Meet Brenda

Brenda is the youngest girl at our centre. She loves to cook and to draw. She eats a lot of mushrooms too! Sometime in April Brenda was sitting with her sisters, Kudakwashe, Fiona, Anna, Christine, Rutendo and Portia chatting about life. One of the sisters reminded Brenda what she said and did in the past. Brenda’s response was priceless. Brenda simply said, ‘the past is the past, now i look to a new future’

It is clear that Brenda is looking to a new future and has a new hope in what life can bring her regardless of what happened and or what she did or said in the past. We, at The Future of Hope believe very firmly in giving our children, women and girls, our communities and all people we interact with, a new hope and a new future. We love Brenda!

Symposium – Will you be there?

On November 3rd 2015 The Future of Hope Symposium: Food for the Body – Food for the Brain will take place and you can be there.

Food security plays a major role in advancing socioeconomic development the world over. A big challenge in Zimbabwe, as in most developing countries, is to make sure that everyone, women and girls and especially children, have access to decent food. Hereto, it is the Future of Hope Foundation’s conviction that sustainable food production and preparation food needs to be accessible to all and based upon locally available and sustainable resources.

2nd Training of Communities in Zimbabwe

On November 1st, 2014 we received the second community groups for a training session at Kufunda. A total of 33 participants trained with us for 14 days. The training kicked off with expression workshops facilitated through our “Giant of Hope”, the CosmoGolem.

We explored different challenges faced by young orphans and the women helping orphans in different communities and the different solutions that could be implemented to address the challenges. The days were full of joy and laughter. We learned a lot, we danced and made plans for the future.

Like communities trained in December 2013, all the five communities trained want to set up mushroom production units at the start of 2015. They are currently working on securing the project locations back in their communities and mobilizing local support.

We are working to compile a detailed report of the training with lots of pictures and we will be sharing that with you soon!

Community Mobilization for 2nd Training

It’s just a month before the start of our second training session. We are finalizing the selection of communities that will be participating in the training session. Based on the experiences from the December 2013 groups, we have given the mandate to select participants to the community. In 2013, we had two women who participated in the training but were not eligible and in an effort to avoid the repeat of this scenario we are getting the community to work more closely with us right from selection.

The communities that will take part in the upcoming training sessions are Rusape, Marondera, Seke, Chegutu and Kwekwe. Two of the participating communities had a group trained in December 2013 but due to the big need in the communities we have agreed to train second groups.

During our community meetings, community members insisted that we make good follow-ups to support them to set up and run the projects and not just offer training. We were so delighted to hear that they want to implement after training and we are committed to make sure they will do just that!

A House for Mary Zhaime

Mary Zhaime was one of the 25 young girls that attended our 1st training session in December 2013. In February 2014, Mary joined us for the Inauguration of the Cosmogolem and she told her story. Her sister had passed away and she was left to take care of a young girl orphan aged only 3 years. As if that was enough of a burden, the place where Mary lived was subdivided and sold and she had to move to a new piece of land that was allocated to her.

With no job, no other source of income or support from other family members, Mary didn’t know what to do. When she shared her story in February we set out to see to it that we can secure a small house for her and her deceased sister’s little girl even though building houses is not our primal object. For a total budget of $750 we have started constructing a house for Mary.

The Headmaster of Odzi high school and the local councilor have been helpful to secure that Mary gets the best support during construction and we hope that by Christmas, Mary will have a shelter.

The Future of Hope Partner Programe

This month we initiated a new mushroom farmer, Alessandro Haas in Germany under our Business Partner Program. Haas is a young German entrepreneur who is starting mushroom production on coffee grounds collected from different cafes in Stuttgart. Produced mushrooms will be sold to local organic/bio fresh produce market and some top restaurants around Stuttgart.

Our Foundation’s Business Partner Program is designed to offer unique value for both our Profit and Non-Profit oriented partners. We offer more than just practical training in mushroom production. Haas is our first Profit oriented partner.

For our Profit oriented partners we provide long-term support for their business to ensure the sustainable production of top quality mushrooms, selection introduction of new varieties as well as an opportunity to start an integrated food production system based on the spent substrate from the mushrooms.

Our Non-Profit partners in the developing world or involved in social projects with communities, orphans, women and girls have extended benefits of a range of life skills that help build a sense of community and the development of the individual which is key in these areas.

We are glad to welcome Alessandro Haas to The Future of Hope Family!

Evaluation of Community Groups trained in December – Beyond expectations!

This month of July, we made visits to all our communities along with our Belgian Rotary friends and main supporters. We were also joined to some of the communities by our newly found partners from Rotary Clubs in Harare. Our goal was to assess the impact of the overall training that our first group of participants received in December 2013.

All our visitors were amazed by the impact our work has had in the communities already. The mushroom production is just a small part of our success. The impact has already gone beyond just growing mushrooms from waste and selling them to earn an income. The communities are waking to a whole new level of hygiene practices, healthy eating and production of food in environmentally sensitive and sustainable manner as well as a deep sense of community and more so, a community where orphans and women are responsibly engaging in the development of the community and pioneering the implementation of new initiatives!

The testimonials from members of the communities, other than the individuals we trained showed just how much has shifted since. The councilors and village headmen are committing themselves to assist in all ways they can to ensure continuity and expansion of the project. In Kwekwe, a retired school headmaster has taken it upon himself to be the salesman of the group, selling all the mushrooms without asking anything in return.

In the words of our visiting friends:

“What we witnessed was just beyond our expectations!”

We are witnessing the rising of a new hope and each time our strength and commitment to continue is renewed.