Matumaini Community Centre is building a space for community members to unite, come together, and reignite a positive sense of community. Our name, Matumaini, comes from the Swahili word meaning to hope. Matumaini community centre is being built by Tanzania House of Hope, a local NGO based in Mwanza Tanzania. Tanzania House of Hope envisions a future whereby rights are respected, and individuals are informed. Their projects focus on vulnerable community members including setting up an eco-urban farm in Bwiru for older persons to establish income-generating activities, to sustain themselves, and a self-help group. The project has adopted the community life competence framework, recognising older people as active members of the community, with dreams and the drive to achieve change. Further projects include advocating for the rights of older people, spreading awareness of their vulnerabilities and exclusions. The establishment of a community centre is a vital next step.
Matumaini will provide a base for the community. An aspect being lost in modern society is access to safe streets and public space. The community is not only a physical space, but mental too - building new relationships between community members of all ages and uniting. Secondly, the project will include 4 key functions: a community shop to access goods to assist community development (i.e. solar lights and fishing equipment). The shop will complement community needs. Secondly, a open restaurant and bar, the restaurant will offer local cuisine with a modern twist. The restaurant will showcase football matches, local news, and organise games and movie nights to invite different audiences. Thirdly, access to fresh allotment vegetables - creating new urban farming space. Finally, US will offer training and teaching events. With our new computer room and teaching facilities events and training sessions will be organised for all ages. For example debating; computer training will be set up; health advice days established whereby networks made to local hospitals will be used; vocational training skills and learning/sharing - which will enable older community members to pass on past skills. Further, new events based on local demands will be organised.
Therefore Matumaini incorporates freedom; food; fun; and future. It is more than a community centre, it symbolises a revitalisation of community structures, strength, and ambitions. The Matumaini project will connect community members within Bwiru rocks, but also connect them to relevant advisory, health, and employment facilities. At Matumaini we act as a node providing opportunities for new networks to emerge for an excluded population, a population group marginalised on the side in an increasingly unequal world. By providing access to a space where ideas can be shared and exchanged, memories made, and information acquired, Matumaini aims to reduce disparities and break cycles of deprivation. Where one lives should not be a barrier for future development, and Matumaini shows geography is not a barrier but rather a opportunity for change.
Matumaini's Community Centre's aims:
- Revitalising community unity
- Providing training and information-sharing to marginalised community members
- Spreading the concept of urban care farming in Tanzania for food security
- Introduce community centres to Tanzania
What Matumaini is doing now:
- Working with Tanzania House of Hope to implement urban farming with older people in Bwiru
- Secured and finishing building our community centre on our plot of land
- Community engagement
- Establishing networks with local NGOs, hospital facilities, research centres, and other organisations which can help to provide training, advice sessions, and help to the community members.
How will we do it; and how you can help?
Capital investment is needed to make Matumaini Community Centre a reality. Funds have been invested to acquire a plot of land in Bwiru, build the centre (shop, restaurant and training centre), bathroom, and clean the garden space for farming and guests. However, Crowdfunder funds will cover additional and running costs. The funds will enable acquisition of a trading license, establishment costs (plumbing, fitting electricity, windows and doors), running costs (electricity, and water), and will help in acquiring goods needed. For example funds will be used to buy tablets, books, tables and chairs, and gardening tools for the community centre.
Your support is crucial. Your support will change a community.