http://uslanka.net/2017/03 Why Tumaini Festival?


Since http://wargereavy.com/project/more-opportunities-to-smile/ Dzaleka was founded as a refugee camp in 1994, there had never been a large event organized which focused on the needs of refugees as human, social, and expressive beings. While events have existed for World Refugee Day and International Women’s Day, they have invariably centered on official speeches, backed with just a few performances.

The previous editions of Tumaini Festival proved the benefit of such an event to the refugee, asylum seeker, and wider Malawian community. It showed that such an event can bring joy and hope. It allows people to reduce their trauma and to temporarily forget about the persecution that forces people to flee their countries and to become refugees.

Refugees at Dzaleka need an avenue to enjoy artistic expression, to separate themselves from the difficulties of their lives and to foster pride. For this reason, local, Malawian national and international artists are invited to celebrate peace among a group of people who have been forced to flee. Dzaleka needs a platform to promote its strengths and to bring its voice to Malawi and the world. It is a fact that Tumaini Festival opens doors to many and draws large crowds of people who would otherwise never go to a refugee camp.

While Malawi has ratified the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, it holds nine reservations to this convention. Specifically, this means that, among other things, refugees do not have the right to employment, the right to property, or the freedom of movement. This greatly isolates refugees, limits their financial capacity, and restricts their ability to access cultural events available to Malawians and expatriates. Tumaini Festival will meet all these needs, while also benefitting the host community as we all stand, sing, and dance together for peace.

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What are our aims?


Our aims are to promote the talents and cultures of Dzaleka to Malawians and people from across the globe, as well as to promote Dzaleka itself as a place of unity, peace, coexistence and harmony among refugees and Malawian populations. We want to change public perception towards refugees and to empower them through arts. We feel that there is a need to encourage entrepreneurship and reducing poverty in the refugee camp. We also aim at promoting tourism by showcasing cultures from Dzaleka and the surrounding villages. By opening Dzaleka’s doors to people from Malawi and all over the world we want to encourage cultural exchange and intercultural understanding. Last but not least, our aim is to facilitate the gain and exchange of knowledge and skills through workshops and trainings.