About the first term

Dear Rotarians,
I would like to talk a little bit about the classes I have been able to take this past semester at the University of Kent through the Rotary Global Grant. Not a lot has happened in my personal life since I last wrote to you. I have been focusing on writing my essays and doing research, and that took a lot of time. So here is what happened in my Fall 2015 classes.

PO868: Political Communication
This class is engaging me in political leadership and political delivery. It’s showing me how to properly ‘spin’ an issue. For example, my goal for after my masters is to work with Education and Literacy, if I wanna gather funds that can effectively create change within that scenario I must communicate this political idea to the intended audience with precision and efficiency, and also credibility (which the master’s program is also giving me).

PO941: Migration: Conflict, the State and Human Rights
Framing an issue persuasively, from the audience’s perspective or my own is effective for a powerful delivery. But to help in the decision-making cycle, I must also be knowledgeable on the subject I’m argueing. One of the issues I’m learning more about is international migration, and in this class we get to discuss the wide diversity of migration patterns across the world – not just South-North migration like we usually hear about. This course has opened new doors and shown me a whole new world, one of which I knew nothing about. It lead me to choose International Migration as my secondary specialization.

This course allowed me to conduct research on the level to which modern democratic states uphold the social and administrative rights of irregular migrants. Front the anti immigrant histeria that we are seeing nowadays in the United States, I had a lot of fresh material to read. I was driven to this issue after trying to pass legislation in Minnesota that would allow irregular immigrants to get driver’s’ licenses and vehicle insurance.

SO880: Humanitarian Issues in Forced Migration
For my Humanitarian Issues in Forced Migration course showed me another side of the migratory issue, particularly relevant with our current world scenario and the refugees from Syria. This class shone light on issues that come with international migration, particularly when there is no proper support given to people fleeing conflict and applying to have their refugee status recognized: families are broken apart, there is a lack of employment opportunities and children are forced to leave schools.

I did research on mega sporting events and the lack of proper problematization around forced evictions, particularly in Brazil. While refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons have institutions dedicated to tracking their numbers in national and international levels, there are no concrete figures on how many people are affected by development-induced displacement worldwide. Projects that force people to vacate their homes include government subsidized sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup. It was interesting to look at one of the many downsides to hosting such events.

Since starting at the University of Kent, I have expanded my professional goals as a result of my scholarship experience. If before I was solely focused on helping bring education and literacy to girls and women in developing countries, now my ambitions have grown bigger. After seeing what happens to refugees and asylum seekers while in transit, and how particularly children are affected by being pulled out of school, I would like to work around this issue as well. Today’s refugee population is the largest as it has ever been, and more hands on board are needed to assure every individual right is upheld. In the slow process of trying to have one’s refugee status recognized, it is important to make sure everyone still has access to education.


Marcos Carvalho


2 thoughts on “About the first term

  1. Lynn Keillor says:

    Thanks for sharing, Marcos. I’m intrigued by your study of people displaced by major sporting events. Keep up the good (and interesting) work!

  2. Marcos, I began my involvement in human rights with immigration issues. To me, the issue of being displaced from one’s home and having to live in a place where the language, culture, food, and climate might be very different from what I know is an overwhelming and very disturbing thought. I can’t imagine navigating these issues under the stress of trauma from violence, hunger, and disease, and that’s the situation for most migrants on the planet. I’m so glad you’re finding this same passion!

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