This community-based organization works by seeking out, encouraging and backing Indigenous innovation in Mazvihwa.
The word Muonde refers to indigenous fig trees of this semi-arid region, especially the big beautiful free-standing Ficus sur. This is a tree associated with fruits, birds, and life. It is noted to particularly grow and thrive in places where there is water beneath the ground. It becomes huge and enduring. It is a tree that accommodates ancestral spirits as they move between the worlds.
Through locally-driven educational, agricultural and community extension programs, and a healthy dose of action research, Indigenous development efforts that maintain the connections between spirit, community and ecology are identified and supported.
Everything at the Muonde Trust is focused on transforming the experience of development from one driven through top-down externally-derived resources and ideas (in which locals are a “target” and exhorted to “participate”) to instead one that people themselves own and that encourages the bottom-up generation and sharing of practical knowledge alongside providing empowering training when needed.
Youth taking the lead in the restoration and revitalization of sacred Rambotemwa sites is a program that targets wisdom sharing among the Elders and young people through moonlight fire meetings known traditionally and locally as ‘Jenaguru’.
The youth need mentorship and platforms for knowledge and wisdom sharing. This program seeks to create platforms for youth learning, Elder and youth interaction and sacred knowledge sharing. The energetic youth understand the importance of community sacred places, taking responsibility in the protection of those sites.
Bringing young people close to the knowledgeable and cultural knowledge holders is vital not for just wisdom sharing but for environmental, spiritual and ecological restoration as well.