Kufunda Village

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

Leave a comment

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


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


1 Comment

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

1 Comment

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.



1 Comment

My true face that I would have never seen

Poem by Richard Pio, Participant on the Communiversity Programme



They painted me red, blue, green even yellow
A thousand brushes, a million strokes
I didn’t know
Various craftsmen, so many voices
The potter’s hand moulding
The sculptors chisel sculpting
Who can define, give meaning
Knowledge in abundance
But who can give understanding
They tinkered with the shell
Made dents, broke limbs, gave bruises
Yet inside the fire goes unquenched
The river runs unimpeded
Where did you from – Opened the flood gates
Broken the dam, release this torrent
Now I’ve put my shackles asunder
Walk with me run with me Kufunda
My mirror, you have shown me
My true face that I would have never seen

Leave a comment

Kufunda Photo Journal April-May

Photos Clock wise from Top Left: Tinotenda, Ethel and more dancing off the husks during our Village Reatreat; The Kufunda youth preparing for Culture day; Traditional dance from the Chimanimani region; Young leaders playin the flow game during the Art of Hosting - Exploring their leadership questions; Nyimo  - after the dance; Ethel and Enock taking a break during the Art of Hosting workshop; Water Warrior Dance on Culture Day.

Photos Clock wise from Top Left: Tinotenda, Ethel and more dancing off the husks during our Village Reatreat; The Kufunda youth preparing for Culture day; Traditional dance from the Chimanimani region; Young leaders playin the flow game during the Art of Hosting – Exploring their leadership questions; Nyimo – after the dance; Ethel and Enock taking a break during the Art of Hosting workshop; Water Warrior Dance on Culture Day.





















The last two months have been full of joy at the village. 

We hosted our Village retreat for the second time. It is our new tradition which includes the full village, young and old. This time we celebrated harvest time, and in cultural style we DANCED our crops home. The whole village spent a few hours dancing on the beans as a simple, fun and engaging way to dehusk them. The top picture shows the light that can shine during such a dance.

We continued in preparation for our Culture Day, a collaboration with the Tree of Life. Around 300 people joined us on May 2nd, to express, witness 

and celebrate the different cultural expressions from around Zimbabwe. We ended the month with an Art of Hosting workshop, in which we hosted over 40 young leaders from across Zimbabwe for a four day experience and exploration of participatory leadership, as a part of our programme selection process. We selected 20 of those 40 for our upcoming Leadership programme, which begins at the end of June.


Leave a comment

Leadership for Sustainable Communities

Reflections from two Youth Leadership Programmes in 2013

In April we completed a Youth Leadership Programme that offered us the insight to perform a more stringent selection process for future programmes.

climb youthThe Youth Leadership programme followed a similar structure and curricula as our previous programme. The participants however seemed to experience more difficulties to go deep.

This helped us clarify that our key intention with this programme is to support young people to discover their passion and life work and to develop the courage and the freedom to choose who they want to be. This requires people who are willing to work with getting to know themselves. The other aspects of learning about community building and the practical skills required for sustainable community flow from there.

Kufunda’s mission is much broader and encompassing than those practical elements. Real change requires change in individuals. People waking up to who they are and who they can become.

For the second programme of the year, we focused much more on ensuring that we were selecting the right people. Young people who were willing to go on an inner journey as well as an outer one. They had to fill an application form, and were then invited for a four day Art of Hosting Training. This training served as a selection platform. This process enabled us to choose sixteen participants in a very conscious way.

The programme is just coming to an end, and it has been a rich and fruitful journey – for them as well as for us as a village.

The second big change from previous programmes, was to integrate them fully into the village. They joined our planning sessions, our weekly meetings, and our learning sessions to have a first-hand experience of how community life can be organized. They in turn brought their ideas and energy to the issues and projects at hand. So in addition to being in leadership sessions, and apprentices to the practical skills of Kufunda, they were also real contributors to the life and work of the village.

We look forward to welcoming a new cohort in 2014.

community work