Archive for the 'Inspiration' Category
On Friday I visited the Harare Children’s Home. The home is for children who were abandoned or abused. It also offers a safe place for newborn children. They try to train the children as much as possible so they can sustain themselves when they are older and have to leave the home. Boys can only stay to the age of 10 and girls to the age of 20.
When I arrived I was offered a tour around the home and was struck by the warm atmosphere in the home. I was shown all the various projects being carried out by the home, including one that particularly caught my attention, their garden project. The home grows vegetables in their garden, some of which are used in the kitchen for the children, but the rest are sold to the public, to raise some money for the home.
I was told it is a very successful project but the main problem is finding a market for the vegetables. People do go to the home and buy vegetables directly while the older girls at the home sell some on the side of the road.
So if you are looking for some delicious looking vegetables, grown with love and intention, then I recommend a visit to the children’s home, where you can find the vegetables you are looking for as well as help out a good cause.
Where? 2 Daventry Rd, Eastlea, Harare
Last Friday I went to have a look at the Zimbabwe Association of Female Photographers (ZAPF) exhibition. It is an amazing illustration of talent, as well as being a great cause for female empowerment. It expresses women’s abilities and has given a chance for female photojournalists in Zimbabwe to demonstrate their talents in an exceptional display.
The exhibit has a wide variety of photography, from landscape to portrait and nature. The exhibit is well displayed and each piece carefully explained. I would highly recommend anyone with an interest in art to have a look.
Many of the pieces carry strong messages, from political to social. A particularly captivating piece was the exhibit “Pimp My Kombi” by Nancy Mteki. This exhibit explores “the notion of public transport as a social environment, marked by gendered power relations in which the woman remains objectified”, as described in the caption.
Another particularly prominent piece was “The Referendum Grid”, a collaboration of the work of Angela Jimu, Davina Jogi, Cynthia Matonhodze and Annie Mpalume. This politically striking series shows various images taken during the referendum, displaying a variety of emotions and attitudes. The different images contrast each other making it holistic and captivating.
I would advise anyone with an interest in art, or with a bit of time to spare to go and have a look at the exhibition at 15 Princess Drive, Newlands. It is open until the 24th May from 1pm to 2pm during the week and 10am to 1pm on Saturdays and is a couple of hours well spent!
The Recipe of Love: Ingredients
A few cloves of Garlic
1 Chinese cabbage
2kg or so of stewing beef
8 packs of Royco Usavi Mix
About 30 loaves Bread (I’m not entirely sure about this figure though!)
A fraction of a 2litre bottle of cooking oil
Green peppers (I cut these!)
4 Oxtail stock cubes
About 500g of flour
LOADS of water
1.Begin the morning by collecting weekly donations and buying the remaining ingredients.
2.Get to the Lutheran Church, on Chatima road in Mbare.
3.Unload supplies and set up cooking equipment in one of the church’s halls.
4.Put a large pot of pasta to boil.
5.Fry up garlic, onions, tomatoes, and beef in cooking oil.
6.Slowly add the rest of the vegetables and seasoning, with water.
7.Have a good chat and few giggles over the large simmering pots.
8.Thicken with flour and add cooked pasta.
9.Boil for as long as possible.
10.Serve hot, with a smile and 2 slices of bread.
Serves more than you would think – I estimate that well over 70 children, their mothers and grandmothers had a bowl, with many having seconds and even taking some home in the lunch boxes they had brought along with them.
Yesterday, I helped make this soup, (well, more like cut a few vegetables!) and saw firsthand the impact that so few ingredients can have on a struggling community. Every Tuesday afternoon, the With Love Foundation runs a soup kitchen from the Lutheran Church in Mbare, serving up a hearty soup with slices of fresh bread to hundreds of women and children in the community. The soup does not necessarily follow this recipe, as members of the foundation use whatever ingredients are available on any given Tuesday, and this, they say, has often made for some interesting soup variations.
Speaking with one of the foundation’s founding members, Chenai Mudede, over the large bubbling pots of ‘love soup’, I soon realized that this weekly labour of love was not easy to sustain, with the foundation’s members funding the majority of the initiative from their own pockets. Though the ingredients list may not seem like much, these weekly amounts certainly do add up to quite significant costs, which are becoming more and more challenging to sustain.
