Jan 8, 2018

The Dreams Continue Beyond 2017

To begin, thank you to all our supporters, and readers last year. We immensely appreciate you keeping the dream alive with all your donations. Many thanks and we look forward to having you with us this coming year! Here are a few highlights from the end of 2017:

We welcomed a new partnership with GlobeMed (http://www.globemed.org/ ) which partners organisations with universities, empowering students and communities to work together to improve the health of people living in poverty around the world.  We are looking forward to partnering together with the wonderful youth from Georgia State University in the year to come.

Girl Rise to Potential have been working with 24 girls between the ages of 16 and 24 who dropped out of school due to lack of finance or pregnancy. By teaching these girls baking, they helped them gain income to pay for fees and buy food and everyday necessities. End of year review sessions showed the girls had been able to raise enough money to continue baking and support their families. The Chief of the village expressed their appreciation for the work that the group is doing. On top of this they received a donation of a sewing machine which will be used to teach tailoring in the coming year. We are eagerly waiting to see what the girls will do.

 

In celebration of 5 years since the first Dreamers graduated in 2012, we have been interviewing alumni to hear what they have been up to since graduation. Read about how Elita is continuing to use positive role modeling to encourage girls to aspire to higher education http://www.aghcafrica.org/our-stories-2016-2017/2017/11/17/inspiring-girls-to-aspire-for-tertiary-education, how McPherson and Akulu developed their SWD project, Zaluso, in to a flourishing art collective, as well as being commissioned to use their art in social projects such as painting murals in schools for Voluntary Service Overseas http://www.aghcafrica.org/our-stories-2016-2017/2017/12/19/zaluso-arts, and how Frank was inspired to follow his dreams through his creative recycling project, Litter Free Zone http://www.aghcafrica.org/our-stories-2016-2017/2017/12/18/lets-go-litter-free.

Exciting times as we begin the new-year. We look forward to the current projects completing their trainings, growing their projects and graduating, and then welcoming a whole new cohort of Dreamers in the second part of 2018. We'll be sharing more stories of success from current and former Dreamers along the way.

Links:

Oct 6, 2017

The Dreaming Goes On!

Chancellor College Dreamers at Orientation
Chancellor College Dreamers at Orientation

The new cohort of dreamers have all begun and there are already many stories to tell from the few months of their journey. This report follows up on the continuing projects from the colleges starting earlier this year, the new projects from the Chancellor College dreamers and the exciting alumni network conferences.

 In June dreamers from Malawi College of Health Science and Domasi College Of Education began running their projects soon after orientation. They are making great progress reaching out and helping their communities. Take these examples:

Green Dance (MALAWI COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCE): This is a project with the goal of taking a holistic approach to empowering youth through agriculture. Green Dance supports youth to grow crops that they can sell to support themselves, and also uses some of the money to buy materials to teach traditional culture to secondary school students. Having identified young people from the community who are empowered to run and manage their farm, they have acquired a plot of land and planted their first crops. Before long their participants will begin to experience the benefits of the first harvest.

GRIP: (MALAWI COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCE): This project teaches girls in rural communities a range of skills to empower them and allow them to support themselves. Their first classes have taught these girls baking skills and report some girls are already using these skills to generate income. The next scheduled classes are on sewing and tailoring skills.

EDOMA (DOMASI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION): This project educates young students in surrounding communities about the importance of education and helps those who have dropped out to return to study. They have made agreements with the schools they'll be working with and are beginning to mentor students who have dropped out to help them to return.

In July, Chancellor College finally opened and more new dreamers were recruited. Four new projects joined the programme; Titus, Thandizo Aid, Tisinte and Pamtunzi. We are so excited to see how they get along considering the different issues they're tackling. For example, Thandizo Aid is our first Students With Dreams project working on mental health. It aims to help students suffering from depression to create safe spaces, while also raising awareness in the wider community on the issue. At the beginning of September we had a wonderful orientation that helped get this exciting Chancellor College chapter started for this year.

To top all this off we had two great alumni conferences. Alumni from Students with Dreams came together in workshops in Blantyre and Lilongwe, to collaboratively strategise on working together as alumni; defining how the alumni network can be developed and sustained. A galaxy of ideas was created, showcasing the ideas generated in a creative visual way, alongside a plan of action for the future of the network. The conference was well received and even featured in Malawi's most prestigious daily newspaper The Nation as well as the website of national broadcaster Capital. We're excited to see where our alumni go from here, and believe this to be a great development for the future of Students With Dreams.

As I write this, we are gearing up for the next training, where for the first time this year we shall be bringing all the three colleges together for a creative and collaborative exchange, helping them continue to develop as individuals and as teams. 

GRIP working with a group of girls
GRIP working with a group of girls
Galaxy of ideas at the Lilongwe alumni conference
Galaxy of ideas at the Lilongwe alumni conference
Learning through games at Chanco SWD Orientation
Learning through games at Chanco SWD Orientation

Links:

Jul 10, 2017

A Big Warm Welcome to our 2017 Dreamers!

Ice breakers at Orientation
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
Taking notes at Orientation
Mapping Malawi at a Dream Machine
Mapping Malawi at a Dream Machine
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.