Ice breakers at Orientation
This past April, we launched our first ever Dream Machines at Malawi College of Health Science (MCHS) and Domasi College of Education (DCE). Inspired by design thinking, Dream Machines used image theatre, role-play, and word games to help applicants generate and iterate ideas for tackling the challenges they identified in their communities. Through this process, we welcomed 8 unique projects: Art of War, Paint the Nation, Break of Dawn, Arise and Shine, EDOMA, Green Dance, Girl Rise to Potential, and the Cervical Cancer Free Campaign. In the months to come, we’ll be sharing more about each project, but we’d like to start by highlighting two:
Cervical Cancer Free Campaign: In Malawi, cervical cancer is an under recognised threat to women’s health. Tiyamike, Hassan and Chifundo launched this project to raise awareness about the disease and connect women to free screenings and other existing services.
Art of War: Adorah, Chimwemwe and Allan have set out to combat the stigma that exists between adolescents and parents in talking about safe sex and condom use. They plan to make a series of short videos featuring DCE students that will highlight the dangers of unsafe sex and the need for open dialogue on sexual health in families, leveraging social media to get the word out.
In May, AGHCA held a training session for four new Mentors: Abel, Salome, Michael and Mercy, all exemplary 2016 Dreamers from DCE and MCHS. Training emphasised the difference between leading one’s own project and having the self-restraint to step back and empower others to lead, including sessions on facilitation techniques and role-playing potential challenges. Over the coming year, our Mentors are excited to share their knowledge and experience, while sharpening their own leadership and management skills.
The 2017 Dreamers’ calendar started with a bang – or rather the warm crackle of a campfire. All our Dreamers participated in an intensive two-day Orientation held in beautiful Malosa forest in Zomba. Orientation equips Dreamers with the knowledge and skills they need to successfully complete their projects. AGHCA staff led activity-filled sessions on topics ranging from financial and time management to communications, monitoring and evaluation and community research. In the evening, Dreamers danced, sang and played games around a bonfire, building friendships with like-minded students. At the end, teams used everything from drawing to drama to present their projects to one another.
Finally, we welcomed our brand new programme intern Bongani, who has been outstanding in helping us keep the dream alive - we are so happy to have her.
As our Dreamers from DCE and MCHS launch their project activities, we look forward to seeing their progress in realizing their dreams. In the meanwhile, we are busy laying the groundwork for hosting a Dream Machine and launching the application process at Chancellor College – as soon as the strike is resolved and the college reopens!
Taking notes at Orientation
Mapping Malawi at a Dream Machine