Ecotourism students promote intercultural understanding at Dzaleka Refugee Camp Tumaini Festival
The Tumaini Festival, held annually in Malawi’s Dzaleka Refugee Camp, is a unique cultural event which brings together members of the refugee and host community, and beyond. This year, students and graduates of the Ecotourism programme led guided tours to reveal Dzaleka’s untold stories and promote intercultural harmony.
The Tumaini Festival, held annually in Malawi’s Dzaleka Refugee Camp, is a unique cultural event which brings together members of the refugee and host community, and beyond.
This year, students and graduates of the Ecotourism programme, accredited by IQS Ramon Llull University, set up ‘Dzaleka Explore’. Throughout the Festival, leveraging knowledge and skills gained during the Ecotourism programme, they offered festivalgoers an immersive experience through guided tours revealing Dzaleka’s untold stories. “Our aim was to guide people who come to Tumaini to see how Dzaleka is and make them know what the internet doesn’t show,” says Caites, a member of the Dzaleka Explore team. It also aimed to remove common misconceptions about Dzaleka, instead showcasing its rich cultural diversity, resilient community, and the positive contributions that refugees make to the camp and the host community.
Dzaleka Explore provided festival attendees with an opportunity to interact with the residents of the camp, hear their personal stories, and learn about their various cultural backgrounds. The tours also highlighted the sustainable practices and initiatives that have been implemented in Dzaleka, including community gardens, recycling programmes, and educational projects. Ecotourism students and alumni shared their knowledge about eco-friendly practices and the importance of preserving the environment.
Furthermore, the group incorporated cultural exchanges, showcasing traditional dances, music performances, and art exhibitions by members of both the refugee and local community. This not only celebrated the diversity in the area but also fostered a sense of unity and cooperation among all participants.
Through Dzaleka Explore, these Ecotourism students and alumni contributed to their goal of putting Dzaleka on the map and promoting intercultural harmony.