Barefoot Education for Afrika Trust (BEAT) is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2009 and its purpose is to promote knowledge innovation for development and lifelong learning and education.
BEAT has its priorities on community development, professional development, agri-business development, alternative extension service, youth empowerment, civic engagement, policy development and action-research based development.
For family and community development, BEAT promotes alternative education models for empowerment and development mostly through peer-learning approaches as a basis for discourse, learning, and engaging development partners in government, NGOs and donors.
In collaborating with communities BEAT utilises community vision and action planning approaches aimed at building confidence and fostering self-belief and self-drive in poor and marginalised communities. The main ‘change theory’ at BEAT is that people are the main drivers of change and transformation. BEAT drives its programmes using established community structures and also by leveraging ICT.
Peer learning is promoted as one of the most effective ways of learning, dialoguing, and analyzing common issues. BEAT operates on the principles of: a) action learning; participatory approaches to developing content (technical, policy etc) and co-creation of knowledge. BEAT operates on the belief that knowledge exists only at the point of action and decision making, that is, at the point that information is converted to knowledge. Peers, at community and professional levels, therefore, co-create knowledge by engaging each other at various levels of learning, analysis, application and review.
In furthering BEAT’s work we have established 5 academies based on Barefoot learning philosophy namely:
• Agribusiness Academy
• Doctoral Academy
Our purpose is to promote education for the Advancement of Afrikan Society. We gather, co-create and share barefoot education for transformation. We strive for an Afrikan society that places value on its shared cultural identity. We work for Afrika’s capabilities and creativity in advancing the Afrikan Continent and its peoples.
We envision an Afrikan Society that is progressive, strong, and, self-reliant;
A society where individuals are able to work for themselves, their families, and communities;
Where they are able to build strong institutions that guarantee Peace, Stability, Social and economic progress, freedom and happiness
To that end we Acquire, Simplify, Localize, Beatify, and, Share KNOWLEDGE for the benefit of all people.
We believe in maintaining Afrikan cultural integrity, and the right of all people to determine their own destiny.
We believe in the dignity of all people.
We believe in one Afrika and one global future where all cultures contribute to global peace and progress on the basis of three principles: Mutual respect, Mutual benefit, Mutual responsibility, and, Accountability.
We believe that we are a part of our natural environment, and that in destroying it we destroy ourselves.
Barefoot Education for Africa Trust (BEAT) was formed and registered in Zimbabwe in 2009. The objectives of setting up the Trust were:
- To train communities, particularly youths to be responsible citizens in their own communities;
- To develop a culture of learning at all levels of rural society as a basis for self-transformation and action;
- To mentor and provide life skills to youth using local knowledge in agriculture, natural resources management, entrepreneurship, health, social relationships and responsibility, and artisanship;
- To produce a critical mass of community based facilitators who appreciate and are proud of their culture, which they use for self-development and that of their own communities;
- To help local communities through training to tap local resources to create wealth for their families, extended families and communities; and,
- To be a centre for knowledge co-creation with rural communities, where such communities relate positively with others nationally and international community.
BEAT is governed by a board of trustees whose number should not be below 5 and cannot exceed eleven. The Board of trustees meets regularly to decide on programme direction.