Association of Zimbabwean Ｔｒaditional Environmental Conservationists
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|, the Association of Zimbabwe Traditional Environmental Conservationists
is an indigenous NGO based in Masvingo Province. Chiefs, spirit mediums
and practitioners founded the organization in 1985 to revive, restore and
uphold indigenous cultures on food and livelihood security, health delivery
systems, natural resources conservation and locally affordable technology
development. Chiefs are the administrators of flora and fauna, spirit mediums
are the custodians of African spiritual guidance whilst practitioners are
natural experts on specific expertise within African knowledge systems.
AZTREC implements its programme in rural and resettled communities (wards
22, 31 and 32 in GutuhDistrict, wards 1, 2 and 6 Masvingo District and
wards 1 and 9 Chirumanzu District) promoting the propagation and storage
of open pollinated seed varieties of small grains, facilitating the establishment
of community managed tree seedling nurseries, facilitating the validation
of local technologies and marketing of community products. Small grains
and other indigenous foods are vital to nutrition in terms of providing
essential macronutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and
fats for immune boosting. In traditional health systems the small grains
are used in recipes for administering natural herbs and medicines. The
tree seedling nurseries provide seedlings for fruit trees, woodlots for
timber and wood for the communities.
| medicines and herbs have been used by a lot of people the world over,
however, very little attention has been given in terms of trying to understand
the medicinal values, the spiritual and cultural values attached to them.
Traditional health delivery system is one of AZTREC’s programme thematic
areas and over the years the organization has undertaken research and validation
of natural herbs and medicines. The issue of HIV/AIDS within AZTREC target
communities has further necessitated the need to bring about a homegrown
solution that is socially, culturally and spiritually rooted in our African
is focusing on working with spirit mediums who provide spiritual counseling
to the infected and affected individuals and families. Traditional medical
practitioners are involved in the collection, processing, packaging and
administration of natural herbs and medicines. The rising costs of modern
medicines have forced at least 50% of the infected individuals on home-based
care within AZTREC target communities to depend on natural herbs and medicines.
It has been a proven fact that natural herbs and medicines can cure some
of the symptoms of HIV/AIDS. Also on an important note, spirit mediums,
during ceremonies and ritual have to some extent guided herbalists to collect
and process natural herbs and medicines, which have proved effective to
the infected. In our African tradition we realized that spirit mediums
give guidance to people on pandemics, droughts and any other disasters
that could affect indigenous people. Their spiritual guidance has remained
an issue, which is yet to be strongly considered and integrated into the
mainstream development arena of Zimbabwe.
|Copyright © 2009 AZTREC Trust. All rights reserved.