The winner of the 2016 SMP Member Award
for Diaspora impact is....
Please describe your Malawi link.
I am one of the many Malawians living in Scotland who continue to support the Scotland Malawi Partnership in many ways. I guess my outstanding role is that of being the Malawian Language (Chichewa) and Culture Teacher in Scotland. For a number of years now, at the request of the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP), I have successfully prepared and delivered Chichewa and Malawian Culture lessons to individuals or groups of people from the SMP membership as part of their preparations to visit Malawi.
The interest and enthusiasm about Malawi I see in members of the SMP is what drives my work, as well as the positive feedback I receive about my role which I consider to be my contribution to the partnership. My key value is to be as helpful a Malawian as possible to anyone in or from Scotland with interest in Malawi and it's social and economic sectors.
Also, as Development Socio-Economist by profession, I would like to, one day, be able to more meaningfully contribute to the achievement of a deeper, "correct" and better understanding of each other's needs between the two countries so that programmes, projects and any interventions by members of the SMP can be better targeted, planned, monitored and evaluated for impact for the benefit of the intended beneficiaries, and indeed for the betterment of the two countries - Malawi especially as a developing country.
How does your partnership advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
I would like to contribute to ensuring that any plans, programmes and projects geared towards Malawi by individuals and organisations will really help the country out of its socio-economic challenges and that the living standards of the people of Malawi are uplifted in a more sustainable way.
Congratulations to all the runners-up below:
Of course, the SMP isn’t really about competition between members, with winners and losers: we know all our members have an incredible story to tell about how they’re transforming lives through dignified partnership.
We hope the Member Awards are a fun and engaging way to help members tell their story, and of celebrating the impact all the many people-to-people links are having.
In Malawi, Davie (a.k.a. 'Street Rat') is a well known and respected artist, who’s made his name as front man and band leader of bands like ‘Souls of the Ghetto’ and ‘Body Mind & Soul’. Davie is an energetic live artist, who has performed a number of times at major music festivals such as the ‘Lake of Stars’ festival in Malawi, and 'Celtic Connections' and 'Belladrum' in Scotland.
Born in the city of Mzuzu, in northern Malawi, Davie moved to Edinburgh in 2015 with his British wife & daughter, and is starting to reinvent his career on another continent.
Davie's friendly, personable nature coupled with his internationally recognised musical and creative talent, epitomises all that is great about Malawian culture and challenges norm and stereotypes of Africans.In addition he is always willing to lend a hand by playing (for free or at minimal cost) at SMP and diaspora events (e.g. Scotland Street Coffe launch and Malawi Independence Day Celebrations).
See link for video... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mdvXGtglgo
The overall aim of our collaboration has been to contribute to strengthening the fabric that develops the infrastructure for smallholder development and exchange of knowledge between Malawi and Scotland. This aim has been achieved through different individual projects which can be divided into the following themes:
- Developing current and future leaders in research and development
- Technology-driven capacity development
- Strengthening linkages among science, policy and practice (farmers)
- Research and development
By following specific strategic topics, we integrated knowledge exchange and graduate training into a sustainable smallholder dairy development initiative. Volunteer farmers were trained as lead farmers for peer knowledge exchange. To date 8 graduate students (four MSc, one MPhil and three PhDs) and one post-doc scientist have been associated with this work. Sixteen scientists and livestock development experts from Malawi and fifteen from Scotland have been involved in short-term training, study programmes and staff exchange. 28 lead-farmers and 43 extension workers have been trained in skilles that help them reach-out to other farmers. Further a Dairy Diploma programme together with a dairy out-reach programme has been establish and Bunda campus of LUANAR reaching out to thousands of smallholder dairy farmers.
The Collaboration between SRUC and its partners in Malawi is an outstanding example of a Malawian Diaspora having the belief of starting projects that built on former links for the benefit of people from both Scotland and Malawi.
As a board member of SMP and a member of Association of Malawi in Scotland (AMS), we seek and facilitate socia-economic development in or between Malawi and Scotland by maximizing the available resources at hand.Part of our goals, is to act as a social support group for Malawians in Scotland(AMS).We provide means by which Malawians in Scotland integrate into and engage with Scottish society. This was very evident from launching the 50 stories for 50 years campaign on 6th July independence with a special SMP micro website which included 50 key individual linking Scotland and Malawi in 2014. The partnership(SMP) excelled in making Malawi at 50th Independence to become a global attraction and promoting Malawi as a peaceful destination, tourism, trade and investment opportunity. Supporting people to people link is what drives our work basing our value on mutual respect and development, mutually and directly, promoting long term direct investment and reinforcing sustainable development. Basing on these values, our partnership matters, and has tremendously contributed in promoting Mzuzu Coffee which has become the fast growing reputation hence, one of the best coffee growing regions in Malawi. In 2014/15 it became top 5 position on Malawi taste of harvest competition making a great positive impact in supporting sustainable economic development in Malawi. Mzuzu coffee has also impacted on Scottish fair trade by promoting local business.