Zamani Foundation   

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About Zamani

Zamani Foundation is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to strengthening the cultural foundation of young people and cultivating their sense of agency through literary and economic reciprocity based on oral tradition. Our program encourages young people to remain engaged in their oral tradition and provides them with the resources to develop thriving libraries in their own schools.

Zamani Three Part Program

The main vehicle for this program is Zamani’s Folklore Anthology. We invite storytellers and artists to contribute their traditional folklore for the Anthology on behalf of schools of their choice. We also sponsor an annual Folklore Contest for primary and secondary school students, and publish selected submissions in the Anthology. The proceeds from the anthologies, in addition to resources from public and private funding agencies go to enriching library collections in participating schools and under-resourced community centers through our Library Program.

Our Mission Statement

From time immemorial, people have told their stories to educate children and vitalize culture and identity. Zamani Foundation is dedicated to promoting children’s education in developing nations through this age old tradition, through folklore and mythology.

Our Concern:

The quality of children’s education is compromised by:

  • Breakdown of communities and loss of cultural identity
  • Dispersion of cultural wealth such as oral tradition
  • Lack of educational and financial resources

Our Aim:

To focus on the oral tradition and folklore to make it a vital component in primary school education cultural outreach.

Our Method:

We encourage children to explore their cultural heritage through the guidance of Mentors and then retell their traditional stories in writing, music and art.

Zamani Foundation is not a charity. Our goal is to address material needs through a creative reciprocity that respects and promotes the dignity and cultural vigor of all participants. Instead of treating communities as passive recipients of foreign magnanimity, Zamani focuses on mutual cooperation with students and administrators.
Young people around the world can benefit from the thriving oral traditions that attest to the rich plurality of human experience. Through the Folklore Anthology and Library Program, we encourage them to share their cultural world view and to discover that of others. Most importantly, we challenge them to recognize themselves as change-agents in their particular communities. Zamani is a model for a richer education and social enterprise. Our organization provides a platform for young people to develop their artistic and entrepreneurial skills and, in the process, enrich their current learning environment.
This vision of civic and communal engagement, the bedrock of democracy, contrasts with the passive and powerless personality that the educational experience in many under-resourced communities imposes. The theory of social change underlying Zamani’s approach is that people “own” their power to bring about and contribute to community advancement through programs that build on their agency rather than their dependency.