community development

Community Development

We strongly believe in the power of community development to transform lives and create lasting positive change. At the Muzanga Foundation, our mission is to actively engage with local communities and build together towards sustainable development. 

Highlight: The Maulidi Project

In 2018, our director Emma (together with a team of five Dutch researchers and two local researchers) went to Zambia to do research on “The Sustainable Tourism Challenge”, which was initiated by Geertje Lavrijssen. Our mission was to conduct research on the influence of tourism in the rural area of Mfuwe, which is the village close to the world famous South Luangwa National Park. 

There is a huge contrast between visitors of touristic sites and locals living in the touristic area. Locals feel disrespected, have no idea what happens with the pictures tourists make of them and communication remains superficial. Moreover, locals feel they are being exploited by international tourism organisations. They are happy they offer them jobs, however they have to work 6 days per week for a salary that does not suffice, leaving them no chance to develop themselves. 

The Sustainable Tourism Challenge was a participatory action research project with as goal to improve livelihoods of locals living in South Luangwa National Park as well as intercultural exchange between them and visitors, based on mutual respect and equality. 

We conducted research together with the local community and various stakeholders for three months. The research resulted in concrete action plans too: educate about corruption, start a market, create development opportunities and seek more knowledge based contact with tourists. The community members are fully in charge of execution of their action plans. 

Continuation in 2023: The Maulidi Project
In 2019 and 2023, we returned to Maulidi Village, and the enthusiasm within our local project team was still there. Building upon the accomplishments of the past years, they continued to hold ambitious dreams for the future. To make these dreams a reality, they have maintained regular meetings and discussions with each other. We talked with everyone in the project team, discussing the benefits they have experienced since the project’s initiation in 2018, as well as their greatest aspirations for the future.

Through these conversations, we compiled a list of priorities and held group discussions to determine the most pressing needs. It became evident that the construction of a community centre holds significant importance for Maulidi Village. The community envisions this centre as a place where they can leverage and share their diverse talents, traditions and culture. The centre will serve as a platform to come together, share knowledge, and engage in activities that promote personal and collective well-being. This will enable people to be part of the village’s development.

Given all the above, our first project under our Community Development initiative is the construction of a community centre. Together with the community, we will decide what are the necessary conditions for the building, its design, and the steps to bring this vision to life. We aim to create employment opportunities by collaborating with the local population. We are excited about the process and curious to witness the final appearance of the community centre. However, it is our method and approach that will ensure the community centre truly belongs to the community.

At Muzanga Foundation, we believe in empowering communities to shape their own future. By working hand in hand with the people of Maulidi Village, we are committed to facilitating sustainable development and creating a sense of ownership over transformative projects. Join us in the journey of building a vibrant community centre that will serve as the beating heart of Maulidi Village.

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Other Community Development Projects

We are dedicated to continuously seeking new projects and collaborations. Explore a diverse range of our community development projects in Eastern Zambia and Trinidad & Tobago right here!

Community Development

We believe that by investing in community-driven initiatives, we can empower people to improve their living conditions, build resilient economies, and create a better future for themselves and their children. We recognise that rural areas in Africa and Trinidad & Tobago face unique challenges. Therefore, our approach focuses on addressing these challenges in a comprehensive and integrated way, by working with communities to identify their priorities, assets, and capacities, and to design context-specific solutions.

Safe Transportation

We believe that safe transportation is a fundamental right. Everyone should have the opportunity to access essential services, education, work, and social networks, regardless of their location or economic status.

Wildlife Education

We believe that understanding, empathy, and respect towards wildlife, can reduce conflict, promote coexistence, and enhance conservation. Ultimately, our goal is to empower rural communities in Africa to live in harmony with wildlife, and to protect and preserve their natural heritage for future generations. Therefore, our approach focuses on providing practical and context-specific education and training to communities and children.