What moves you? A collective poem

by Deborah Frieze on September 13, 2011

The following post was offered via Facebook by Nathan Daniel.

A collective poem by the participants of the South Africa to Zimbabwe Learning Journey hosted by Greenhouse Project, Johannesburg and Kufunda Village, Harare on 10-20 August 2011. After a day attending sustainability projects in Jhb CBD, we spent two days learning together at Kufunda Village, followed by two days in a rural community. Seventeen South African youth from Cape Town and Johannesburg collaborated with over 20 Kufunda youth to lead an Oasis Game in the small village of Tandi in the Rusape town district of Manicaland, approximately 160 kilometers southeast of Harare, Zimbabwe. This journey was facilitated by the South African and Zimbabwean Warriors Without Weapons who had trained in 2009 and 2011 with Instituto Elos in Santos, Brazil. It was an extraordinary, espectacular gathering of youth, mobilizing 200+ community members who together built four wonderful playgrounds and completed a beautiful pre-school / community centre all in the space of two days. This is a harvest of the final words of our closing circle, which I was blessed to host with Lorraine from Kufunda. Photos and updates on

Zimbabwe is my new home. My Oasis. Being in my home was so inspiring. This was my first time, and it was very special.

Making a big fire, the whole night I couldn’t sleep. Taking leadership as part of a team, really seeing the other.

Following the invitation, finding a huge connection with my team, and seeing they are going so far.

The way we worked, the way we laughed, the way we walked the distance – we walked the distance.

Taking Leadership. Taking Care.

Now I have a lot of energy to go to that crazy world of ours, South Africa. This has been unusual for me. My first of many.

With lots of challenges, this was very testing. Fulfillment. Clarity. Growth. Three words that are the strongest feelings I have.

Getting to know the community was an experience I have never had before. I’ve developed new interests I never knew I had.

I’ve really benefitted.

It was a great opportunity to be together. Especially the experience of how the Community of Zimbabwe is. I think of continuing this, in the whole of our country.

Expand my leadership through working with Young and Old. This is the future of hope. We have it and we will do it. So many questions… What moves me?

Love. Team Work. Respect is how they came together. A trial to continue to our goal. The missing links – how do we continue building bridges?

The changes we infuse together in our new home. This made me discover something about community.

Communities usually only come together for funerals – for death. We came together for Life. To do something together. Experiencing the Power.

Maskadi. Acknowledgement. Unity. A chain is as strong as it’s weakest link. You can do nothing for the community without the community.

Hospitality is an open-hearted shelter. Mothers are more, they are organizers. They blessed me. I was touched by something new.

Something exciting and inviting. Something for the little kids who are forgotten. Maturity and Responsibility.

Counterpart skills. Cross-pollination. My Journey starts here. More to Learn. More to Give. I love you all.

My body is still aching. If you do what you love and love what you do, your journey will be Open.

Respect from elders makes me feel halfway to heaven. I salute you all. Love and Humility of People.

The connection to make Space for the Children. This is where the journey starts. Much love and big ups for the Future.

I’m speaking in my own language now, with the power of the community.

Africa is rich with Abundance. How do we define poverty? It’s easy to make assumptions. Oasis is something to show the world that Africa is Rich.

It’s up to us as dedicated servants to take this to the World. A feeling that you can’t explain. I leave with good intentions and come back with Everything.

More than experience. I feel so emotional now. Beyond expectations, beyond intentions. Sacrifice.

You win some, you lose some. Facing isolation one does ones best. I go far to fetch water, up a steep learning curve. I have to conform. This is how they live.

Aways with laughter, they set a target and do it. The women are stronger than men. Flirting with community. I couldn’t have done anything better.

The good that you do, is it good enough? Am I doing something that others are benefitting from? We’ve all come from different places.

Like a ship to harbor, we are repaired, refueled, renewed with life. We can only plant the seeds – the community has to water them.

A beautiful Oasis that came from all our seeds. From North to South to East to West, we did our best.

I’m speaking in Shona. Translate laughter. I was lost, confused by the sun moving in the opposite direction. Having the Heart to continue.

All you have said, I have it. And we have had One Heart, One Aim and One Destiny. And we have done it.

It’s a part of our culture, we cannot move away from it. We are a team. It moved me. This will be part of me forever.

To work with Youth and to work with Elders. This is not the end of the Oasis. And I had the opportunity to Work with Community.

It has affirmed many things in me. We have created more than we can see. Welcomed with tears. I’d drop anything to do such a thing.

Thank You to God and to You that I’m here and we did it.

More than ever, I felt close to my buddies, Kufunda, and connected to all my co-workers. The honor to be here as a mother and to be called Mother.

A lot is bubbling. How can we take this home and into our world? Start a new beginning. Keep going. This is a need for every community.

It is shown by their contributions. We were taken into their homes. Into neighboring communities. To listen to their call – why not? Come – follow me!

This is something to take further. A True Project that the world is waiting for. Let’s enter into community. I could write a letter to my team.

The whole journey. From arrival to departure. The Love. We really want you to be here. In the mountains – the place of my dreams. Fulfillment.

Africa liberate Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe liberate Africa. How can some people survive in such a place? You can’t stop the energy.

The language challenging expectations. Fighting for sharing the Work. If you can see the Energy, the Universe comes to you…