~~Portland Cross-Pollination Project!~~

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June 14, 2007

Kufunda Learning Journey: super cross-pollination!

One of Kufunda’s activities is to host Learning Journeys, week-long visits from international groups who immerse in the Kufunda community to exchange stories, knowledge, and tools and techniques for social change.

I was lucky enough to join a Learning Journey from the Barr Foundation in Boston. A group of 12 Barr Fellows, non-profit leaders from across Boston, came to Kufunda to learn about Kufunda’s model, meet with Kufunda’s community friends (namely, the Uhuru Network!), visit one of Kufunda’s rural communities, and connect with many layers of current Zimbabwe life.


It was very exciting to sit in a circle with a dozen Bostonians who had just arrived in Zimbabwe and listen as they asked questions about the political and cultural aspects of Zimbabwe… let the cross-pollinating begin!

Exploring Kufunda

The next day, the Bostonians and Kufundees spent the morning swapping life stories, first as pairs and then in small groups. In the larger circle, people reported back with their feelings, surprise

Later that day the Bostonians got active with a few projects around Kufunda, making herbal remedies, permaculture garden beds and a new “arbor loo” composting toilet!

One of the evenings we enjoyed dinner at Mrs. Knuth’s house (the mother of Marianne, who founded Kufunda). I shared some Portland stories with the Bostonians… here they are watching the City Repair video.

Later, a few of us had an energetic political conversation with Mrs. Knuth, who works for the government.

Berkana Exchange

The connection between the Bostonians and Kufunda was actually facilitated by another organization called the Berkana Institute. Berkana is a really neat program based on weaving connections between local projects across the world. The Berkana Exchange connects 13 learning centers, including Kufunda Village. This Learning Journey was coordinated with the Barr Foundation as part of a leadership fellowship program. Keep your eyes out for more on Berkana because I am quite excited by their ideas and programs.

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