ZDDT is now a reality and a reality of considerable consequence.
This would not have been possible without the foresight and commitment of those that pulled together in Johannesburg and the founder members in Bulawayo who spent many hours of their personal time in formulating the vision, the mission statement and the fundamental principles.
Mike Carter was tasked, by the meeting in 2008, to head up a small group to put together the concept and, in January 2009, the Trust was legally constituted. Effective operations began in February and funding began to flow soon after and an exciting new venture was born and one that many of us have dreamed about for years. ZDDT is now well recognised, right up to the most senior level of decision making in this country and abroad, as an agent of positive change and an organisation in the forefront of national reconstruction. This challenging process encompasses everything from the mindset, moral and ethical values and crisis relief, to structural and organisation restoration and development. Hendrik O’Neill conceptualised one of our community programmes as Shandira/Sebenzela/Shangila… and so on and the central theme of self-help is well pronounced in this concept and throughout all of our work, across the spectrum of the Trust’s responsibilities.
The positive effect of ZDDT can now be felt across a growing proportion of the landscape and, by the end of 2010, we hope to be active in all Provinces and a large number of Districts. ZDDT is central to planning and discussion around major reconstruction and development projects, some of large extent, and we are now associated with foreign governments, international organisations and multinationals in regard to investment delegations, humanitarian relief and other development ventures. For example there are plans to host an Asian delegation interested in power generation and water supply and Hungarians keen to invest and contribute to the restoration of the health sector. ZDDT has developed close relationships with a number of Ministries and we have been able to facilitate close cooperation with stakeholders on the ground to move forward the progressive agenda in restoring Zimbabwe.
So much of what we attempt has to begin modestly and pilot projects and experimentation are part of the process of learning and achieving. ZDDT has recently signed an MOU with the City of Bulawayo and now formally meets with Governor Designates, the Mayor and Town Clerk of Bulawayo and other prominent people in mapping out the way forward through broad consultation and participation. One of the corner stones of current activity is Local Government capacity building and, in the South, 30 Urban Councillors have been in training and there are exciting plans to expand this programme to ensure that the local representative is fully equipped to deliver, and deliver within the principles of good governance and democracy.
A measure of our success has been the rapid progress in gaining the respect and support of donor agencies and, thus far, 3 secure partners are on board. The impact of the policy of engaging communities at local level can be seen from Mutare to Chiredzi to Beit Bridge to Kadoma and the branding process continues. What will encourage you all, is the amazing enthusiasm of local people in taking on these considerable challenges that face us and the policy of “hands up” rather then “hands out” has taken firm root in a newfound mind set which will form the solid foundation on which a free, progressive and prosperous nation is being built.
May we take the opportunity to thank you all for your ongoing commitment, guidance, advice, material support and unselfish dedication and wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a 2010 of positive transition.