Tree of Life Zimbabwe works in a nonpartisan and non-discriminatory way. We work by invitation of the community and then seek official entry through the relevant leadership structures. As much as possible we seek gender balance (and age balance, from 18 years and above).
Tree of Life conducts trauma healing workshops in grassroots communities which have largely been affected by organised violence. The main aims of the healing workshops are to support personal and interpersonal healing, as well as to foster social-cohesion and to prevent violence. To this end, we work with both victims and perpetrators of violence.
We also conduct a complementary psychoeducation intervention, the Psychosocial Awareness and Coping Skills (PACS) workshop for Civil Society Organsations (CSO’s), Community Leaders and communities at large. This dialogue forum enables participants to identify factors causing both stress and trauma, as well as to identify ways in which to cope.
Our group-based approaches are culturally appropriate and take into consideration the spirit or Ubuntu. Traditional leaders are included in our workshops and from the onset, participants are involved in the creation of workshop agreements.
In order to multiply the process, over 100 community-based facilitators have been thoroughly trained to conduct healing workshops in their respective communities. These facilitators are all survivors of violence who have volunteered to help heal others. They are grouped into teams (currently 16 teams), most of whom are now registered Community Based Organisations (CBO’s).
Tree of Life also supports socio-cultural activities in partnering communities. These include sports for peace activities, culture days and support to local government initiatives (i.e. these are events being held by the local authorities such as 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence, Day of the African Child and more).
As an organisation, Tree of Life believes in being evidence-based. As such we have a robust Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework which allows us to monitor our progress and track our impact.
We believe in continuous capacity development – as such Tree of Life encourages all staff and volunteers to continually build on their skills and knowledge, in relation to our work. Each year regular training opportunities are provided to the entire team, to help strengthen capacity at both individual and organizational level.
Tree of Life works within the Circle Principle. In the circle, all are equal and all are able to share their story. Using the ‘talking piece” each voice has an opportunity to be heard. We use the circle during meetings events and for all workshops. We also use the World Café methodology for learning and reflection events.