I’ve spent most of my Zim blogs talking about life in the rural communities. So before I leave, I thought I’d try and give a quick picture of the city of Harare itself. Before I arrived, I’d (ignorantly) been vaguely anticipating something of the scale, bustle and vibrancy of Addis, where I’d spent time last… Continue reading Harare
And so, my three months with Camfed have come to an end. Back in January, everyone I met at Kiva HQ in San Francisco told me how fortunate I was to get the opportunity to work with ‘one of Kiva’s most impressive, and most loved, partners’. I now completely understand what they meant. The experience… Continue reading A Journey with Camfed
This is one of the most common questions I get, when I explain the concept of Kiva to people. And it’s an understandable response: isn’t lending money to individual borrowers, living in poverty thousands of miles away, enormously risky? How do you ever get the money back? If you look at the Kiva website, you… Continue reading Will they pay back?
My borrower visits in the past couple of weeks took me up to the northernmost regions of Zimbabwe, to the district of Binga, straddling the Zambezi River and the Zambian border. Binga is a six hour journey north of Bulawayo, a completely straight road with only one single junction (when you’ve got only one turn-off to… Continue reading Binga and the Batonga
HIFA (Harare International Festival of the Arts) lived up to the hype. It’s pretty impressive: nearly a couple of hundred performances this year, around 2/3rds of them artists from Zimbabwe. There was a wonderful buzz in the city over the 6 days. For me personally, the performances I’ll remember best were from Hope Masike, Tariro… Continue reading HIFA
An added benefit of getting to see Victoria Falls this weekend, was the chance to nip across to Livingstone, in Zambia, to visit the new Book Bus reading room opened in the town late last year. Livingstone sits just a few kms from the Zimbabwe border: after emigration, you walk between the two countries across… Continue reading The Book Bus in Livingstone (and some waterfalls…)
Over the past few weeks, I’ve come to realise the extent to which society in rural areas here in Zimbabwe, remains very patriarchal. Not just in the small rituals, such as men having pride of place on the kitchen bench whilst women stay on the floor, or the special bowl reserved for the (male) head… Continue reading Breaking the Thatched Ceiling
One of the things that has struck me when I spend time in the rural districts with the Camfed team, is the extent of the impact that is being achieved when people from across different sections of a community come together, establishing strong networks and working in collaboration. I’ve been seeing this time and again,… Continue reading Communities in Action