Kufunda began as a dream almost fifteen years ago when Maaianne Knuth, founder, returned from Denmark to Zimbabwe. She was drawn by her experience of her Zimbabwean home as being rich and alive, and yet also seeing that many people there saw first and foremost that which they did not have. Her own experience of the wisdom and beauty of the Zimbabwean people, and especially those from rural places, led her to create Kufunda as a place of learning, where people could recover their sense of pride, wisdom, and capacity in working with their own knowledge and deepening their resourcefulness. As Kufunda began, the need to integrate the best from many places, far and near, was integrated into the work.
Today there are 28 of us who live and work at Kufunda with our families in an on-going learning of what it means to live and co-create healthy vibrant community. This work shows up in different arenas:
Healing with the Land
We are committed to regenerating the land and fostering healthy and sustainable relationship with land and natural environment. Since 2019 we have started working with Biodynamic Farming. We grow our food in such a way that we continue to enrich and improve the soil with the vision to leave the soil in a better and better condition year on year. This means we practice crop rotation, working with green manures, mulching (always!), intercropping where possible, growing own fodder, compost making as core to the farming process (aiming to make 60-100 composts per year), and continuing to make and sell the biodynamic preparations.
We are well on the way with our Agroforestry pilot with a bold vision of eventually planting 10,000 trees in a syntropic farming system that works with a diversity of trees (fruit, nuts, indigenous, and biomass trees). We are learning to integrate our small cow herd - seeking to increase the herd, sell the males for meat and increase our stock of females.
All of this is done in collaboration with our Waldorf inspired School and together with parents and nearby farmers - so we can grow and learn together. We are supported by Demeter mentors Anne and Rolf Bucher helping us deepen into the complex but rewarding practice of Biodynamic Farming.
Healing in Community
Core to Kufunda's work is learning how to become stronger together. We have worked for the past 18 years with rural communities using participatory approaches to help communities identify what they most care about and find the way to move towards this together. We support communities heal the social fabric, acknowledging and using the wealth and resources they have; and enabling communities to become strong, empowered agents of their own destiny.
This work is currently being strengthened by our collaboration with Trust Africa and ORAP out of which we have create GATEWAY ZIMBABWE, which is contributing to healing the social Fabric of Zimbabwe, whilst developing and creating responses to the growing social challenges. Kufunda is bringing to the Gateway and to our work with communities many social practices, such as:
- The Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that Matter
- The Oasis Game
- The Go Deep Game
We seek to help our children (and children of the communities) develop into free and strong individuals, supporting and strengthening their gifts and to establish the knowledge and appreciation of Waldorf Education in Zimbabwe.
We are in the process of being acknowledged as a fully fledged Waldorf School with the international Waldorf Federation. We have one fully qualified Waldorf teacher and two teachers in the process of doing their Waldorf Teacher Training. When we see the activities and joy of our children it is clear that this approach to teaching and learning is a part of building a different future for our children but also for our communities and country.
"I think you are doing an amazing job , and I do strongly believe that with every workshop you make a difference in people’s attitude towards nutrition, natural herbs and healing."
“Kufunda is a place where our dreams are brought back to life. A lot of youth have lost hope on their dreams. Here we saw that they can come true.”
"I would recommend Young Women are Medicine, because it helps in self discovery around your passion and purpose; in discovery of gifts and abilities. It is perfecting the potential you already have."
Young Women are Medicine