A grassroots project initiated by Fanuel Masunda
Paushamwari (Friendly) Organic Communities is built on values of solidarity, friendship and living and working together. The venture was initiated in 2015 when I enrolled at kanthari International Leadership Institute for social changemakers. I felt the need to use my academic background to initiate a project that would make communities come together. I wanted to use existing available resources including human resources, natural resources and social capital, to grow and further develop my community. The focus of the initiative is on empowering people who are usually looked down upon as useless and unproductive in the community. These are young people and women who are very poor and when they join forces, they will make a team that can be very resourceful in the community development. We will support them to initiate environmentally friendly, economically sound and socially inclusive projects. The initial projects were initiated by our beneficiaries and their focus is on food security and healthy living.
Chivi, Masvingo, Zimbabwe
All Age Groups
Instead of talking about my challenge I would like to talk about my inspiration which led to founding Paushamwari. Growing-up I have seen and experienced both the struggles and determination in poorer and vulnerable communities in my village. My father was a farmer and one of the most resourceful person in the community. Through his agricultural exploits, he was able to send me and my siblings to school. As I was growing up in the village, I could see the challenges poor families were facing. My family would do everything they can to help the other families, and in return, families would help my father and my mother with farm work. I learned that everybody matters and when people help each other, they can grow and develop together. Families which came together and helped or worked with each other, have been leading better and more comfortable lives. However, I noticed that most of the poor are being neglected and they have not found a voice to speak-up for them against the inequalities in community. These poor and vulnerable people are looked down upon as subjects of pity. I believe that we need to give an opportunity to these people which will help them to lead better lives and become productive members of the society.
Supporting community based agricultural projects and other initiatives which empowers our target group to be productive members in their community.
Number of direct beneficiaries: 25 first batch
Number of indirect beneficiaries: 300+ (The number of indirect beneficiaries is the whole community which has been following and supporting our work.)
Target community are people from the district of Chivi in Masvingo province.
Activities will be focused on empowering our beneficiaries to produce enough food for their families and to become financially sustainable. Further, we want them to learn more about environmental protection and natural resources management. The main challenges in the district are: droughts and long dry spells; food security and environmental degradation. In this regards, they will be empowered to produce food using sustainable agricultural methods and entrepreneurial skills in order for them to earn money and become financially independent. Other activities will include watershed development and promotion of health lifestyles practices. Young people, women and children will spearhead the activities because we want to cultivate a culture of collaboration - living and working together towards a better community.
Tawanda Mapipi is a young 31-year-old man. He is a husband and a father. In his life, Tawanda has never been formally employed and he has been struggling to provide for his family. Once he traveled to South Africa but unfortunately he had to return home because he experienced xenophobia. After this experience, he decided to start to produce food on a small piece of land at his homestead. However, his land is very dry and he does not have necessary resources to produce enough food to feed his family. Tawanda came with an idea to harvest water and he manually dug a big well to irrigate his small garden. Now, he is able to provide enough fresh and healthy food for his family but also he has been successful in selling the vegetables from his garden and earn money. We need to support these kind of initiatives and create peer-to-peer platforms and networks for collaboration among young people. For example, water management systems can be established for production of food but also the whole community will have benefit from it.
Field recharge pit for vegetables irrigation in drought prone region