Kufunda Village

A learning village learning our way into healthy and vibrant communities of the future

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Freedom – A declaration from a young woman of medicine

by Idah Nyaradzo Mahano

Now the time has come for us women
We need freedom

What is freedom?
Freedom without harassment
Freedom without embarrassment
Freedom without fears

Freedom to talk
Freedom to walk
Freedom to play with friends
and love freedom

Good leaders support freedom,
encourage freedom so that the world grows well
with freedom

Freedom come today
Not tomorrow
Even in our marriages
in our relationships
and in our communities.

I speak freedom and I say freedom.


Pamela, Samantha and Idah

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The Beginning of our Journey

By Winnet

We all emerged from our homes,

Gathering as women.
Not knowing what was gonna happen here.
We all expected someone else to define,
those little words, but so meaningful:

We all gathered in a top open classroom.
Expecting someone of good academic knowledge,
to dictate everything to us.
But to our surprise,
music was turned on.
We all started dancing to the meditating music,
connecting to ourselves and the nature.
Swinging from side to side,
our bodies woke up together with,
our minds and hearts.

Immediately, something magical rose up.
A fresh cool air rose within us,
carrying something special.
It touches every one of us,
as we dance.
And the journey began.
The journey of SELF DISCOVERY.



Why Am I Here? Reflections from Young Women Are Medicine

We have begun our journey with the beautiful young women of Zimbabwe.

We are only on week two and already it feels like we have been travelling together for eons.

We include here a poem by Rufaro which was her harvest of our first week and of our collective clarity of why we are here:


At the River during our day of Letting Go

Why am I here?

I hear voices from left right centre back front asking me ‘Why are you here?’
Why am I here – I ask the question back at myself.

Don’t look at me cross eyed
Its not like I am dumb or something
I’m trying to figure out why am I here
Why didn’t my mother abort me as a pregnancy
Why did she hold me in her arms and whisper sweet words
Words that bring tears to my eyes when you think of them
I ask myself again – why am I here
I will tell you:

I am here to know myself
To appreciate myself
So its okay if you don’t love me,
I will love me better than anyone else.

I am here to find courage to be me, to go deeper in myself
You dare ask me Why am I here?
I will answer you:

I am here to stand for myself
To find my voice, wherever it has gone
To find my centre
To face the difficulties and not to run from them

I am here to be free
To scream freedom
I am here to find my dream which I had lost
I am here to transform and to be transformational
I am here to claim power but not to war with anyone
I am here to stand with other women
I am here to unlearn the toxic information that has been handed down from generation to generation
I am here to emancipate myself from mental slavery

I am here to stand together to walk the journey with other women
I am here because I want to be here
I am here because I am here
So don’t look at me cross-eyed
I am here because I am a gift

Rufaro on the right, Loveness Left

Rufaro on the right, Loveness Left


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Week One – Connecting with the Earth

By Undine Whande
A reflection on the first week of Young Women are Medicine
I have returned from Zimbabwe and feel moved to share a few lines with you.

We sat last week in circle at Kufunda in the ‘dare’ the circular open thatched meeting space, with twelve young women on a cool Zimbabwe late summer morning. Huddled in our serongs and scarves we settled in by simply connecting with the land around us. A morning pretty much in silence. The whole first day we spend a lot of time with ‘our tree’, just finding home, a base and place that would be the root locus for the entire 4 week programme. We started a tree observation practice that wove through the first days and into the second week, it is such a blessing how the Zimbabweans are able to relate to nature.

The next day we deepened into the theme of ‘roots’ and received blessings from the ‘Tree of Life’ and their learnings (a programme supporting healing in Zimbabwe after the elections violences). Viva Tsitsi, Sikethiwe and Patricia for such excellent facilitation.

After an unbelievable surge of energy in the ‘root dance’ that Maaianne led us into, the young women dived into storytelling about their lineages. It was extraordinary to hear how the many strands of ancestors with their life stories, plights and hopes and dreams came into the room, weaving a tapestry of connections across southern Africa. This one from Zambia into Zim, that one from Mozambique, the next from Swaziland – grannies and great grannies and great great grand dads who all made their ways to Zim in hopes of better lives.

The patterns were similar actually also for the young European volunteers who support the programme. Always someone left because the pain was too much in one place, and in hope of something new better somewhere else, taking along some of the baggage, leaving behind some of it, starting new lives and new lineages, fusing, merging, adapting, making do, succeeding, failing, laughing and loving and crying.

And in the room came the beauty of the now – the presence of these young women and their ideas and dreams, their hopes for their lives, their sincere intent to heal and become whole and make the contribution they were called to come here for.

