UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in Malawi has donated K11 million to Tumaini Festival as a way of supporting innovative ideas by refugees.
The two day festival which was conducted at Dzaleka Refugee in Dowa district over the weekend gives opportunity to different people living at the camp to showcase their creative works such as clothes, shoes, jewellery.
Speaking after the launch, UNHCR Malawi Representative Monique Ekoko said despite several challenges refugees face to access basic necessary, there is hope to prove to the world what they are made of and Tumaini Festival gives them a platform to display their talents.
Ekoko added that there is so much talent in the camp and Dzaleka is the home of a number of innovative youth groups such as Salama Africa and FORUS Dance Crew.
“These are young refugees whose singing and dancing skills have been proven not only in Malawi but also to the world at large,” she said.
She therefore commended Plan International Malawi, Jesuit Refugees Service (JRC), Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD) and the government of Malawi for their joint effort to ably organise the event.
Founder of Tumaini Festival Tresor Nzengu Mpauni said the dream which begun as a nightmare is now a tower that anyone can point at.
Mpauni explained that the idea came up after he lost everything including his dignity and as an artist he wanted Tumaini Festival to bring awareness about Dzaleka refugees and their artistic works.
On his part, Deputy Commissioner in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security Hudson Mankhwala said the government takes the event as international since it attracts people from various countries.
He said as a ministry, they have been providing security to promote culture, unity and civic education. He noted that for the past 5 years the number of tourists has increased from 20,000 to 50,000.
Organisers of the event managed to source an incredible sum of 15,000 Euros through a crowdfunding campaign which was launched as part of resource mobilisation.