Ukuthula Trust is a Bulawayo based non-profit organization committed to deepening democracy in Matabeleland and Zimbabwe by empowering people towards taking an active part in the development and governance of their communities. We envision a community that has greater influence in decision-making processes that affect their lives and demand transparency and accountability from their leadership.
To deepen democracy by empowering people to release their energy towards taking an active part in the development and governance of their communities, through rehabilitation of survivors of historical and current torture, and through prevention of conflict in Zimbabwe in the future by generating knowledge and promoting accountability.
Where we work
Ukuthula Trust has worked in Matabeleland for the past twenty years and has, over the years, attained vast experience in enhancing good governance and development in marginalised rural communities. We work directly with communities in the identification and adoption of peace building and conflict resolution skills with a particular r focus on rehabilitating victims of violence and empowering communities with skills to prevent further violence.
An important aspect of our work is the empowerment of women and youth so that they become not only active participants in decision making processes that affect them but also influential leaders in their communities
Enyandeni Peace Centre
In November 2023, 120 students graduated at the Enyandeni community skills training centre in a joyous ceremony. The centre offers an opportunity for young mothers, any youth and any older person in the community who never had a chance to learn a skill, to acquire skills in sewing, welding, computers, building, gardening, hair dressing, incubating eggs and chicken raising, as well as civic and gender education. The centre improves livelihoods and participation in local development processes.
We have been working in a number of wards in Lupane for over a decade. Our focus has been empowering the community with conflict resolution interventions. This intervention has, more often than not, resulted in the revival of failed projects as members of the community are imparted with skills in collaborative work and conflict management. Our goal is to empower these communities so that they have a voice and are able to work together towards democratic, accountable and transparent governance. In the last three years, we have seen the construction of a secondary school and a clinic in Lutho village.
We work with communities mainly through meetings, workshops and focus group discussions with traditional leaders, members of the community, the church community, the district administration and other stakeholders. Our goal is the complete eradication of conflict as our experience over the years has been that conflict results in poverty and under-development.
Mazwi Women’s centre
This is a community centre that was spearheaded by women at Mazwi village in Lupane in 2009. This project should have been completed in 2009. However, because of conflict and lack of cohesion, the construction of the centre stalled. Through working with the community, we have succeeded in helping the women resume the construction. The whole community is now committed to working together with the women to see the centre completed and functioning. Families have come together and pledged to donate building material. The centre is now at roofing level and should be completed soon.
Community Outreach for Gukurahundi Victims
Ukuthula Trust is part of a group of NGOs working with the chiefs of Matabeleland, who have been appointed by the President to oversee village hearings on Gukurahundi. Our experience and expertise working with victims of violence in the last twenty years is a resource that the chiefs of Matabeleland value. We have worked with victims of Gukurahundi over the years and provided counselling and physical therapy to a significant number of victims.
Our team has vast experience in exhumations. We have assisted a number of families in the exhumation of their loved ones who were either not properly buried or buried in mass graves.
In 2016, we began the first of a series of critical thinking workshops. These workshops are part of a project by the Trust to enhance the capacity of civil society leaders for thought leadership and the ability to apply enriched theoretical frameworks for evidence-based programming. It is in our view a necessity for civil society groups to engage in a process of critical thinking in spaces that allow civic leaders to reflect on new ways to re-imagine the following:
- The theoretical tools they utilise in order to deepen their analysis of the challenges they face.
- The forms in which they operate.
- The ways in which they shape their strategic objectives.
- The new types of political subjectivities they are trying to nurture in the Zimbabwean polity