Chasing Smiles

Smile for Suraiya Essof

Smile for Suraiya Essof

– coordinator of the Zimbabwe Cares Network and organiser of Kites for Peace Zimbabwe

“Peace is a universal langugae. When you say ‘peace’, everybody understands. It crosses culture, it crosses religion, it crosses colour. It is that common thread that joins us all together, regardless of where we went to school, which religions we follow or the neighbourhoods we grew up in. ‘Kites for Peace’ is a global movement for peace. How we apply the concept locally is to bring different people together to appreciate the peace that we do have in this country. There is so, so much to be positive about. We have a beautiful environment, beautiful weather and our people are amongst the warmest, most welcoming people in the world. Flying a kite is an act of peace. For myself, when I am having a bad day, getting my kite up in the air, feeling the tug of the rope and the sense of freedom of the kite being taken in the wind gives a whole new meaning to ‘go fly a kite’. It is such a liberating feeling seeing something be able to fly off…” Suraiya

Bad Rabbit Studio visited the 3rd annual event ‘Kites for Peace’ yesterday (Sunday 18th September). Held at Haka Game Park, the weather was perfect for a day spent flying kites with family and friends. With herds of Wildebeest and Zebra looking on, kites of all shapes, colours and sizes dotted the clear, sunny sky. Occasionally entangled, kids with huge smiles on their faces ran up and down the cleared field, followed by equally engaged and equally cheerful elder siblings, parents and grandparents. It really did feel like a big, extended family picnic. Organised by Suraiya and the Zimbabwe Cares Network, the event held at Haka Game Park brought together Zimbabweans of all ages, cultures and creeds to celebrate peace.

The Zimbabwe Cares Network invited locally run charitable organisations to set up stalls, meeting the wider public and allowing them to network amongst themselves. It is easy to forget about these incredibly caring and generous members of our Zimbabwean community (of which there are many) in tough times such as these. Sunday proved just how many people are actively working in the interest of those less fortunate, in animal welfare, environmental conservation and goodwill organisations. If you are ever looking for a group to donate towards or an organisation to support, check out the Zimbabwe Cares Network. You will definitely find many worthy causes to support.

Suraiya, thank you so much for doing all that you do. It is people such as you who make Zimbabwe famous for such warmth, generosity and kindness; and people such as you are the threads that unite us all together.

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