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Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi

by Art & Global Health Center Africa
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Nurture and Inspire 20 Youth Leaders in Malawi
Maya interacting with fellow FISU members
Maya interacting with fellow FISU members

Our Students With Dreams (SWD) programme keeps bearing good fruit! We are proudly witnessing the growth and use of skills from SWD and here is one of the many highlights shown from our alumni this year.

 

Baller Kunthazi aimed at challenging social constructions on the roles and capabilities of girls. Maya and her partner Samuel started the project through ArtGlo’s Students With Dreams (SWD) programme in 2018 to engage girls through playing football and other sporting activities which are considered to be only for males to help them broaden their horizons on what girls can do. Following the success of the project, Maya was selected as a young leader to participate in the International University Sport Federation (FISU) academy and is now the FISU ambassador to Malawi. She has continued her work in encouraging girls to be involved in sporting activities by engaging people from local communities. She attributes her skills in leadership and innovation to her experience with Students with Dreams as she had the platform to expand her ideas.

“I have learnt how to run and manage a project – how to communicate, approach potential funders and all these things I have learnt through SWD and I am still using these skills. I am using all my skills both locally and internationally and people are welcoming my ideas. I use sport as a tool for change as ArtGlo uses art and I believe that through these tools you can address very big issues in society.” – Maya

 

Recently Maya was invited to attend the FISU General Assembly in Italy where she was given a platform to talk about her Baller Kunthazi project to sport and university delegates from around the world. She is extremely excited and passionate to connect Malawian youth to score scholarships that allow them to expand their sports talents internationally and bring the skills back home so that other youth in Malawi can benefit from them. She has given an award form the FISU head for her work in Ballar Kunthanzi. She is currently working to set up the next phase of the project.

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During the past few months we have been working on getting our hub up with new developments and continued the campaign against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in technical Colleges.

We look back on Sylvester’s journey. He was a co-founder for the project Girl Rise in Potential (GRiP) which aimed at economically empowering young girls in rural Zomba. The project taught them practical skills such as baking and tailoring which they used to start small businesses to support themselves. They also focused on helping the girls to understand and act on their sexual reproductive health. The project was a success in helping several girls to start their own small initiatives. Sylvester is studying to be a nurse at Malawi College of Health Sciences in Zomba and has a passion for health and development work. This aligned well with his project and in 2018 he graduated from the programme.

Through feedback from the participants, Sylvester created short films that highlighted the project with a focus on its SHR and entrepreneurship aspects and how the project affected the girls. In 2018 one of these clips was recognised by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which awarded him a scholarship to attend the International Conference on Family Planning in Kigali. There he was a panellist and presented GRiP and its findings.

“I was really grateful”, he relates, “for this opportunity because it opened me up to networks that I would have never imagined being in. It also taught me a lot about SRH and where we are as a continent. People equally passionate about girl child rights as I am.”

In 2019 he attended the African Students and Youth Conference in Lusaka. He was further invited and attended the SADC work summit on Gender in Lilongwe Malawi. He presented the project to those in attendance and Sylvester was awarded a certificate by the Minister of Gender in the youth category.  Several stakeholders expressed gratitude for the work being done and encouraged him to continue to pursue the project further.

“The programme has opened me up to opportunities to widen my skills in girl empowerment. It has helped me to reach dreams that I have had. I have reached many people I would have not reached myself. The youth need to be proactive. I used to look at myself and the only thing that I can do school and nothing else, but with SWD I was able to reach out to other opportunities.” – Sylvester.

All these opportunities helped him to grow his initial idea of the project and grow it even further, as now they have even more girls joining the project for the next phase. He was able to identify a further need in the area, that of a place for youth in the area to learn and study. The area is remote and students from the area have to travel far to attend school and find it difficult to study since no place exists nearby. He has begun plans to erect a learning centre in the area for the local children. He is working to make this idea come to life, getting all the right blueprint and staffing to run the centre. We are very proud to see all that Sylvester is doing and look forward to seeing where this latest idea goes.

Our refurbished hub continues to host creative events in Zomba. The vision for the space is to create an enabling environment for artists and social change activists to network, gain tangible skills, and attain access to an innovative space of learning, growth, and creativity.

