Josephine Mpango: Scotland-Malawi CHOGM Ambassador

13 Apr 2018

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As part of Scotland’s Year of Young People, the SMP is delighted to have Josephine Mpango as our ‘Scotland-Malawi Youth Ambassador’ at the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). 

Josephine is studying Global Health at the University of Edinburgh as a MasterCard Foundation Scholar.  She is an inspiring and engaging young Malawian leader keen to speak out against gender-based violence - an issue in which she, sadly, has personal experience.

Josephine will be attending the CHOGM Youth Forum between the 16th and 19th April 2018. In the run up to the Forum, and right through the week, Josephine will be posting social media content on a special Twitter account, with interviews, videos, photos, vlogs and more.

We encourage all members, and all those interested in the Commonwealth, to follow Josephine on social media and share her posts as widely as possible. 

Rather than have our own mzungu voice at CHOGM (!) we want to do everything we can to amplify Josephine's voice and be informed by her personal experience and reflections.

Through social media she will tell her own story, recounting her experience of the week and reflecting on three main areas:

  • The Commonwealth:  Its role and relevance in 2018; the role of young people in the Commonwealth; and the opportunities that CHOGM 2018 presents.
  • The Scotland-Malawi friendship: What values and principles lie behind the 150-years of people-to-people friendship; what relevance the Commonwealth has for this relationship; and whether this relationship is a useful example of bilateral cooperation within the Commonwealth of Nations – a model for others to follow?
  • Gender-based violence: What are the key issues in Malawi and Scotland around this topic; if two-way sharing between our two nations can help find solutions; and what role the Commonwealth and CHOGM can play in raising awareness and tackling this problem

While the SMP is providing practical support to Josephine to allow her to take part in the week, she has absolute authority and autonomy to tell her own story, in her own words.  She is welcome to say whatever she wishes! It will be an unerringly honest reflection of her experience at CHOGM.

Through the week Josephine will interview key individuals involved in CHOGM and the Youth Forum to help explore these three topics, to share a range of different voices, and to help inform her own thinking on the above topics.

Before travelling to London she interviewed the Scottish Government’s Minister for International Development and other leaders, Scottish and Malawian, young and old, in this field.  She has also recorded a special video for the UK Government exploring the Scotland-Malawi relationship as an example of Commonwealth cooperation, spoke at a special Scotland-Malawi Big Commonwealth Lunch and at the SMP’s 2018 Youth Congress at Hampden Park Stadium.

The week after CHOGM she will speak at an event with the President of Malawi, sharing her reflections from CHOGM and her vision for the future of Scotland-Malawi cooperation.

We are grateful for all possible support as we look to amplify Josephine's voice. Tell your friends!