Nomvuyo, the Community Health Programme team leader was lucky enough to be invited by the Stephen Lewis Foundation to participate in a pilot initiative in Toronto, Canada.The Arts, AIDS, and Activism Academy focuses on utilizing creative methods such as music and theatre in working with women and children affected by the AIDS pandemic.

Participants were encouraged to share their personal stories and those of their organisations. Mamelani was honoured to be one of the few organisations selected to participate. This was also a very new experience for Nomvuyo, who had been overseas before and on her arrival was welcomed by the cold Canadian weather!

The workshop was a great learning experience for her – she learned to use a new methodology for uncovering and retelling personal stories. She came back from this trip full of inspiration and new ideas. She gave the entire Mamelani Team a presentation of what she had experienced through the process. It was clear that this experience has been a life-changing one for her. It also allowed her the opportunity to reflect on her own practice as a health facilitator and to recognise the areas that she wants to develop within her own practice. She also reported that meeting funders and other participants has expanded her understanding of issues faced in other countries.

We are so grateful to The Stephen Lewis Foundation for making this opportunity possible, and to D’bi Young, the incredible woman, for facilitating the process. To learn more about D’bi’s work in South Africa see here:

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