THE Swedish Embassy yesterday penned an agreement with Culture Fund that will see the European country fund cultural activities meant to reduce gender violence, combat child marriages and promote environmental awareness to the tune of $1,35 million.
BY PRECIOUS CHIDA
Culture Fund is a local non-governmental organisation that promotes development of arts.
Speaking during the signing ceremony in Harare, Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Sofia Calltorp said development can be achieved through culture and can transform the lives of ordinary people.
“Culture can be a very powerful tool in our box to promote development, through art and different cultural expressions we can reach out to communities, enhance awarenesses, stimulate debate and highlight the need for action to combat gender-based violence, but also to start a discussion around environmental issues and climate change” Calltorp said.
Head of Swedish Development Co-operation Maria Selin said partnering with Culture Fund has produced good results over the past years as they managed to achieve their main objectives.
“In our environment right now less money is coming through and a few donors are available, an investment in the culture sector is not on the top of the priority list for investors but for our part we have been partnering with culture fund for more than 10 years investing about a million dollars a year and we have seen tremendous things happening here which we are really proud of,” Selin said.
Renowned poet, Albert Nyathi reiterated the importance of Culture Fund who backed him in the production of a collation of songs with different local languages focusing on the issues of gender-based violence.
Culture Fund executive director Farai Mpfunya said: “This new programme marks a new era of partnership between the Culture Fund and the Embassy of Sweden under a renewed model that seeks to achieve greater impact by working with selected creatives and community organisations to infuse practical innovations into more sustainable development interventions.”
Mpfunya added: “We are going to be focused because we want to see how this new program works over the three years so we will be working in three districts in Zimbabwe —Mazowe, Makoni and Chipinge, based on the results we found on the researches we did six months ago.”