“How do you get those nuts out of their hard shell?” This was one of the more easy questions to Grey Moffat Phiri of the Macadamia Growers`Cooperative Ntchisi. In end of May, the Malawian farmer had set off together with four local government representatives of Blantyre for a European roundtrip, in order to discuss about the potential of Fair Trade products together with activists and consumers in the partner cities of the EU-project “Aware&Fair”.
And Hannover, Poznan, Litomerice and Miskolc involved their Malawian guests in a variety of public activities – at a “festival of cultures”, in meetings with owners of organic and ethical enterprises, a fashion show and reading in the public library, knowledge quest in the botanical garden, street market with information stands – and took opportunity to jointly raise awareness about Malawi, the Millennium Development Goals and their support through Fair Trade.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the “Hannover-Blantyre” partnership, an exhibition about this city partnership, possibly the oldest with an African town, was staged in the Town Hall from March 15th – 30th. In addition to historic photographs, current pictures of people in Blantyre were shown as an encouragement.
Special emphasis was put on the following topics:
- The strengthening the role of women
- Water supply with the help of water-kiosks / water stations
- The improvement of education
- Art and culture
Mayor Bernd Strauch opened the exhibition on March 15th with Dr. Lore Henkel, the initiator of the partnership, Ted Nandolo, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Blantyre, “Friends of Malawi and city-twinning Hannover – Blantyre Association” (Freundeskreis Malawi und Städtepartnerschaft Hannover-Blantyre e.V.), and other interested visitors.
Afterwards, the guests were invited to join the Agenda 21 plenum, which was devoted entirely to the twinning. Ted Nandolo informed the guests regarding Malawi and its problems, and also showed a short film on the region of Blantyre. The film mainly drew attention to the positive sides of Malawi, but did not conceal the country’s problems either. Matthias Seeler of GIZ also described the situation in Malawi in terms of corruption. Finally, Sylvester Mitini-Nkhoma, Head of the Department of Environment, Culture and Leisure, explained the situation and problems in the areas of administration, waste management, education, and many other topics.
We are happy that we could organize a workshop in Blantyre with Malawian Photographers to work on the Millenium Development Goals. Photojournalist Kiên Hoàng Lê is teaching the basics of storytelling in photojournalism and gives an introduction in using a flashkit for portraits. As an outcome there will be an exhibtion at the Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF) and an exhibition in Hannover with the photographs of participants.