In Zimbabwe, Marianne Knuth helps local people draw on the wisdom and talent of each other to solve problems big and small.
WHO? Marianne Knuth WHAT? Kufunda Village, a ‘learning community’ for self-support WHERE? Kufunda, Zimbabwe WHEN? 2001 WHY? To make use of and stimulate human potential
Marianne Knuth was such a brilliant student at business school in Copenhagen that everyone was sure she’d be a big success. There was nothing keeping her from the top in the world of international business. Nothing, except her fierce desire to use her talents for something other than the financial interests of a few. Together with a group of friends, she founded the Pioneers of Change, a ‘global learning community’ of 20 and 30-year-olds who want to make a difference (www.pioneersofchange.net).
The network has more than 1,000 representatives working on social issues in 70 countries, Knuth is ready to take on a bigger challenge. She went back to Zimbabwe, where her mother was born, to help stimulate people’s potential in a ‘learning community’. That dream became Kufunda Village, a collection of huts some half-hour south of the capital Harare, where Zimbabweans can join together to conceive their own solutions to daily problems.
In Kufunda people can take courses in sustainable farming, production and marketing useful items, and they can learn how to run a small business. “Kufunda Village is a part of a dream and a vision I have for an awakened Africa,” Knuth says. “ A strong and healthy participant in what happens in the rest of the world.” – MV