The Kujenga Collaborative is an organization invested in promoting resilience through research and design in rural and underserved contexts.
We explore and experiment with alternative modes for critical local engagement, drawing on a network of design, planning and engineering professionals. We partner with nonprofits to develop projects that increase social and physical resilience in resource-poor environments, and participate actively in the production, dissemination, and exchange of knowledge.
We are designers, builders and urbanists and writers. We believe that we - and any physical projects we facilitate - exist as nodes in a rich network of actors, places, epistemologies and histories, and that we all benefit from mutual, respectful exchange. We seek partners of all types who are motivated to collaboratively create positive change.
Kujenga Collaborative is a nonprofit organization incorporated in California. Federal 501(c)3 tax exemption status is pending and expected.
In Tanzania, the Kujenga Collaborative works with the Olive Branch for Children, a nonprofit located near Mbeya, Tanzania, to facilitate their mission of support for vulnerable people and communities.
The Kujenga Collaborative works in three streams: facilitating the construction of the buildings that are needed for the Olive Branch's programming (BD), the implementation of skills training programs and the development of infrastructure (CS), and the creation of participatory design outreach initiatives in remote villages (DO). We offer fellowships for young professionals to provide a crucial link between the team on the ground and off-site leadership, as well as partnerships with universities.
In particular, the Kujenga Collaborative is a partner in the Kubuni Center, an entrepreneurship initiative run by the Olive Branch for Children that aims to develop marketable craft and trades skills in rural populations, allowing community members to supplement income currently based on subsistence farming.
The Kujenga Collaborative helps connect the Olive Branch to motivated design and construction professionals eager to apply their skills to a good cause.
Skills development with the Kubuni Centre
The program develops skills while assisting and developing local entrepreneurs with the Kubuni Centre, the Olive Branch’s entrepreneurship initiative.
The Kujenga Collaborative is partnering with the villages of the Usangu Flats to engage local communities in the design of public spaces, play-spaces, small structures, or other interventions. These programs aim to use participatory design as a tool for positive community development.
International fellows provide a critical link between the Tanzanian team and off-site Kujenga leadership. An initial off-site design phase is followed by a period of at least 3 months in Tanzania, implementing projects and carrying out long-term research and documentation.