If I was to ask you as a Zimbabwean to describe to me the feelings that are mentally invoked when you think about going Kumusha, what would you feel? If as like any person when you speak about visiting eKhaya, wouldn’t you think fondly of a place that you regard with favourable memories.
For most of us Kumusha/eKhaya would be a place we would feel surrounded by loved ones, family, friends, relatives, aunties and uncles. There would be respect, welcome, safety, comfort and familiarity. Words that invoke a sense of wellbeing. Yes I appreciate that for some of us this may not be the case, but for the overwhelming majority of us, Kumusha/eKhaya is our home.
Unyet for so many of us, well over 4 million Zimbabweans infact, our reality is that Kumusha/eKhaya is a distant land, obscured by a great multitude of miles, hidden from view by countries, continents and even oceans. Yet we are still Zimbabweans. We are still fundamentally the people we were at home, just scattered about the place. And while we may be far and wide, there is still the desire to want to belong, to be able to reach out and for a brief moment be able to go Kumusha/eKhaya.
So a group of people that understand these feelings and appreciate that we are so far from home have grouped together and formed Kumusha/eKhaya – The Zimbabwean Community Centre. Out of a humble desire to create a point where Zimbabweans can meet, talk, confide, and seek support in much the same way that you can by going home. Kumusha/eKhaya aims to be that home away from home. A place that you can go to regardless of the circumstances, a place that you can gather and get respect, a place that offers safety, people that know exactly what you mean when you say, “Oh I miss my home!”
We are a team of professional Zimbabweans that have formed a UK based charity that aims to work to support Zimbabweans in all walks of life. From the asylum seeker, to the CEO company executive. No one is too big or too small to call on us for support, advice, comfort, education or direction. Our teams will be available at any time to work with you and aim to get the result you deserve. You are not alone.
Kumusha/eKhaya uses a three pronged approach to achieve its goals.
First and fundamentally Kumusha/eKhaya is a charitable organisation registered in the United Kingdom, working with various organisations on the ground in Zimbabwe that seek to alleviate the effects of poverty and starvation in areas of Zimbabwe that have been devastated by crop failure and poor governance. We also work hard to provide for the ever increasing number of orphans that are left behind as their parents succumb to their battle against AIDS. Through direct support of orphanages and education projects in Zimbabwe we aim to improve the standard of living for these children.
Secondly Kumusha/eKhaya is a Community Project set up in the UK to provide help and support to the Zimbabwean Community living anywhere in the UK.
• To provide an initial point of contact for the Zimbabwean Community enabling association and development.
• To provide befriending support to vulnerable members of the community claiming asylum.
• To advance the education and training of those granted refugee status and their dependants in need thereof so as to advance them in life and assist them to adapt within a new community.
• To advance the education of the public in general about the issues relating to refugees and those seeking asylum.
• To provide support to local government agencies in the education, support and translation services that they might require in both Shona and Ndebele.
• To encourage volunteering with the community to provide sustainable support for the community through cultural and social diversity.
• To organize community and cultural events each year.
Thirdly Kumusha/eKhaya works on a consultative basis. We are an organisation of professionals from many walks of life that challenge the consciousness and practices around donor strategies in Zimbabwe. We aim to engage with donor agencies to build sustainable programs that provide real change to the lives of Zimbabwean people. Our ultimate goal is to shift perceptions and practices away from aid reliance and encourage long term investment in projects that seek to provide opportunities for Zimbabweans to work together with the International Agencies worldwide, and mould and develop its own unique solution to its problems. While funding comes from organisations abroad, we believe it is critical that this funding is used for projects designed and developed by Zimbabwean’s for Zimbabweans together with the Donor Agency. In this way we aim to achieve maximum results from the investment going into Zimbabwe by ensuring that projects are specifically designed for the unique set of problems faced by Zimbabweans living in Zimbabwe. As Zimbabweans ourselves, our organisation is in a fantastic position to facilitate this engagement between parties and brings Zimbabwe and all its possibilities to the table.
So if you are a Zimbabwean abroad, if you’re feeling alone, isolated or unsure of what you should be doing, give us a call. Over the next few weeks and months our services will be coming online so be sure to watch our website, facebook profile and the various other media distribution channels that we use to get our message out to you guys. We are here now. There is no reason for you to feel like no one cares. We are Zimbabweans, working for Zimbabweans aiming to build a better Zimbabwe.