The hub will serve as an artist lounge, offer space for arts-based approaches and events, and further help in the professional development of local youths. The creative director of the Hub is Dan who is an alumni of the SWD programme and was motivated to join after his own SWD experience. He is very passionate about the hub and has already begun in leading and managing its activities such as an event on entrepreneurship, and an arts and networking event where attendees were invited to share names for the space on our Blackboard of Ideas. We would like to reintroduce our creative hub under the new name “The Green Door”.

A quick update from the UNESCO anti-GBV project, which was designed based on learning from SWD combined with Human-Centred-Design methodologies.  The institutions' tailor-made campaigns aimed at tackling the issues that are directly affecting their institution, which is now in full flow. Due to the project, there has been an increase in the number of cases reported and new systems are being put into place to handle these new cases.  The schools are working closely with authorities to handle the cases and bring the once hidden cases to light. The programme is supported through the Skills and Technical Education Programme (STEP), an initiative partially implemented by UNESCO with funding from the European Union.

UNESCO project intervention at Aida Chilembwe
UNESCO project intervention at Aida Chilembwe
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The past few months have been a time for reflection and we look back at the impact that the Creative Freedom of Expression project had on one of our dreamers.

With the end of the Creative Freedom of Expression project, we look back at one of the participants, Chimwemwe from the project Mawu Athu, to shed some light on what the project meant for her.

When Chimwemwe heard that Students with Dreams was looking for projects all about the creative freedom of expression, she knew she had the perfect idea for a project. She would work with secondary school students, introducing them to different kinds of art that they could use to address a social issue that is important to them. This became the spark that became the project Mawu Athu, a project that worked with students from Mulunguzi Secondary School that used arts to help young students to tackle social issues they found.

“We used art to address social and cultural issues that young people face in the communities, such as early pregnancy, drug and substance abuse, gender-based violence, and abortion,” Chimwemwe said. “During our early interventions, the students learnt about different social issues in their community. From this, they came up with ways to address the issues, and later came up with arts.”

Chimwemwe was impressed by all the art the student came up with. They dreamed up everything from songs to dramas to drawings to poetry, which they all had a chance to showcase to their fellow students. It was through the success of this project that Chimwemwe grew as a leader and gained practical skills.

“For me, working on a project is more than just the work in the field. It’s budgeting, partnership, and writing proposal applications,” she said. “The programme equipped me with the skills to conduct any kind of the project; I know how to budget, how to do monitoring and evaluation. My college courses didn’t cover any of the topics, but I can do them because of Students with Dreams.”

She also appreciated that the trainings not only gave her the tools to use the arts but also did so in a creative and fun way. “Students with Dreams is a great platform to open people’s minds and learn about the root causes of poor learning standards.”

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Fyness's project Tiunikilane used art art therapy.
Fyness's project Tiunikilane used art art therapy.

It’s a wrap! At the end of 2019, the cohort of Dreamers who focused on creative freedom of expression finished their training, graduated, and hosted the final cultural event.

The final training for the Dreamers included learning more about leadership and what it means to be a leader in society. Session topics included communications, conflict resolution, facilitation, and leadership.

As part of the focus on creative freedom of expression, we hosted a couple special cultural art showcases. The showcases were included several artists from different art mediums such as poetry, dance, music, spoken word, and visual art. The first event, in early November, also served as a chance for this year’s Dreamers to meet the artists, learn from them, and see their work in action, so the artists who mentored them during the day time now showcased their talents. More than 50 people came and saw the art on display and the performances from the poets and musicians.

In December, we held the graduation ceremony for the Dreamers which then transitioned into the second arts showcase. At the graduation ceremony, the Dreamers displayed the work that came out of their projects, including poetry, songs, and a visual representation made out of old cassette tapes representing the journey taken by the participants in expressing themselves creatively. In the evening, we welcomed the public. The Dreamers continued to showcase their work and we had performances by an incredible range of artists: poets Menes La Plume, Phindu Banda, Nyocase, and singer-songwriter Anne Quinn. The performances were lively and the attendees loved hearing about the Dreamers’ projects and the creativity.

