By Sikhethiwe Mlotsha
A month has passed. There is a lot I can witness from the group since the beginning. The focus for the first month was on personal leadership and introduction to all sustainable projects that Kufunda is doing. The intention for the first month was to know each other better, working together as a family, building each ones confidence, listening to our inner wisdom and potential, and to help sharpening each ones leadership.
In our country, there is less and less opportunities that are being created for the coming generation, This has had a great effect to them, as well, having gone through challenges and hardships during their childhood, and at an early age having to face the harsh realities of life. There has been a lot of negative experience and less energy for positive possibilities in their becoming.
Kufunda has brought a different approach to their lives and what they thought of as challenges and helped them to understand life from a different angle.
The world is designed in a way that we all follow what was created by someone and we all think that things should be in a certain way. All this doesn’t give room for the new to arise and we all become stuck when things are falling apart. But, at Kufunda, the youth had time to explore their inner wisdom, learn to listen to their inner voices, looking at their strengths and finding ways of bringing that out. They had time to share and being listened to with love and care. They had time to explore and learn different projects that are happening at Kufunda that are to do with sustainability. They had time to explore their questions about their being and becoming and get help from others. They had time to understand some of their intelligences that they were not aware of. They had time to learn how to engage with each other in a meaningful way.
To them all this has brought a shift in their mindset. There has been much shift in terms of looking at each other, as they have something to share in life as well that we as humans we have so much in us to share, its only that we cannot see it, but if we give ourselves time to listen to our inner wisdom and if we trust ourselves and have confidence, we can bring change to our lives and we can be the away we want to be. Its only that we are used to the way the world teaches us and therefore do not listen to our inner voices.
What follows are reflections by some of the young people participating in the programme.
Being invited by Kufunda unexpectedly opened so many doors in my life. I have joined the group of new people from different places, with different backgrounds. I started by knowing myself when I was introduced to the Tree of Life. It was hard at first, but I realised that we are all the same, and alike to each other. After the Tree of Life I discovered the power of the circle and its principles.
Since I need to do things with my hands, practicals were introduced. Permaculture, putting rights things at the right places and maintaining the sustainability of the surrounding wisely. We also learnt how to construct compost toilets and how to grow and use herbs.
But all these things are not enough. The most important thing was about discovering the real me. I have things I did not know I have – different intelligences. I am linguistic smart and visual smart.
I have been given the chance to speak out the very personal question which was troubling me. There I found answers. A flowgame and Aikido – a daily practice with a lot of revelatory wisdoms. It left me with a lot of gifts. I am finding my centre and my ground.
I have a long way to go, but I am feeling near. I am starting to have visions and dreams of my destiny. I can hear the music from far away. Now I am to learn more and to become more. I discover that I am young, bold, dynamic. Being driven by the desire of change in my life and my community.
Knowledge, collectively leadership, personal leadership, and sustainability is power.
By Henry Munyamana
Being at Kufunda Village for the first time was so vital for me, since it shed a light in my life. At this particular place I have come to discover myself; that is who I am and to discover my strengths and weaknesses. I have got some valuable learnings at Kufunda. It is the intention of this essay to unravel my experience at Kufunda.
To begin with, at Kufunda Village I came to know who I am. Through the lessons of the Tree of Life, I compared my life with that of a tree. Some of the trees encounter some problems, for example, they can be disturbed by others, or be cut off by human beings. This motivates me, that I must walk through all these problems, knowing that I have got a unique destiny. By tracing my origins it has given me answers to my burning question — “Why am I like this today?”
Aikido and the Flow Game are some of the practices which have also made me know more about myself. Through Aikido, I discovered my weaknesses. At times I used to run away from some situations instead of facing them. This practice has taught me that I must ensure that there is balance between the energy you put out and what you take in – breathing in, breathing out – to maintain my centre. In real life situations, at times we tend to focus much more on the outside, and we end up losing focus of our centre. The flowgame also gave answers to my questions about myself. This practice opened up a discussion whereby I could get help from others.
Many of the lessons and the practices here were surprising to me. I was surprised with the practice such as the use of circle, world cafe and open space. The use of circle and some of its principles ensures that everyone within the circle is equal and with the use of the talking piece, everyone is given a chance to talk. With the practice of the world cafe, it allows everyone to listen and to contribute in a smaller group, and to accept different ideas. Open Space gave everyone a chance to show and use his or her own talent. These practices surprised me in my time here at Kufunda.
Most of the lessons were valuable to me, but the most was about permaculture. The core principle of permaculture is to put things in the right place. Permaculture deals with systems, and a system is interconnectedness of various components to maintain the whole. So permaculture is important to me, since it can be applied to different systems, not only agriculture, but also family and society.
In a nutshell, since I arrived here at Kufunda I had a good time here, and what I have learnt shed a light for me to know myself. My hope and prayer is to be given more knowledge and go back to share with others in my community.