The CAS Public Engagement project gives Africa a presence at the Urbana Farmersâ€™ market.
Our public engagement program around Malawi, linked to the Urbana-Zomba Sister Cities initiative, has been active in the fall with a number of events. Project staff, led by Grad Assistant Tholani Hlongwa, have built a weekly presence at the Farmers' Market in Urbana (see photos above) , bringing a new and colorful brand of diversity to the local produce scene. In addition, the project ran a workshop for 19 teachers at Urbana Middle School. Content focused on the book, Galimoto, which tells the story of young children in Malawi who fashion cars from scrap wire, (called galimotos). Our public engagement project has used this book in classrooms at Leal, Wiley, Prairie, and Yankee Ridge elementary schools. Combined with actually showing young school pupils how to make a galimoto, the book has proven a very effective way of helping local learners to connect with Africa.
Apart from this workshop, Malawi Project staff also helped run a book club session for high schools students at Urbana High School under the leadership of Mr. Matthew Murray. The club read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, a story set in Malawi, which prompted many questions about the experience of growing up in rural parts of Africa. In addition to these two activities, the project showed the film, Water First, the story of Malawian Charles Banda, a fireman turned waterman and his struggle to bring water to drought stricken residents of his homeland.
School Visits- Showing pupils how to make Galimotos
Teaching Children African Games in Urbana Parks
(below) Key Participant in the CAS Public Engagement Program (l to r.): Tholani Hlongwa, Maimouna Barro,Dennis Roberts, Scott Dossett, Meg Miller.