Attendees of Umunthu workshops

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-President Peter Mutharika’s special advisor on Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Mabvuto Bamusi has underscored the need for the general public to adopt “Umuthu Connect” if the nation is to offset service delivery inequalities.

The call comes barely some months after Oxfam Malawi in 2016 uncovered extreme social-economic inequalities which have worsened poverty.

The Oxfam report titled, “A dangerous divide: The state of inequality in Malawi” noted with concerns on how unfair distribution of resources have worsened poverty levels in the country which requires deeper analyst with realistic policy measures in addressing the vice.

The report unpacked inequality consequences including escalation of corruption, diminishing of social mobility, hampering economic growth which if not addressed timely ending poverty will be a toll order.

This is the reason the country’s Art and Global Health Centre Africa (AGHC) through its philosophical approach dubbed as “Umunthu connect” is advocating for common good of African communities.

Umunthu is a highly respected, popular, celebrated, philosophy embedded in the African culture that has governed African communities for generations.

Through umunthu, African communities have achieved co-existence, moved and participated in togetherness, celebrated diversity, strived for and reached equality, attained unity and accomplished social inclusion.

The concept is being implemented through Umunthu workshops across the country aimed at eliciting empathy and bringing awareness of people’s oneness as a people in the focus areas of minority rights – such as rights of homosexuals

– albinism, disabilities, people living with HIV and AIDS,LGBTI people and atheists.

In an exclusive interview with The Maravi Post after gracing AGHC’s Umunthu Connect workshop in the capital Lilongwe, Bamusi reiterated that the concept was a catalyst for offsetting social-economic inequalities among the citizens.

The Presidential advisor observed that the concept is closely related with the notion of patriotism, integrity and hard work Mutharika has been advocating.

He therefore said that AGHC should research and develop “Umunthu Barometer”which will rank and scale people towards their fellow human beings in all aspects of life to address social ills.

“There is more the nation needs to make Umunthu a daily reality. Our society has degenerated into an individualistic society. There is more disintegration than integration. Children from wealthy families can not play together with children from poor back grounds.

“You see, there is a serious Umunthu problem in our schools where inequalities have deepened with the mushrooming of more private schools where the rich can afford higher school fees and better education for their children. Therefore its up to all us to revisit the entire education system through Umunthu Barometer”, Bamusi urges.

Echoing on the same, Rodger Phiri, AGHC Program officer said there is much intolerance and discrimination coupled with nepotism in all spheres of life in the country.

Phiri observed such vices are impeding those less privileged in accessing quality social services hence the campaign of Umunthu Connect to avert the trend.

 

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