Kufunda began as a dream almost ten years ago. Marianne Knuth, founder, returned from Denmark to Zimbabwe drawn by her experience of her Zimbabwean home as being rich and alive, and yet also seeing that many people there saw first and foremost that which they did not have. Her own experience of the wisdom and beauty of the Zimbabwean people, and especially those from rural places, led her to create Kufunda as a place of learning, where people could recover their sense of pride, wisdom, and capacity in working with their own knowledge and deepening their resourcefulness. As Kufunda began, the need to integrate the best from many places, far and near, was integrated into the work.
Over the years we have learnt much about the practical aspects of creating healthy and vibrant community. Of equal importance – and perhaps even the key enabling factor – has been our work with people, shifting their sense of themselves, and shifting the conversation from one of poverty, to one of capacity and possibility. The Art of Hosting and Harvesting Meaningful Conversations is key to our approach to our work in the village and our partner communities.
Our intentions moving forward are to continue to support the work of enabling creative and sustainable communities, but also increasingly to share our lessons and capacities around hosting change and co-creation.
How can we be a model of life through co-creating in a sustainable way and living in harmony in nature?
There are 28 of us who live and work at Kufunda with our families. In 2013 we renewed our commitment to keep learning what it means to be a creative and sustainable community. To this end different Kufundees are engaged in many different aspects. Some of us are working with permaculture and organic farming, others are working with health and nutrition and making good herbal remedies out of locally grown plants; Some are into eco-building, others into renewable energy, some are into working with children – and just about all of us are facilitators.
Building Capacity for working in participatory and life-affirming ways
In different ways we share with others in Zimbabwe, and beyond, what we are learning. We share our lessons, insights and questions through our programmes platform that are all in different ways teaching about sustainable community and leadership. Our biggest programme has been the Kufunda Youth Programme, which in 2013 and transforming into the Leadership for Sustainable Community Programme.