Zimbabwe Community Development Project
The Zimbabwe Community Development Project grew out of the close musical and personal connections that Kutsinhira members developed with their Zimbabwean teachers and friends. Since 2002, Kutsinhira members have raised funds through concerts, garage sales and direct donations to support community development, health and educational efforts in Zimbabwe. Funds raised have been used in Zimbabwe for school fees, school supplies, water purification during cholera outbreaks, hygiene kits for girls, rural medical assistance, village wells, rebuilding huts and providing emergency food during famine. The program enables members of Kutsinhira to tangibly improve the quality of life for some of Zimbabwe’s most vulnerable people.
The ZCDP has supported small one-time projects and larger efforts sponsored by like-minded organizations. A sampling of supported projects and efforts include:
Nhimbe for Progress
Founded by Jaiaen Beck (Kutsinhira member) and Cosmas Magaya (Zimbabwean mbira teacher) in 1999, Nhimbe works in six villages, serving over 1,350 people. Donations have allowed Ancient Ways, the nonprofit organization that sponsors Nhimbe, to rebuild huts and toilets, ensure children attend school, and work with villagers to secure clean water and health care, which includes conventional, traditional, and alternative approaches.
For more information see the Nhimbe for Progress website.
Tariro is a grassroots nonprofit organization working in Zimbabwe to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS by educating young women and girls. Founded by Jennifer Kyker (Kutsinhira member and teacher) in 2003, Tariro currently funds the education of about 50 girls, providing a comprehensive range of services enabling them to complete a secondary school education.
For more information see the Tariro website.
Humwe’s primary goal is to preserve the traditional music and culture of the people of Zimbabwe. Humwe provides free mbira and marimba classes to students that range in age from 9 years to 16 years. There is an additional emphasis on having girls participate in the program as girls have historically been excluded from playing mbira. Funds from the ZCDP helped purchase a set of marimbas for the program.
For more information see the Humwe website.
Bana Bengwana Development Trust is an initiative by and for the people from the Ngwana area in rural Plumtree, Zimbabwe and beyond. The organization was born out of the realization by the people of Ngwana that if there was going to be any meaningful development in the Ngwana area, the vision and ideas and practical steps towards that kind of development needed to be articulated in deeds and action by these same people.
For more information see the Ngwana website.
Vaima Arts Trust
Vaima advocates for homeless youth, orphans and people living with disabilities in the Harare area of Zimbabwe. Currently Vaima’s primary focus is to use music and creative arts to rehabilitate and empower these marginalized communities. Individuals are taught how to play and craft Zimbabwean traditional instruments such as marimba, ngoma, hosho and mbira. Vaima and the individuals they serve perform in different venues as their major income source.
For more information see the Vaima website or social media Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
The Mambira Foundation aims to create equal access to the arts, technology, health services, and recreation in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The current development priorty is to supply a source of renewable energy to the Mzilikazi Youth Center through solar panels. With this in place the center can provide technical training in computers skills, an essential for success in any professional field. The center serves 50-100 youth per month.
For more information see the Mambira Foundation website.
Ubuntu Free School
Founded by Moyo Rainos Mutabma in 2019, Ubuntu aims to build a more equitable world by ensuring everyone has acces to meaningful education. The program serves 50 students in preschool through grade 3 in rural Gutu. Students do no pay school fees and are not obligated to wear uniforms.
Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center
P.O. Box 50823
Eugene, OR 97405