Macingwana Villagers in Bulilima West, Plumtree on Wednesday joined other communities in launching the Community Endowment Building Programme known as Qogelela which is set to address economic challenges.
Qogelela is a Ndebele term which describes the process of mobilising resources in smaller amounts.
Macingwana joins Tshitshi, Ndiweni, Empandeni West, Mzaza, Embakwe, Silima, Thekwane, Enyele and Nguwanyana in the project which is spearheaded by the Community Foundation for the Western Region of Zimbabwe (CFWRZ).
“As the Assembly of Communities Advisory Committee (ACAC) we pledge 15 000 Rands to boost the Macingwana Community Endowment Fund,” said the ACAC chairman Headman Zibuyeni Ncube as he officially launched the project.
Speaking during the launch ACAC committee member, Councillor Moses Moyo said when communities are able to fund their development needs, they become stronger and their projects are guaranteed of sustainability.
“Africa is very rich in terms of resources but its people remain poor because of over dependence on donor funding,” said Cllr Moyo.
“As residents of Bulilima and Mangwe areas we saw it fit to elevate our communities from poverty by partnering with CFWRZ to raise local grants for supporting community development.
“I am excited to report that since 2016 we have raised RTGS$ 133 063.”
During the event, women and men from different Self-Help Groups sang songs and recited poems about Qogelela and how it has helped improve their lives.
The ceremony was followed by a series of fundraising activities and traditional food prepared by the locals was sold in a bid to fundraise for the new community endowment fund.
In his speech, CFWRZ executive director Stewart Mantula said that Qogelela is not a new phenomenon but has been tried and found to be effective
“Ukuqogelela is a Ndebele word meaning collect with the aim of saving for future use, it is a concept that is inherent in the culture and tradition of the people in the western parts of Zimbabwe,” explained Mantula
Mantula said that in line with the concept, the Organisation for Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP) founded CFWRZ to administer the Qogelela community fund
“Their philosophy is based on the premise that rural people are poor because they have been dispossessed of their traditional knowledge, language and way of life.
“So, we decided to approach development based on the seven Zs and Q principles which are zihluse (examine yourself), ziqoqe (mobilise yourself), zenzele (do it yourself), ziqhatshe (be self-employed), zimele (be self-reliant, ziqhenye (be proud of yourself and qogelela (invest of collective savings).”
He said that these initiatives had a positive impact on the lives of the poor Zimbabweans, but lacked the financial support.
“The new CFWRZ was thus formed to mobilize funds for community initiatives and I am proud to recall today that since then over 50 000 community members from Midlands, Matabeleland South and North raised a total of $80, 000 was mobilized and at one point came to a total of $34,000,000.
Mantula said that the strength of the community effort helped the foundation to leverage over $5 billion in matching grant funds.