DukeEngage Belfast: The Legacy of “The Troubles”

IMG_7215Each summer, Duke students work with Belfast-based NGOs that focus on human rights and the legacy of “The Troubles,” the period from the late 1960s until 1998 when Northern Ireland was riven by violent conflict between the majority Protestant and minority Catholic populations. Together, these groups represent efforts to foster a human rights culture, lessen sectarian division, implement stronger human rights reporting and protections and work at the grassroots level to address how the violent past can be acknowledged and used as a way to construct a more peaceful future.

Through DukeEngage in Belfast, Duke students are making a positive contribution to human rights and peace work in Northern Ireland. Their work allows these under-staffed and under-funded groups to complete research, hold events or expand work with grassroots organizations. As importantly, by living in West Belfast, where sectarian divisions remain stark, Duke students are contributing to an opening to the outside that encourages this community to think beyond the walls that still divide them from their neighbors. To find out more, please contact Emily Stewart at emily.stewart@duke.edu

DukeEngage Cape Town: Documenting & Engagement Movements of Social Change

DE-Cape-Town-300x196Each summer, Duke students are taken to service sites in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Students will spend the majority of the time in Cape Town, working with social agencies that are seeking to improve life in townships, document the history of District Six (a neighborhood bulldozed by the apartheid regime because it was a model of multi-racial democracy), and promote health and economic reform in the nation. In the course of this work, students will interact with South Africans who were victims of, and activists against, the rigid system of racial apartheid that ruled South Africa for much of the 20th Century. Students will also spend a brief time in Johannesburg and Pretoria, immersing themselves in the history of apartheid and the liberation struggle.  In both locations, participants will explore how the stories carried forward about the past help shape policy decisions in the present.