Who We Are
Our Sensing Journey
The Journey Begins
The convening partners came together to envision a collaborative process to build a more generative pathway for Zimbabwe, which gave birth to Gateway Zimbabwe. At that time, it became evident that trust and the fragmentation of society was at the heart of Zimbabwe’s polarization and paralysis.
We began by listening… to stories in the communities we worked with, in local and national forums, in different parts of Zimbabwe and in the diaspora.
Deep Dialogue Interviews
Deep Dialogue interviews: 500 interviews with citizens and communities across sectors, where the collective story of Zimbabwe’s social fabric emerged.
Systems Mapping 2 Day Workshop
Systems Mapping Workshop: a 2-day exercise with 50 representatives from across diverse sectors and communities in Zimbabwe, further articulating the collective story of Zimbabwe’s social fabric; examining enablers and inhibitors of Zimbabwe’s social fabric.
Gateway Zimbabwe's Systems Map
The resulting Systems Map evolved, with 50 narrative loops which hold the story of the Zimbabwean social fabric and a deep structure narrative which accounts for its cycling.
THE DEEP STRUCTURE
What we call the Deep Structure of our systems map is the premise for our diagnosis of where we are as a nation and the Gateways we have to offramp from some of the cyclings across generations.
As a nation, Zimbabwe has a long history of state-sanctioned violence, dating far back to the Pre-colonial and Colonial State, the Liberation War and Post-Colonial political violence. This has left us with a huge knot of unresolved trauma as a nation and a residual culture of silence springing from fear of speaking the truth.
This trauma and constant threat of violence hinders our ability to act in the present and to shape the future. We are like rabbits frozen in the headlights. As a result, many people are checking out – they are no longer engaging with the system, nor with community. This “checking out” takes different forms – from youths ‘just sitting’, to substance abuse, to the creation of parallel systems and migration – both formal and informal. There is a tendency to only look after and care about ‘self’ and a subsequent reduction in accountability – in terms of holding elected officials, government, our own family members and even ourselves to account. This lack of accountability leads to a pervasive culture of impunity and corruption. This allows expressions of power that oppress in an effort to maintain this status quo – in families, schools, public institutions, and at state level. The continual oppressive power feeds the cycle of unresolved trauma and the culture of silence. This is the narrative underlying our social fabric as a nation.
As part of the systems mapping process, we hosted another two-day process to identify leverage points within the system with the same 50 participants, to identify the areas which were frozen, and which areas had energy and could have a ripple effect in offsetting the downward spiral. From this analysis the Gateway Zimbabwe partners identified three leverage areas to anchor our theory of change for reweaving the social fabric based on a meta relational theory of change where authentic, inclusive and generative relationships are core to any intervention.