Describe the main features of the measure/initiative:
NASFEST is an annual youth arts festival that brings together young people from across the SADC region. Established in 2009 as National Schools Arts Festival, hence NASFEST, the festival has over the years grown into an international event. The festival gives the youths a chance to showcase their talent in theatre, music, poetry, storytelling and dance. Held in the first week of February the festival targets both school going and out of school youths. Founded under the principal of promoting arts and culture among in-and-out-of-school youths, the festival offers a platform for the youths from SADC to interact and share their artistic talents as they explore and promote their cultural identity. In addition to being a cultural exchange programme the festival offers an opportunity for the youth to take part in the dissemination of information on cross-cutting issues such as HIV and AIDS, harmful cultural practices impacting on the youths, child labour and many other social ills in the contemporary world. Each year, a calendar of events together with the theme of the festival is circulated for the young people to follow in preparations for their performances during the grand event. Each act is offered a specified period of showcasing time and at the end of the festival the performers are awarded different trophies in recognition of their efforts. These awards are in different categories to encourage the youths use different forms of cultural expressions to communicate. Every year, an award is also given to outstanding personalities who have greatly contributed in the development of arts and culture among young people within the region.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?:
Among some of its achievements, the festival has offered a regular meeting point for young people from across the SADC region to engage and discuss different cultural issues affecting their daily lives. Since its inception, NASFEST has reached out to over 9,000 youths from Malawi and SADC: 1,075 in the first year and 8,700 in the subsequent editions. The festival has also been able to assist with capacity building of teachers from across the region who have been able to share their experience in as far as promotion of culture among the youths is concerned.