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MWA's MOVEMENT FOR DUAL CITIZENSHIP INITIATIVE

The Movement for Dual Citizenship in Malawi is an initiative of the Malawi Washington Association (MWA) to sensitize Malawian lawmakers, individuals, and organizations with regards to Dual Citizenship for Malawi and to also advocate for decriminalizing Dual Citizenship in Malawi. MWA is an independent, non-political, non-profit organization based in the Washington DC Metro area that is comprised of individuals that work to build community amongst Malawians. It also supports socioeconomic development projects between Malawians in the Diaspora and Malawi. This initiative aims to support the movement towards Dual Citizenship that has been sparked both within and outside the Malawian Diasporas worldwide. It supports other individuals and organizations in the call to decriminalize Dual Citizenship. For more information about MWA, please visit our website: www.malawiwashington.org.

THE ORIGINS OF THE INITIATIVE: OUR STORY

The idea for Dual Citizenship is not new for Malawians. Malawians have been seeking Dual Citizenship for several years. Over the years, their have been attempts made by individuals to sensitize the government about how the current citizenship laws negatively impacted their lives. There have been several individual efforts made at achieving Dual Citizenship. Whilst these individual efforts have been commendable, they have also been unsuccessful since they have not resulted in the revision or decriminalization of Dual Citizenship laws. The concept behind the initiative's blog is to sensitize the public about Dual Citizenship, thereby opening a public conversation about this pertinent issue.  It is also to create an environment where Malawians can collaborate on addressing  the citizenship concerns which affect the well being of the entire nation.

In the early 1990s, shortly after MWA was formed, the topic of Dual Citizenship arose. The issue was discussed by MWA members, although no formal initiative had began. By 2009, Malawi Washington Association (MWA) renewed its efforts to engage the Malawian community about citizenship rights in Malawi during its annual Panel Discussion. During this discussions it became clear that issues concerning citizenship was becoming increasingly problematic due to the increase of Malawians migrating to the US.  By 2010, MWA realized that dual citizenship was a growing problem for Malawians in the diaspora and decided that as an organization, it wanted to advocate for Dual Citizenship on behalf of Malawians if their was sufficient interest by the community. MWA began to network with key individuals in the Malawi government in order to assess the feasibility of Dual Citizenship in Malawi and to determine the correct avenues to start the process of lobbying for Dual Citizenship. MWA also decided to gauge the level of interest in the community through the creation of the group, "Malawians in Support for Dual Citizenship" using the social media site Facebook. They found that over 200 Malawians in the Washington DC area (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia) and beyond its jurisdiction indicated interest in the subject by joining the group. They also found growing interest among Malawians outside of the U.S.A. from Malawians in South Africa, United Kingdom, Ireland, and other other international locations. Since other Diasporas were able to see that Malawians all across the Diaspora had this common interest, it also helped to lay the ground work for the formation of  other grassroots initiatives such as the Campaign for Dual Citizenship's (CDC) petition and Facebook group, Malawians for Dual Citizenship. MWA continues to support, work, and consult with other initiatives for Dual Citizenship around the globe, but pays particular attention to the needs to the Malawians in the US which it is most familiar with.

THE MEANING OF OUR LOGO:

Our inspirational logo was designed to capture the essence of Dual Citizenship for Malawi. The Malawian flag colors have been used as a part of our logo to represent our country.  The 3 'motion' lines on top of the wording represent the "movement of Malawi and its policies"- in this case, striving towards dual citizenship. The colors are in the order of the flag. The globe  on the logo represents the other countries in the world that Malawians have migrated to. The hands supporting the globe represent the citizenry of Malawi that are an integral part of the globalization process. The globe and hand image when combined also represents a global citizen with the globe as his head, symbolizing a global perspective, with two hands in the air that are waving a Malawian Flag.

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