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June 15, 2007

Learning Journey in Rusape

With the Boston Barr Fellows, we visited one of the rural communities that Kufunda works with. Over two days with the Rusape community in eastern Zimbabwe we witnessed the seeds of Kufunda’s work that was growing in this rural area!!

We were greeted with a big celebration, speeches and tour of some of the projects. We first met a very lively group of women and children singing “Mahuya!” (welcome) and dancing around us. In the center of the meeting area we found a group of school children playing marimba, and everyone started dancing – it was really fun.

The Rusape community went all out to welcome the Boston visitors… we lined up to shake hands with the local chiefs and headmen, and then watched an opening ceremony where three elder women brought water and homemade beers on their knees to the chiefs.

Then there were plenty of speeches (some political, some about the projects). Lou from Boston got up and thanked everyone for their warm welcome.

Here are some of the Kufunda-inspired projects:

The Preschool (ok, older kids are pictured here)

Arbor Loo composting toilets (once they are full, the toilet is moved and a tree is planted above-- here you can see the new tree)

Tree planting project

Rammed earth natural building (reviving a forgotten local building method)

It was great to see the myriad Kufunda-inspired projects, and the community energy and empowerment that was built through them!

I really enjoyed the bus ride to and from Rusape—a chance to learn more about the work of the Boston folks, and just hang out and sing together!!

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