Who doesn’t love a good exhibition or fair or pop up market. Knowing me, I wouldn’t miss the opening of an envelope at this point. So when the Community Education Program (CEP) team told me that they would be heading out to not one, but two exhibitions, I just had to tag along.

Exhibitions were held in the villages of Jokwe and Mafumba where RN has been running various activities. We arrived in Jokwe to much fanfare and a warm reception from the participating clubs, some having covered wide distances to be able to showcase their wares at the exhibition. The exhibition in Jokwe was held at a sporting field, nearby a school that is being supported by Academic Work of Sweden.

The exhibitions took place on August 29th and 30th under the theme “Resistance through self-help initiatives”. The meaning and symbolism behind this theme is that in these tough economic times in Zambia and with the challenge of lack of rainfall, how have these clubs and how do they build somewhat of a resistance to all these seemingly insurmountable challenges. How do they adapt their self-driven self-help activities to the current reality they are facing. There were numerous and varied self-help activities carried out by the groups and clubs, including but not limited to farming activities, skills based activities, i.e. carpentry, basket weaving, place mats, floor mats, reed mats (traditionally called museme (sing.) or miseme (pl.), pottery, bricks, clothing items, grass brooms, etc. Other groups showcased other edible goods such as wild fruits, traditional cakes and homemade beverages.

The groups were judged in several categories, including creativity & innovation, product display & neatness, interpretation of the self-help concept and confidence. The women and gentlemen belonging to the winning groups were beyond thrilled and even performed celebratory dances as they walked up to claim their well-earned prizes which ranged from 50 to 300 Zambian Kwacha.

All in all, the exhibitions were a success and everyone seemed pretty happy with how it went. Some of the winning clubs actually received drip kits which will surely ease their burden when it comes to tending their crops. More on this later though.

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