I want to say thank you to all of you who engage in this work. It may feel like play (and yes that’s so good) and it is also such important work – subtle and powerful.

finding tree

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February Photo Journal

hari feb

Young Women Are Medicine Selection day; traditional dance with Nyeredzi children at Kufunda; Nyeredzi kids in their first wood work session; Admire with our first bream from our new fish project; Kufunda Circle during our Village Retreat.

Hello dear friends.

We hosted a Village retreat as a follow up to our Reflection in January. We looked at some of our most challenging issues in terms of working together as a village, in particular our governance and our communication. It was an important and generative retreat, teaching us in particular the power of coming together with an appreciative stance, even when working through challenging issues. We harvested important insights around the rhythm and structure of our village council and our weekly village circles.

A few of us journeyed to Johannesburg for a ‘Dare to Dream’ dance workshop, working with the power of conscious dreaming through movement. It was fabulous to be dancing together as six Zimbabweans in South Africa, and it seems the South Africans appreciated our presence too!

In the middle of the month we hosted a one day selection day for our Young Women are Medicine Programme. Out of 35 women we selected 16 beautiful women. 15 of them have joined us for a month long immersion into the medicine of women at this time.

Our children are enjoying their learning at Nyeredzi. We now have a class learning at Kufunda (we call it Nyeredzi-Kufunda) with Elizabeth Madanire, Waldorf inspired teacher teaching the grade 1-3s. Our older children continue to learn at Nyeredzi in Harare. End of February we hosted a talk on the benefits of Waldorf education at Nyeredzi. as part of our commitment to share and promote a different way of engaging our children in learning with the head, heart and hands.

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December January Photo Journal

HAri Jan 2015

Photos Clock wise from Top Left: Communiversity happy graduates; Kufunda teenagers cooking for the intergenerational retreat; Anna Tennis during the appreciation walk at the intergenerational retreat; New Year reflection on the rocks; Michelle being welcomed into class one from Kindergarten during Nyeredzi beginning of year assembly.P

Happy 2015! We closed and began the year with much Gathering at Kufunda. We gathered for the graduation of the Communiversity Leadership Programme students. It was an emotional and moving affair as the students shared with parents and visitors the extent of their transformative leadership journey.

We closed the year with Kufunda’s now annual intergenerational retreat and celebration. The retreat was hosted by our own Kufunda teenagers. We appreciated the best of 2014 and began to weave dreams for 2015, and we feasted in a beautiful potluck hosted by our youngest.

We rested and began the year with a retreat and reflection on what we have learnt in 2014, together with visiting friends from afar. It was a beautiful retreat, which was also a powerful reminder of the root system of Kufunda and of the new story that we are living and learning in this community. We saw how much we take the community aspect for granted, and realised that our ability to come together in community for co-creation and collaboration is a vital part of what the world needs more of. We look forward to learning how to share these lessons, capacities, and gifts.

January also saw the launch of an old dream. Our school moved a classroom from Harare to Kufunda, so that we finally have a class (of 13) children in grades 1-3 who are learning at Kufunda. Their walk to school is less than a minute! And their learning reverberates into the village. At the end of the month we hosted a screening of the movie Schooling the World at the Book Cafe, stimulating lively conversation on our schooling system.

Coming up is a new programme: Young Women Are Medicine, a month long immersion for young women to step into their power and clarity through personal and collaborative learning. We have an indiegogo funding campaign going, which closes January 30th. Please if you will, any contribution will make a difference.

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Young Women are Medicine

oasis jumpWe have an exciting new programme coming up in March next year. It is called Young Women Are Medicine and it is a one month immersion for young Zimbabwean Women, to support them in growing more fully into their strength, confidence and wisdom.

We have discovered that it is very difficult to identify capable young women to join the Communiversity leadership programme. Most of the young women’s confidence and sense of direction is far less than that of the young men. Many of them are paralysingly shy and completely unused to expressing an opinion especially in diverse company. This is to a large degree due to the lack of support in finding and following their own voice, that young women get as they grow up. There is a real need to create an enabling environment for young women to be able to participate fully confident of who they are and what they bring to their world.

With this programme, we will journey with them during a month of self-discovery, healing, celebration and deepening intention for their life. We will, through the programme, invite them to step in as more choiceful, conscious co-creators of their future.

Their primary focus will be on moving through a carefully designed and structured process to discover their own value, their beauty and their strength.

We will be using our tools and experience from hosting the personal development and leadership strands in the longer leadership programme and take them on journey into themselves as young women.

They will during the last part of their stay in the village use the village as a platform to express their growth and learning by hosting a community engagement process inside the village itself, called the Oasis Game. The challenge of the Oasis Game is to undertake a transformative action in a community, stimulating the participation of each individual in a community engagement and co-creation process around a dream that the village has.

This final very practical step will make the difference between a process that is based on dreams to one that gives them the space to experience and express their own leadership capacities as young women reclaiming their voice and the power.

Please join us to make this important work possible.