As she spoke, I looked around and compiled a mental shopping list of the ingredients I had seen thrown into the large pots, and thought to myself, “Surely it wouldn’t take much in the way of donations, to gather all these things on a weekly basis.” There is nothing outlandish on this list of ingredients! I began to imagine how much more soup could be made if Harare residents donated the odd packet of Usavi Mix here, or a packet of carrots there. It is, after all, the little things that count!
I first heard about the With Love Foundation soup kitchen towards the end of 2012 when I read a news report on what was then a fairly new initiative, and made it a New Year’s Resolution to get involved. However, like so many resolutions, it got tucked away on my never-ending to-do list. It wasn’t until mid-March 2013, when I met a lovely girl from the organization, that I was given a gentle but firm reminder of what I had promised I would do.
Yesterday, through a recent partnership between With Love Foundation and Kuumba Foundation Trust, a Christian organization I volunteer with, focused on rebuilding and maintaining healthy family structures, I finally found myself at the Lutheran Church on Chatima Rd, in Mbare, Harare, cutting green peppers, and setting up benches for the Women’s Parenting Workshop the two organizations had collaborated to host in conjunction with the weekly soup kitchen. While the soup bubbled away, members of the Kuumba Foundation Trust spoke to the group of mothers that had gathered, addressing parenting issues, centered especially on effective communication.
That soup smelt amazing and I found it hard to concentrate on the women’s workshop I had come for, as the rich aroma wafted throughout the churchyard, drawing larger crowds by the minute. I wish I could tell you all how wonderful the soup tasted, but unfortunately I didn’t get to have any. By the time I finished recording video and taking photos of the Women’s Parenting Workshop that was also taking place outside, all the soup was gone! Well, if the speed with which those two giant pots were emptied is any indication of the soup’s great taste, then it’s safe to conclude that this week’s batch was a culinary masterpiece.
I wonder what next week’s soup will have in it!
Did you know!
Already Baker’s Inn donates loaves of bread each week, Pioneer Gas provides a free monthly gas refill, and several individuals donate in cash and kind. If you would like to donate ingredients for next Tuesday’s soup, pledge ongoing support or volunteer your time, please contact With Love Foundation via their email address; info [at] withlove [dot] co [dot] zw, their Facebook page; www.facebook.com/WithLoveFoundation, or using their Twitter Handle; @WithLoveZim.
There is nothing more beautiful than a sunset on the Zambezi River, and listening to the hippos while drinking a nice cold beer. And Mana Pools is possibly the best place to do this.
Recently I went on a four-day trip to Mana with a friend, and was amazed by the beauty and serenity. There is an abundance of animals along the river (especially at this time of the year with the bush so dry) from herds of elephant and waterbuck to lions and hyenas. As my friend said there is nowhere else in the world were you can set up a scottle and make breakfast while the sun rises with waterbuck and hippos less than 500 metres from where you are sitting. On one particular morning, we sat quite peacefully eating our breakfast as a lioness (only about 300 metres away) summed up her chances swimming across the river, dodging the crocodiles.
It is the best place to escape from the stress of everyday life as you feel totally submerged in the remoteness. Even in the main camp there is a general respect for everyone else’s privacy giving a very relaxed atmosphere to kick back and watch some game, or just chill under a tree with a good book.
The Women’s Trust in 2007-2008 ran the Women Can Do It! Campaign, which saw many women contesting Parliamentary seats. The campaign, which ran smoothly and was synonymous with the song, ‘Ndi mai vanogona’ spread to all corners of the country. On the 2nd of May, The Women’s Trust launched the SiMuka Zimbabwe Campaign that encourages women to take part in elections with three main objectives. The campaign wants women to register to vote, to vote and to vote for other women. The campaign’s promotional materials include four different coloured t-shirts, which convey various messages in three languages Shona, Ndebele and English to accommodate every Zimbabwean.
Simuka Zimbabwe is not only for the new voter but for women who have voted during the past elections too. To these women, the campaign encourages them to check that their names still exist in the voters roll. The Director, Memory Kachambwa during the launch clearly pointed out that the campaign has various strategies to target the different women in the country. It is with interest to note that Simuka Zimbabwe is of a dynamic and broad spectrum as it not only encourages voter participation but goes a step further to give a wake call to men and women of Zimbabwe to get up, wake and rise ‘n’ shine.
A booklet is available that empowers women to make better informed decision when voting. The words of founder and Board Secretary Luta Shaba sum up all what Simuka Zimbabwe seeks to achieve, “If you have seen what you want then go and shop for your leader.” The Women’s Trust through their campaign continue to try and develop a critical mass of women who can articulate issues and effect changes.