We are about to launch the next round of our Small Grants Programme (check the website for details). This scheme provides small scale but catalytic support for members of the INTO family, with a particular focus on knowledge transfer.
I was therefore thrilled to receive on Sunday morning an update from the National Trust of Zimbabwe and the project we supported last year, the Cultural Heritage Project of the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition (RNHE).
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of the RNHE, an event was held at the end of November at the National Park site. This included a public exhibition on the Cultural Heritage Project, with photographs of children undertaking craft activities alongside the fruits of their labours – stone sculptures, clay pots, writing, art-work and models.
Pupils and teachers, members of the Zuwa Weavers Co-op, the pottery tutor and the sculptors from the Nyanga Craft Village were all bussed out to the Nyanga National Park. (Interestingly – and somewhat astonishingly – not one of the children [or adults] had ever visited the Park before the start of the Project!)
After refreshments, everyone was ushered to the historic Rhodes Hall where the children were able to run down to the Rhodes Dam and play in the playground. Then everyone assembled in the Hall for short speeches and each school took to the stage to present a piece of drama, recitation, singing or dancing.
Every project participant was awarded with a handsome certificate and the three schools were each given a large world map and set of Scrabble to keep in their school Culture Hut. The event finished with a traditional meal, shared among the 180 participants. It was a truly happy and successful day, and we here at the INTO Secretariat are delighted to have contributed in a small way.
We are always very happy to get involved in the work of our member organisations, to spread the word about their campaigns and events, and to offer capacity building or moral support. Through the Small Grants Programme we have a small amount of money available to fund knowledge transfer between INTO members; internships; fundraising and membership recruitment projects; the preparation of business/conservation plans and activities that strengthen financial management or member outreach. Please contact us for further information.
Success breeds success and the RNHE Committee have reported that the National Park has now provided the Museum with its own ‘ablution block’ (desperately needed as all visitors had to use the Rhodes Hotel conveniences in the past)! And the SOLON Foundation has donated a new computer! With these wonderful new facilities, we wish the National Trust and the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition every continued success!