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.
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.