In July 09, SEED Trustees Jackson Nazombe and Jonny Canessa visited Zimbabwe with a friend, Adam Thoday. This was an important way of strengthening the connection between the Zimbabwean and UK elements of SEED, of introducing new people to SEED, and of encouraging and providing training to the Zimbabwean workers. They visited many of SEED's projects, as well as making a special trip to Victoria Falls with SEED's workers Robert Kazunga and Oz Nazombe.

Robert's perspective
Of the visit as a whole, Robert says, "It was very useful and a good learning experience for me." Of the trip to Victoria Falls he commented, "I had never had an opportunity in my life to stay in a hotel. This was my first experience which I enjoyed and will remember for the rest of my life I guess. I greatly appreciate this since it refreshed my mind and had a motivational as well as a refreshing effect.

"I enjoyed the company of Jackson and the rest of the team. Through fruitful discussions we began to know each other more and more. We discussed the future of SEED and how we can work together as a team to reach the organisation's objectives. "I was happy that the UK guys were here and managed to get first hand information on the current prevailing situation in Zimbabwe today and challenges we face. For example, all the guys tried to use our internet and they were very frustrated on how slow it is just to do simple tasks like checking their mails. We managed to visit some high density areas and sewage was just spilling everywhere. We even saw some kids playing on sewage in the street and touching it with their bare hands! Even Jackson was surprised to see that things had deteriorated so rapidly to this state.

"I also enjoyed the meetings we had with Zimbabwe trustees, hearing their views and opinions about different issues. We had an opportunity to be briefed by Jackson on the vision of the organisation and how he wants the organisation to get there."

Jonny's perspective
Jonny says, "I was struck by the remarkable peace-loving people of Zimbabwe. They have such a sense of the value of community, family and education - different from the way in which these things are valued in the UK. I was humbled by their hospitality, sense of fun and dedication. Perhaps that's why people who visit Zimbabwe from the UK are so bowled over by the experience."

Adam's perspective
Adam comments, "During my time in Zimbabwe I visited various different areas, from rural to high density. In all the areas some of the clear issues which affected people were the basic needs such as food and water. With an average wage of one hundred US dollars a month and food costing on average the same as it does in the UK many people are forced to grow their own food. The people in Zimbabwe are constantly struggling in many areas of their life from work or transport to education. The country is beautiful but due to the political aspect it is falling into disarray, with many of the roads being filled with pot holes and houses not having running water unless a resident drills their own well and supplies it for themselves.

"The one thing that did shine while there was the people, their general attitude to life is upbeat and incredibly positive, they are always trying to look on the bright side of life and be thankful for the things they have.

"I saw a number of projects in which The SEED Project is involved, and it is dedicated to supporting the people in the country help themselves in productive and effective methods. Due to the politics of the country it is not always easy to support people to do this in traditional ways and the staff are always looking for new ways to train people and give them the skills to move forward in their lives. The SEED Project also works with communities and the public, showing them ways in which together a community can grow and become self sufficient without the need for physical help from outside sources, ensuring that any growth is always possible."

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