Overview: Knowledge access and sharing through Cultural Astronomy in Uganda’s Refugee settlements and host communities.

This project is based on introducing Astronomy to refugee settlements through student activities, teacher training workshops, public engagements, webinars on Cultural Astronomy all of which will eventually be incorporated in a mobile Astronomy Lab for replication in other regions of Uganda.

Project deliverables include; introduction of Astronomy in the general sciences education, a catalogue of videos, poems & other collected information for publication & display in an Astronomy museum.

This project will be implemented in the 11 refugee settlements of Uganda, Africa’s leading refugee host. Confirmed partners of this project include; Mbarara University of Science and Technology a pioneer of Astronomy in Uganda, & UNHCR

Justification for this project stems from the 2020 Astronomy essay (NASA Scientist for a Day) in Bidibidi refugee settlement. There was a great desire for learning Astronomy & the Space Sciences but without necessary platforms & materials due to financial constraints & living in disadvantaged conditions.

Refugees are custodians of knowledge from varying cultures and communities, but knowledge is likely get lost due to uncertain lifestyle, no formal structure for knowledge storage & sharing, usefulness of institutional cultural Astronomy knowledge in areas that may require purchase & use of modern physical gadgets.

Project implementation plan;
Open Astronomy Teacher Training:10 telescopes donated by Leiden University, will be used for hands on training of 20 teachers.

Webinar (virtual seminar):about 15 experts, amateurs and enthusiasts in Astronomy will be invited to launch the project & offer contribution in terms of expertise, materials and participation.

Cultural Astronomy: indigenous cultural & social knowledge will be collected from the general public in the refugee settlements focussing on indigenous knowledge on practices related to food security.

Mobile Astronomy Lab: to host public engagements, amateur observations & student hands on projects.”

Contact: Doreen Agaba spacetechug@gmail.com