As we approach the year 2016, we reflect back on the last 2 years since the project of expanding and developing the existing Silundika family homestead in Ward 6, Bulilima District, Zimbabwe to become a Cultural Community Centre was first proposed in 2013.
Ward 6 residents have since shown what can be accomplished by people with a common purpose working together to develop their own area. By first electing a management committee in July 2013 to oversee and supervise the development process on the site, the villagers were well advised to choose a team that will guide them in the development of the centre. Since then, scores of volunteers including football teams from the Gala area and the surrounding villages have taken turns in clearing the shrubs that had grown in the 15 acre site over the the last two years. Their work paved the way for a very successful and well publicized groundbreaking ceremony last July, an event that attracted the participation of more than a thousand villagers including the local leadership, cultural dance groups and well wishers. That was the official launch the construction phase, including renovations of the existing building which will on a later date be turned into a museum displaying late national hero’s personal effects. Recently we posted photos on our website of women coming from a number of surrounding villages to take turns in interweaving tall grass at the centre. All these efforts come in the heels of the commissioning of the TG Silundika Pipeline Project which saw the refurbishment water tanks and a pipeline infrastructure that draws water from the nearby Manzamnyama River and serves as the main source of water in the area.The next phase is that of construction of the buildings that will make up the TG Silundika Cultural Community Centre & Memorial Library. A Community Center that includes a preschool, a Centre for the Performing Arts, a Theatre, Arts and Crafts Gazebos are among the buildings which we aim to complete in the first phase of construction. Our mission is to provide recreational, cultural and educational programs for our community. It will also be a gathering place for the community at large and also play host to community and civic organizations. From time to time the centre will invite professionals and experts to assist in community capacity building.
Next July, the centre is hoping to play host to a world renowned anthropologist from the United State, Mr Gordon J Bronitsky. Mr Bronitsky has an impressive record in working with indigenous peoples and in marketing of the performing arts and festival development around the world. (www.bronitskyandassociates.com).
Villagers in Bulilima District and Ward 6 in particular, have demonstrated, and continue to show their support by volunteering their time at the centre in many different ways. We feel an obligation to compliment those efforts by setting high standards in accountability and delivering on our pledge to find solutions to problems that afflict the beneficiary audience; the community. Once operational, the centre will be run by the community and operated under the registered Silundika Family Trust and The Silundika Family Foundation, registered in the Netherlands.
In order to fulfill our mission we need your support, first to build a self sustaining community centre which upon completion will also be a tourist attraction. All monies raised will be channeled towards the construction projects, supervised by the elected management committee. Donations can now be made through our website. No amount is too small, and every donation is greatly appreciated. Thank you and HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE!