Pascal Pax Andebo, founder of the partner organization DECCA, comes from Arua and has been working in the fields of development, peace and conflict research as well as education since 1998, among others for the American Refugee Committee (ARC) team in Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda
… to give back to community
For professional reasons, Pascal spends most of his time in Nairobi and comes to Arua 2-3 times a year, where he sets up our partner organisation DECCA.
Pascal (in his own words):
DECCA, yet another Dream!
"Think of many things; do one", says a Portuguese proverb.
And in Austrian dialect it is said: "Damawas" – "Let us do it", or "Let us do something".
Damawas Education and Cultural Centre – Arua (DECCA) is a civil society
organisation (CSO), working with partners – Damawas from Austria, and also individuals and groups from other parts of the world to realise a proposed school and cultural centre project in Arua, in the West Nile region of Uganda. It arises from a series of dreams that started in individual minds around 2015 about the need to do something "to give back to the community".
This dream caught fire in the hearts and minds of a few friends in Austria and Uganda. It was formally discussed in a meeting in Vienna, Austria in December 2019. Then back in Uganda, DECCA was born in 2020 and formalised in Jamuary 2021.
The friends in DECCA – Uganda, like their colleagues in Austria, are convinced that education and learning are important for knowledge so as to build a backbone for addressing the common societal problems of poverty, ignorance, climate change and conflicts, among others. DECCA friends see a primary school, a vocational training initiative, a cultural centre and a demonstration farm in Arua to promote formal education, cultural learning and climate-smart living. These will promote learning, drawing from knowledge and ideas from the past and present to shape a better future for people in the local and global community.
These are expected to result into:
knowledge development and sharing,
sustainable and harmonious living.
The power of a dream can be great, as Anatole France says: "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." The contribution of each individual in this effort to imagine something different and better is very important too. Harriet Tubman has this to say: " Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. "
While Johann Wolfgang von Goethe emphasises the need to dream dreams that have the power to move the hearts of men (and women). Certainly, " all men (and women) dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men (and women), for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible ." – T.E. Lawrence
As the group has kept the flames of this dream alive, they have realised the power of friendship, a friendship to find "people who are your kind of crazy". This has helped in sharing the dreams and fusing these dreams into one.
Now, when you come to Arua today with DECCA in mind, you will find a scattered group of 20 men and women to talk about this dream. They look at a 2.5-acre land as the place to begin realising this dream. They have also become a formally registered entity ready to collaborate with other friends elsewhere. These are just ordinary things, but which certainly form part of the bigger dream. For Nelson Mandela once said: "Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead."
Perhaps you would like to join, sharing your dream to fuse with this dream.