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It is kind to ask for help

By Maaianne

Pictures of Kufunda in action from the past few years.

In November last year we launched a matching grant funding campaign - to match 25,000 USD.

We had two months to match 25,000 from friends. That was the stipulation, that the money was to come from friends, rather than foundations. Individuals who knew and loved Kufunda from around the world.

I was terrified. I have done many smaller crowdfunding campaigns over the years, and had almost never reached our targets. In the past we have primarily used social media to share the campaigns. This time I realised I needed to reach out to people personally, intimately, directly.

It took a tremendous amount of inner overcoming.

In the act of reaching out, I came to discover my own internal assumptions, that if we were successful as a village we would not need to ask for help. And so a deep seated belief revealed itself around individuality and what success is - a belief of needing to be able to do it alone - a belief which was somehow the opposite of what Kufunda is about in terms of co-creation, collaboration and working together!

A friend and mentor once shared from one of the native american wisdom holders a saying - It is kind to ask for help. And they take it one step further - Those who cannot ask for help cannot be trusted (!)

I remembered these during my process of reaching out, and through the responses we were getting began to understand the truth of the kindness of asking for help.

So from feeling that our asking for help is a burdening of the world, we began to see - and experience - how it is an opportunity to weave the world together a little more. In asking, we give those whom we ask a chance to connect to, or to reconnect to a place of need, and to bring their offering. I know from my many years in working with social issues, that one of the greatest gifts to the human soul is the meaning that arises out of being able to serve.

Thus as we ask for help, we open this gateway and possibility for the other - to connect and engage and be of service.

So many precious exchanges and reconnections have come out of our asking. Not as a social media thing, but of each one being addressed and approached personally, and of writing back. For some it brought about new conversations; for some a reconnection over zoom, and new ideas born both in us and in them. In these encounters, I came to recognise how much inspiration was brought to many people by being brought back in relationship with Kufunda - a learning village which they have been following from afar over the past 20 years. We underestimate the joy and hope it brings for people to see that we are still going; that something is growing here, and that we are (still!) learning our way into healthy vibrant community.

We raised 32,000 USD.

Well above the 25,000 we set out to raise. It feels miraculous somehow, and I want to express our deep deep gratitude for the love and support you offered.

I also want to express our surprise that we could be supported this fully by friends from around the world. The surprise points to another inner belief to be looked at and overcome - perhaps a disbelief in our own value. Our delight - and surprise - is helping us root a little more firmly into the knowledge of the gift of what we bring - as you all mirror that with your love and support.

Kufunda began from the belief and conviction that there is wealth and wisdom and beauty in this beautiful country of Zimbabwe. As we enter our 21st year it seems it is time to step out into the world and share more explicitly, and more fully, some of what that is.

So stay tuned as we find our way to share with you - who we are and what we have been learning and living in community in Zimbabwe over the past 2 decades.

With deep appreciation.

Should you wish to make a contribution please do. We would love our work to be rooted through the on-going support of friends. You can sign up on our Patreon site, where you will be receiving monthly podcast reflections from our Learning Journey as a Learning Village.


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