ZCA festival on August 5

LONDON - The Zimbabwe Community Association (ZCA) was set up in 2000 to promote the benefit of Zimbabweans resident in the UK by associating together and developing lines of communication between the community, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations in a common

effort to advance their needs.
For the past four years the association has been in contact with an average of 350 clients per year.
ZCA was founded by a group of Zimbabweans concerned with the plight and increasing number of asylum seekers fleeing torture, inhuman treatment, humiliation in Zimbabwe. Through consultation with Zimbabwe refugees and asylum seekers in UK’s dispersal areas, detention and reception centres, some members of the ZCA (themselves refugees) discovered wide concern in terms of isolation and exclusion experienced by refugees and asylum seekers.
The association is based in Camden but works across the UK. Home Office statistics (2004) show that about 1.2 million Zimbabweans live in the UK and 14,705 have claimed asylum.
The Young Face of Africa (YFA) Project involves young people, mostly refugees, from Zimbabwe and other African countries who are involved in cultural activities in the UK.
The group performed recently at the Sir David Attenborough Gala.
A grant from the Arts Council will help to provide arts and culture training opportunities to young people to address social isolation and exclusion and to promote cultural awareness through performing arts.
These young people arrive in this country with many different mental needs. Once in the UK many are kept in detention and reception centres. While in these centres they do not have access to education or play facilities. When they are lucky to get out they are isolated, traumatised, depressed and lack direction.
The association has planned a community festival in Kilburn Grange Park NW6 for Saturday 5 August 2006. It is expected to attract around 2000 people and will feature live African music and dance groups, stalls from community organisations and commercial groups, HIV/AIDS awareness workshops, cultural workshops, children’s activities and Youth football tournament. The organisers are looking for corporate sponsorship and raffle prizes. – For more info contact: Tel/Fax 020 7328 9906

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