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Here Come The Irish! Innovating New Futures with the Women in Kalongo

By Erin Bauer

I would like to share and reflect upon the amazing opportunity I was incredibly privileged to engage in and experience! Within Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business Innovation and Design Thinking Immersion course through generous funding from the Pulido-Walker Foundation, our student travel team traveled to Kalongo, Uganda to test and prototype current and new projects that we have been working on throughout the semester for St. Bakhita’s Vocational Training Center. With support of incredible faculty, Professor Wendy Angst and Professor John Onyango, this immersion experience was made possible.

We had the most an incredible experience in Uganda! I was instantly touched by the welcoming presence of the community members and the instant connections we were able to build despite the language barriers. It was amazing to be able to finally walk the grounds of St. Bakhitas first hand. Completing the ethnographic research was so insightful and perspective altering. Through this experience, I was able to gain a much deeper understanding of the local community and their needs to move forward. My work with St. Bakhita’s VTC has solidified my aspiration to declare the Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor. I am excited to see how these new perspectives can translate directly to my continued involvement, innovating prototypes for St. Bakhita’s VTC.

All in all, I want to express my most sincere gratitude to everyone who was able to make this experience possible and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the travel team to innovate new possible futures for the young women of Kolongo and greater empowering the good in business.

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