Spotlight on the Dreams

Baller Kunthanzi is a project that aimed at empowering girls to participate and excel in male dominated sports. They had three interventions with their secondary school girl athletes. Working with a group of 17 girls for their first phase, they held soccer and basketball session with the girls, teaching them the sport and how to play. They then gave the girls a trip to Chancellor Collage, where the girls got to tour the sports facility, meet a few female players who served as role models for them, and got to watch a motivational film. Later they worked with the boys at the school and educated them on creating an open space for both genders.

Fyness Gondwe is studying to be a nurse at Malawi College of Health Sciences (MCHS). She co-founded the project Tiunikilane, a project aimed at using art to help adolescents living with HIV understand their condition, cope with the unique challenges this provides, and have a meaningful and successful life. She applied for Students with Dreams with the idea, unsure of herself and if she could accomplish the mission of the project. Fyness had a rough start; MCHS closed when she was still trying to establish the project and get the necessary approvals from hospital authorities to begin the project. She was living outside of Zomba which also slowed down the process. Another blow came in the form of a shutdown of the initial partner organisation that was going to connect the project with beneficiaries. Despite all this, Fyness sought help form ArtGlo and her mentors, who arranged and connected her to a organisation. With all of these challenges, Fyness’s partner left the project, leaving her to manage the everything solo. Not to be discouraged, she pushed through and even found a new partner, Molicia Chilinda, who shared her same passion and drive to carry out the project. Fyness and Molicia were able to get full approval and consent to start working with the youth and the project took off with 10 young people.

Finally being able to implement Tiunikilane gave Fyness great joy. She found the participant response particularly encouraging, as they opened up on issues they did not feel like telling others, especially during the one on one sessions. The model used by Fyness will continue as the sessions were fun for both the facilitator and the participants, and the participants developed art of their own. She learned, over the course of the programme, to reach people’s hearts and get them to open up about the things that were on their mind. The end products displayed by the project were a testament to the time, care, and effort that was put into the project by her and her project partner. It was quite the transformation seeing her go from a shy, timid young woman who we initially interviewed, to the go-getter that pushed to make her dream come true. Fyness wants to continue with the project and we are looking forward to seeing where things go from here.

Maya with Baller Kunthazi participants.
Maya with Baller Kunthazi participants.

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We’ve just welcomed the latest cohort of Dreamers under the theme “Creative Freedom of Expression.” With two trainings, two Dream Machines, a cultural event, and project activities already underway, a lot has happened so far. Our 18 new Dreamers are looking to make a big splash.

This past reporting period we conducted two Dream Machine sessions at Malawi College of Health Science (MCHS) and Chancellor College (CC). The Dream Machine is an interactive session that helps potential Dreamers explore different ideas and come up with project ideas that they could apply to the programme with. We had 72 students attend the Dream Machines, who explored the theme of this round of SWD, creative freedom of expression

The 18 Dreamers are working on six new projects; two teams are from Malawi College of Health Science, Tiunikirane and Kwawala, and four teams are from Chancellor Collage, Mawu Athu, Pamchenge, Baller Kunthanzi, and Sketch Ahead. For more information about the projects and the new leaders, check out their profiles on our website https://www.aghcafrica.org/our-stories/2018/10/31/meet-the-newest-dreamers

We also held our orientation for this year’s Dreamers at Chilema Ecumenical Training Centre. Over the course of two days, the Dreamers were trained on the fundamental skills they would need to successfully carry out their projects such as communication, financial management, monitoring and evaluation, and project management. They fleshed out their projects and were equipped to begin carrying out their projects by the end of the second day. We are proud and eager to see what they do with their projects.

We also held our second training. This was carried out with the aim of instilling more creativity in the projects. Over the course of the day, the teams developed their direction and learned how to best incorporate the arts in their implementation. First was a series of interactive sessions, where the concepts of creativity and innovation were explored, which was then incorporated into their projects. Second was the introduction of different artists from a range of artistic fields, such as music, poetry, dance, drawing, and pictures. The artists gave advice to the Dreamers and helped them see how to use the lessons they learned.

With all this done, it’s full speed ahead to continue the momentum as we approach the end of the year. With trainings, project interventions, and more art to come, we look forward the next few months.  

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Organization Information

Art & Global Health Center Africa

Location: Zomba - Malawi
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Twitter: @artgloafrica
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Zomba, Malawi
$22,541 raised of $30,000 goal
 
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