Workshops encourage participants to actively engage with issues of stigma and discrimination, particularly as they relate to LGBTI communities, through the lens of “Umunthu.”

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  • When I was coming here I didn’t know what to expect. I had another meeting in the afternoon so I thought I could just spend the morning here, but after the morning session I couldn’t leave... We have been talking about homosexuals but much was from ignorance. Thank you AGHCA for such a wonderful program, now we will try as much as possible to make sure that LGBTI people are no longer excluded and discriminated against.
    — Student, The Polytechnic
  • Thank you for creating this environment that we could speak freely. I am a gender non-conformist but I am not a Lesbian. I feel stigmatized and I am often abused verbally... I wish more students on campus could be reached with this messaging.
    — Student, Polytechnic
  • I have always been of the view that LGBTI means sleeping with the same sex. This workshop is an eye opener for me as now I know that it's not only about sex, but is a way of being as well. I shall never discriminate against LGBTI people anymore.
    — Student, Kamuzu College of Nursing

A Pan-African philosophical concept, Umunthu is often defined in the phrase, “I am because we are.” Umunthu respects and celebrates the interconnectedness and interdependence of humanity with emphasis on tolerance, togetherness, diversity, co-existence and unity.

Workshops are designed to address the underlying attitudes and behaviours that undermine the health, welfare and rights of marginalised people- particularly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people. Using Process Theatre, story-telling and role-playing, participants critically explore the concept of Umunthu, reflect on their own experiences with discrimination and examine which groups face discrimination in society. Each workshop culminates in action planning, with participants collaborating on strategies to create a more inclusive environment in their community, educational or professional setting.

Umunthu Workshops currently focus on Health Workers, and aim to promote a more inclusive environment for LGBTI people in accessing healthcare.

In 2016 we ran a workshop project for Higher Education institutions including students, faculty and administration and leaders of community organisations in the surrounding areas. During this project 435 people were reached through 15 workshops. The project evaluation found significant shits in attitudes:

o   There was a 27% increase in the proportion of respondents who agree or strongly agree that they would be comfortable with a homosexual neighbour (27% pre-workshop - 46% post-workshop - 54% at follow-up)

o   There was a 14% increase in the proportion of respondents who agree or strongly agree that they would be comfortable being friends with an LGBTI person (37% pre-workshop - 43% post-workshop - 51% at follow-up)

o   There was an 18% increase in the proportion of respondents who agree or strongly agree that they would sign their name to a petition asking the government to protect the employments rights of LGBTI people (26% pre-workshop - 36% post-workshop - 44% at follow-up)

o   There was an 21% increase in the proportion of respondents who agree or strongly agree that universities should not discriminate against LGBTI people (36% pre-workshop - 48% post-workshop - 57% at follow-up)