun…if you let it be. You choose.
During midterms, you become extremely intentional in how you spend your time. Or, at least you should. Even though we all know that, like clockwork, the majority of college students cram in all corners of the library studying the night before the big test. The lure of spring break pushes us to just get it done, whatever the cost. Then, as soon as the pressure is released, we relax and put a full stop on that frenzied momentum.
You’ve worked hard. You deserve a break. Spring break is a good time to reset, recharge, and be ready to tackle the remainder of the semester.
What can you do to make the second half even better than the first?
UGANDA – On March 5th, 2016 we held a CARP conference at the Peace Embassy Uganda under the theme “Understanding Leadership Towards Environmental Changes in Building World Peace”
We had representatives from the University council (Kampala university =3, Makerere university = 3, Institute of fisheries = 2, Community= 10 , Total = 18)
Our aim was to create a foundation for launching CARP chapters in those universities.
We played the documentary on the ” Sunhak peace prize winner awards”. Then Prof. A.B.T. Byaruhanga Akiiki the Deputy vice chancellor of Kampala university ( CARP Patron) gave the keynote address based on the International president’s recent ILC address, followed by an environmental presentation (Dangers of green house gas emission) by the education director of Uganda, Mr. Gwaku David.
The students were inspired by the documentary, keynote address and the presentation on climate changes in Uganda.
After these presentations, the CARP President Mr. Mukasa Paul led a group discussion for the way forward.
The participants asked to hold subsequent seminars in their universities where they will mobilize students including those who are not in leadership positions. They plan to host them in about two weeks time.
There was also some entertainment by Anrew wasswa who sang “Arirang”, leaving everyone captivated.
Three projects came up from the discussion: micro-gardening, Verma culture and fish farming. Some of these projects are to be started in two weeks time.
All the participants were happy and it was overall a successful conference.