By Deborah Nyangulu:
Malawians living in Germany have formed an association known as Umodzi wa AMalawi which seeks to promote cultural exchange between the two countries.
The association also aims to complement Malawi government’s efforts to engage with its citizens abroad as outlined in the Malawi Diaspora Engagement Policy of 2017.
Interim Vice Chairperson of the association, Racheal Gausi-Hoepfner, said the association’s birth was also part of selling the country to Germany and strive to show the best of Malawi culture.
She said they were currently working towards finalising its formal registration with German authorities.
“We want to set up strong structures for the organisation that will ensure its longevity. Currently, our interim executive committee is working tirelessly to complete paperwork for the association to set up office,” Gausi-Hoepfner said.
She said it was not yet clear how many Malawians were living in Germany but was quick to say that a significant number have come forward to register with the association as well as express interest in its mission and activities.
“We are still collecting information. But we do have Malawians spread across different cities in Germany whom we are already in touch with. We further appeal to any other Malawians living in Germany to get in touch with us via our page on Facebook < https://www. facebook.com/Umodziw aaMalawiinGermany/ >,” Gausi-Hoepfner said.
The vice chairperson said the association will also serve as a point of call for Malawians arriving in Germany who might require advice on settling down or need the companionship of Malawians.
She said Umodzi wa a Malawi in Germany was guided by an inclusive and expansive notion of diaspora and includes among its members spouses or civil partners of Malawians living in Germany, German citizens of Malawian ancestry, and Malawians who are in Germany for defined temporary stays such as students, Au pairs, and expatriates.
“There is a lot that Germany can learn from Malawi and vice versa in terms of culture, trade, manufacturing, agriculture, and education,” Gausi- Hoepfner said.
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