Tatenda Churu and Casper Chigama
House of Art Association, Harare, Zimbabwe
Tatenda Churu (28) and Casper Chigama (25) are founders of the Zimbabwean organisation House of Arts Association (HAA). HAA work for reshaping communities through art and plays an active role in creating awareness of corona in informal settlements in Harare.
Insight from "COVID-19 Challenges and Responses in Informal Settlements"
House of Art Association works with four pillars - innovations, advocacy, education, diversity, through all types of art, it promotes development within the communities in Harare, Zimbabwe. Casper explained the difficulty of maintaining social distancing and reducing movement for slum communities since there are no governmental relief funds and measures, which means that people living in the settlements still need to work in the informal sector to make ends meet. COVID-19 also means a huge gap in public transportation, informal workers and essential service providers spend hours waiting to get transportation every day.
Tatenda listed other major challenges such as lack of sanitation infrastructure, water, protective equipment and poor resources allocation. The House of Art Association tries to adapt to the current situation and contribute via art, for instance, using graffiti and social media to spread the message, to build awareness and educate informal settlers on how the disease spreads. The aim is to create a new culture that fosters preparedness for other common diseases in crowded environments like cholera. Tatenda acutely pointed out the irony of how only community-driven public spaces work during COVID-19 when governmental ones are all closed, she further stressed the importance of public space during emergencies like this.