Dundee pupils from the Law Nursery, St Ninian’s Primary and Rosebank RC Primary helped plant the first seeds of celebration as their schools announced new partnerships with two Malawian schools.
The idea to create the new patch was developed by students from the University of Dundee and staff from NHS Tayside.
Catriona Grant, a fourth-year medical student from the University of Dundee, said that Ninewells Community Garden was the perfect place to showcase Scotland’s friendship with Malawi.
“It’s really important to celebrate the bond that exists between our countries,” she said. “We share in this bond of humanity. Dundee has a great history and continues to share knowledge and life-saving medicines and techniques.
“The plot will become home to flowers and vegetables such as beans and maize which also grow in Malawi. This will be an ideal spot for anyone from the local community to come and relax and enjoy the fresh air while celebrating the connection Dundee has to Malawi.”
At the celebration event on Tuesday, 28th May, garden guests were able to sample traditional Malawian food, play drums, dance to music and hear stories from health professionals about how this partnership has shaped lives and influenced health and education services in both countries.
Funding for the celebration event was awarded by the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP) earlier this year, following a Youth Event Competition which was supported by the National Lottery Year of Young People fund.
A group of medical students from the University of Dundee were one of the winning entrants of the competition who received £500 and support from the SMP Youth Committee for their event. Entrants were all youth members of the SMP and were actively involved in organising the event.
David Hope-Jones, Chief Executive of the SMP, said, “Each year, more young Scots get involved in the 160-year-old friendship between Scotland and Malawi. With more than 45% of the population of Malawi under the age of 15, youth leadership is more important than ever.
“We are delighted to be supporting young people in Scotland to host events that celebrate the heritage and culture of Scotland and Malawi’s partnership. There is fantastic energy and creativity around young people that have had the chance to build friendships with Malawi.”
Lesley Marley, NHS Tayside Public Health Directorate Manager, said: “The Community Garden lies in the beautiful arboretum at Ninewells and promotes physical activity and healthy living through community gardening in an environment where horticulture supports wellbeing, therapy and rehabilitation.
“It plays a key part in the Health Promoting Health Service. This exciting and innovative work with a Malawi connection demonstrates the power of gardening at a world-community level. The Garden is free to visit and is open to all.”