Ndau Festival of the Arts is a community-based organisation in Chipigne area, Zimbabwe focusing on arts, culture, environment and climate change. The organisation was set up in response to the realisation that many rural communities are cut off from the arts and from the possibility of using art as a vehicle to address local issues such as climate change.
The local community has experienced repeated and increasingly severe flooding and drought, and were badly affected by Cyclone Idai. Ndau’s mission is to use music, theatre, poetry, painting and storytelling to address the issues of climate change – giving local communities teaching art skills and a voice to spread solution-based environmental messages. With the help of environmentalists, Ndau has developed programs on reforestation that are spearheaded into local communities by school children.
They opened a centre on the site of an indigenous forest, which was saved from human destruction, which has become a resource where communities can access green culture information and the site for annual festivals on green culture.
Ndau is working to break down the economic and cultural barriers to behavioural change towards sustainable living – like shifting away from the traditional energy source of wood to solar. They use the centre to give demonstrations about how to solar energy can be harnessed for practical tasks like cooking and heating water so as to spare natural resources.