Despite it being winter here in Malawi and things being a bit slower with the schools on holiday, ArtGlo has kept the atmosphere buzzing with several creative events for our Make Art / Stop AIDS (MASA) program.
Women face many barriers to access, contribute, and participate in society equally, preventing them from developing to their full potential and impeding social and inclusive sustainable development. In Malawi, many believe that the role of Western organisations is to educate or “disseminate messages” about gender equality topics to Malawian women. Nevertheless, women in developed countries, such as the United States, also struggle with gender inequality.
Gender-based violence is one of the biggest challenges facing Malawi’s technical colleges. That’s why we’re working with groups of students, instructors, and principals from 14 different colleges from across the country to create artistic campaigns to end GBV. Read more about the training and process they all went through in order to design a campaign for their campus.
With few opportunities for quality employment for Malawian youth, one of the best options for a stable future is to go to a technical, entrepreneurial, and vocational education training (TEVET) college. There, students can learn a trade or other practical skill. However, women’s enrollment at these institutions sits at 27 percent, with the low numbers frequently attributed to rampant GBV at the colleges.
One of the most exciting things that has ever happened in my professional career was when I heard that Make Art Stop AIDS (MASA): Youth was a finalist for the UN SDG Action awards. And it only got more exciting from there. Read all about my experience at the Global Festival of Action in Bonn, Germany.
In Malawi, a number of cultural traditions are wielded as a sort of litmus test. If something doesn’t match up, it’s condemned as bad, unnatural, or even un-Malawian. Various philosophies and theories are used to back up these traditional beliefs, including statistics. Even if these statistics may have a dubious origin, whenever they are invoked, they are prefaced with the phrase, “It is a well-known fact…” Our Umunthu programme is challenging the ways that “well-known facts” are used to justify discrimination.
The MASA Squads made the journey up to Lilongwe at the end of March to share some of the things they have been collaborating on with our friends at UCLA over the last few months. We were very excited to share it with the public and to open up the conversation about women’s rights to a broader audience.
In Malawi, gender-based violence presents a very real barrier to young women and girls who wish to pursue greater opportunities. While one of the options for young people to pursue furthering education is at Technical, Entrepreneurial, and Vocational Education and Training (TEVET) colleges, girls represent only 27 percent of enrolled students. Over the next year, we’ll be working with TEVET colleges across the country to raise awareness about GBV at TEVET colleges and for each college to create and implement effective reporting systems.
The latest cohort of Dreamers from the Students with Dreams project culminated in a fun and exciting evening of art and music at our offices last month. We were delighted to not only showcase the work that the Dreamers had done in their exploration of creative freedom of expression, but also share some music, art, and poetry from Malawi.
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.