In 2013, Art & Global Health Center Africa came to life. It began with a small group of students and people living with HIV doing health education using participatory arts. They sparked the Make Art / Stop AIDS programme, which has grown to reach more college students, people in rural areas, and secondary students.
Those students were inspired by the impact they had and wanted to feed the flames of social change. They began to create their own projects to address the issues they saw in their communities. Students with Dreams is now an incubator for college students with big ideas.
One student saw the challenges that LGBTI people face in Malawi, and created the Umunthu film. Using the pan-African philosophy of unity as a basis for addressing the discrimination that minority groups face, the Umunthu programme has grown to engage with health workers and the higher education community.
People like you are the reason why we've been able to have 5 years of igniting and inspiring social change.
You can make the next 5 years possible, too.
Malawi High Commission, London, UK
5 September 2018, 6:30 pm
Seattle University, Harding Building
Seattle, Washington, USA
5 October 2018, 6 pm
Join the Celebration!
We'd love for you to join the #ArtGloAt5 celebration. We've put together a toolkit of everything you might want to host an event.
Make Art / Stop AIDS
Make Art / Stop AIDS, also known as MASA, began even before the official beginning of ArtGlo. Galia Boneh, a co-founder of ArtGlo, came to Chancellor College through our sister centre, Art & Global Health Center at UCLA, to bring their MASA programme to Malawi.
A group of students from Chancellor College and people living with HIV worked together and created the performance "This Is My Story."
The success of that first project lead to Galia returning, and later founding ArtGlo with Sharifa Abdulla. Since then, the MASA programme has grown to target and reach rural populations and secondary school students, as well as be developed into a film.
Students with Dreams
When Galia returned to Chancellor College a second time, with the intention of reproducing the success of the first MASA project, she found that the college was closed indefinitely. However, the students, who would have been a part of MASA, would not have their enthusiasm for creating social change deterred.
With guidance and support, the students each created and implemented their own project to addressing an issue they saw facing their community. This was the start of Students with Dreams, which has now supported more than 130 students to create more than 50 projects impacting thousands of people.
One of the first projects created through Students with Dreams was a film called "Umunthu," which examined the stigma and discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people in Malawi. The approach was done through the pan-African philosophy of umunthu, which is frequently defined by the phrase, "I am because we are."
The film went on to be screened throughout Malawi and internationally, and won the Sembane Ousman prize at the Zanzibar International Film Festival. Using the film and its approach as an inspiration, the Umunthu programme has gone on to address the discrimination and stigma that minority groups, but particularly LGBTI people, face in higher education and health care settings.
Using participatory arts is a unique approach in the development sector, and we've been proud to partner with a number of other organisations to bring our approach to a variety of issues.
We've partnered with British Council to create a Festival of Ideas, which worked with secondary students to develop ideas to address the issues important to them. At the annual Lake of Stars music festival, we hosted a writing and participatory storytelling workshop. Additionally, we hosted a TEDx event here in Zomba.
Perhaps our biggest special initiative was our partnership with the World Food Programme to create the Theatre for Healthy Living, which used participatory arts to address the health issues stemming from food insecurity.