The Make Art / Stop AIDS Squad is taking part in the #16Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Squad member Mwandi Tobola wrote and performed a spoken word piece and the other Squad members created and performed short scenes of what she describes. Check out the video!
Thirty years ago, the international HIV pandemic was the top concern among health professional. In order to honor the lives that were lost to the virus, and to celebrate the people living with it, the global community came together and declared December 1 World AIDS Day.
It takes effort from each one of us to fight this pandemic. Here are five things you can do to mark this day.
Maya has always been a sports fanatic. But it wasn’t until college that she joined the women’s basketball team. She was so excited to be able to live out her love of sports. But she noticed that the guys were always treated better and that invitations only ever went to them. Now she’s using her Students with Dreams project to reach secondary school girls about sports.
We have been training squad members from Chancellor College and Domasi College in collaboration with our sister organisation, Art & Global Health Center UCLA, on different women’s and gender issues, such as gender discrimination, sexual violence and harassment, reproductive justice, and exploring privileges of being a man/woman.
This year, before the official Lake of Star festival kicked off, they hosted a Day of Ideas for local students and youth to participate in activities about pressing social issues. ArtGlo joined the activities bringing our signature creative approached to engage the youths on issues of nutrition, women’s leadership, and entrepreneurship.
MASA: Youth focused on college and secondary school students, including any youth living with HIV. We also focused on reaching other adolescents and youth, as they are particularly vulnerable and in need of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education, HIV prevention programmes, and HIV testing, treatment, and care services.
With 50% of new HIV infections affecting those aged 15 to 17 in Malawi, young people are particularly at risk, due to early sexual activity and marriage. Knowing about the successful efforts of the Make Art / Stop AIDS (MASA) programme in bringing HIV education to hard-to-reach populations, we set out to reach secondary school students through the MASA: Youth project in collaboration with Dignitas International.
Geoffrey Kamwendo, a 20-year-old Chancellor College student, may be pursuing his degree in Computer Sciences, but his personal passions lie in the arts. He sings; he acts; he performs poetry. That's part of why he joined the Make Art / Stop AIDS (MASA) Squad: to achieve social change using his artistic skills.
Over the last year and half, the Umunthu programme has been working with healthcare workers to address the discrimination of minority groups that then impacts their ability to access health care. The team recently worked with St Joseph College of Nursing in Chiradzulu, and made a positive impact on attitudes there.
The topic of discrimination against minority groups can be a heated topic here in Malawi, and addressing that discrimination can be a long process. As part of our ongoing Umunthu: Health Worker project, our staff is returning to the communities to follow-up on the lasting effects of the three-day workshops, and this is what one healthcare worker had to say.