Difference, diversity and the ghost story at the Scottish Parliament

Looking to the future: Peace and Security is the theme of this year’s international Africa Day. Picture by Yvonne Baginsky

This is a busy month for African communities in Edinburgh.  There’s a brave new play  exploring difference and diversity through children’s eyes, and the annual celebration of Africa Day focusing on international issues.  But first the play which is being launched at the Scottish Parliament next week…

Saltire Sky is a ghost story with a difference based on a secret friendship between 12-year-0ld Calum and Thandiwe.  It was written and directed by Maggie Aitken as part of Simpson House – Sunflower Garden’s, ‘Difference/Diversity’ project and it draws on the thoughts and experiences of young people taking part in workshops organised by Simpson House and Africa Centre Scotland.

We hope to add more background information about this remarkable and inspiring project which brings together young African Scots to explore the meaning of difference and diversity with young Scots from families affected by drug or alcohol abuse. But meanwhile we have booked our tickets for the performance hosted by our MSP Malcolm Chisholm in the Garden Lobby at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 20th May.

Then its back again to the Garden Lobby a week later for Africa Day.  On Tuesday 25th May the Garden Lobby is the setting for this year’s celebration of Africa Day, hosted by Sarah Boyack MSP and organised by Africa Centre Scotland in partnership with Malawi Initiative for National Development (MIND).  Africa Day is an annual commemoration of the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963. This year’s theme is Peace and Security in Africa but as Agnes Holmes of Africa Centre Scotland explains the Edinburgh emphasis is on global issues and international development.

One other event worth mentioning. Prevention of HIV Aids is the subject of a presentation in the Church of Scotland, George Street on Monday when there is a chance to meet Dr Ade Adeagbo of the African HIV Policy Network. The AHPN is an alliance of African community-based organisations and their supporters working for fair policies for people living with HIV/AIDS in the UK, providing training, support, research and information.

The event – of special interest to people working in health, local government and voluntary organisations – is from 2-4pm on Monday 17th May at 121 George Street

Picture taken by Yvonne Baginsky on her trip to Tanzania with the Shirati Hospital Energy Project

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