Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Growing Roots

TOP del.icio.us

The Tree of Life had its last partners meeting of 2012
Representatives came from each of our 15 different community partners
from neighboring Chisawasha and Chitungweza, and as far as Buhera, Murehwa and Motoko
over 60 old friends meeting from across the country after a years of dedicated work
gay colours and gay voices echo through the trees

Over this last year, three of these rural communities are now established as locally approved and licensed organizations
five more are in the process of setting theirs up
the others are still doing facilitator training and getting organized for next year

the roots are in the ground

rural workshops have taken place in communities in widening circles
run on a minimal budget (transport and food and cell phone air time)
and are being welcomed by the local authorities across political divide.
they have included teachers and headmen and war veterans and rape victims
and perpetrators and pastors and counselors  and grandmothers and children
we have trained 50 new facilitators
there have been football matches between communities
and monthly circles
and facilitators sharing responsibility for running healing circles between communities

The work of connecting to all the structures, to individuals in different communities and maintaining the circles has been unending

This year the Tree of Life facilitators – the core team and a number of our community facilitators
conducted a research study lead by CVT (the Centre for Victims of Torture)
with 144 participants in rural communities  (some a 14 km walk from the bus stop)
we compared our workshop with an alternative (Psychology Education) intervention and a group with no intervention
double blind/pre and post interviews/ 2months and 5 months follow ups etc.etc.
The results are amazing

They show beyond any doubt
that Zimbabweans (even as the conflict continues) have the ability to heal themselves
that survivor-to-victim facilitation in community circles carries incredible power
that communities have the ability to transform
that connections can be made across the country and the political divide

The power of this realization is immense . . .

from those early seeds sewn in those first circles over 8 years ago
we find ourselves standing in a growing forest

Over these years – as we have struggled with funding
small groups of people across the planet have sent us life-saving pocket money
we call it ‘Love Money’ and keep it in the Circle Fund
it has been these acts of trust and generosity from these small groups that has kept these rural people going

It is now Christmas

We received a donation from our friends at WHEAT in Canada which arrived just before our closing circle
and with it we were able to answer a call we have had from a number of our rural partners
– a bike to reach one another in the communities!
So we handed out ‘the-price-of-a-bike’ Christmas tokens (about $70) to each of our Tree of Life partners
for them to choose how it can best be spent in their area
and acknowledged them all for the contribution they have given to the healing and holding of their communities

It has been a good, hard, real year
thank you all

Comments are closed.