A new project focused on promoting the cultural exchange between young people in Scotland and Malawi has launched thanks to a grant by the Year of Young People National Lottery Fund.
Over 1000 young people between 14 and 24 from across Scotland are set to benefit from the 18-month initiative, run by the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP).
Launching in the Year of Young People in Scotland, the funding will be used to host a series of training, activities and events to celebrate the established youth links the two countries already share.
Starting with a new Youth Committee this month, ten young people with links to Malawi will help steer the project and work at promoting culture, heritage and shared history.
While helping to improve young people’s skills in project management, event delivery and promotions, the work of the committee is also intended to boost wellbeing, self-esteem and confidence among those taking part as they take ownership of the work.
The £10,000 grant was awarded to SMP as part of the Young People National Lottery Fund to inspire young people to lead active lives and encourage positive mental health. This funding will be boosted by almost £6,000 in sponsorship and fundraising by the SMP.
Secondary schools from across Scotland are also set to benefit from the funding, with events already confirmed in Penicuik High School where a cross–curricular Malawi Day is planned at the school.
Working closely with their partner school in Namadzi in Malawi, the day will include music and dance activities, a ‘taste of Scotland Malawi buffet’ and history presentations about the shared Scotland-Malawi history.
Other events planned include a SMP Youth Congress in Edinburgh and a volunteer day at the David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre.
With everything from workshops on Chichewa, Malawi’s national language, to sessions on interactions with people from different cultures, all of the project aims are geared towards the overarching goal of building relations between Scotland and Malawi and giving young people the chance to have a sense of belonging to a larger community.
David Hope-Jones OBE, Chief Executive of the Scotland Malawi Partnership said: “Young people remain at the very heart of the longstanding friendship which Scotland enjoys with Malawi.
“With hundreds of Malawi school partnerships and thousands of young people directly involved, there is ever increasing youth-leadership in Scotland’s distinctive sense of internationalism.
“What better way to mark the Year of Young People than supporting young Scots and Malawians to further enhance their friendships together for mutual benefit.”
Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Seona Reid, said: “I am delighted that Scotland Malawi Partnership has been successful in securing an award from the Year of Young People National Lottery Fund.
“This funding will help young people to make a positive change in their lives and I wish Scotland Malawi Partnership every success as it works to improve young people’s health and wellbeing in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Young People.”