Rainos Mutamba: USAP's Northern Star

Rainos was the first Usaper (USAP participant) to be accepted into Trent University 2001. In Canada, Rainos has been a true ambassador of the program embodying all the qualities that defines a true Usaper (USAP participant). We are please to introduce you to our Northern Star. Literally!

Rainos Alma Mutamba
Trent University, Canada '05

Rainos Mutamba Losing a mother to HIV/AIDS, living on the streets for many years , growing up without a father figure, witnessing mother being abused while working as a sex worker, being abused by a step mom, is the beginning of the life story of Rainos Mutamba in rural Zimbabwe. Fast forward a decade later, Rainos Mutamba (BA Economics hon. Trent University, 2005), is now a full-fledged community development worker and political activist who has devoted his life to fostering human rights and respect for diversity. Since he came to Canada, Rainos has worked tirelessly with members of the Peterborough and Toronto communities to prevent and reduce the harms that HIV/AIDS, impoverishment, sexism, racism, homophobia, classism and other societal injustices inevitably bring in the world.

At the core of Rainos’ anti-oppression practice is that a just world is a positive world for everyone He has worked with Organizations such as Canada African Partnership on AIDS, fundraising to support HIV/AIDS Outreach Workers in Africa, African Council at Trent (ACT, now called Moyo wa Africa, which he co-founded) to fundraise for Kwari Village, a day care centre that assist families who are looking after children who have lost their parents/guardians to AIDS.

While at Trent, Mutamba has won the Tom Nind Award, awarded to an incoming scholar with the best academic performance on the high school level, International Student Award for contributing to international life at Trent University in addition to a Full International Scholarship.

Mutamba is currently working as an HIV/AIDS and Harm Reduction Coordinator in Toronto. He is also a board member with the Toronto Harm Reduction Taskforce, an organization that advocates for community members who are homeless and educates the public on issues of drug use and national policies around drug use. Rainos has also gone back to his roots and now can be seen in Toronto, playing mbira and performing traditional dance. His best achievements so far includes: buying a cow for his father (baba vakafara paruzevha wena), paying for 5 cousins' post-secondary education, supporting his extended family with fees for primary and secondary education. He is also a proud father who is raising a healthy and socially conscious being.

Rainos is interested in working on the grassroots level to provide water and access to health care for rural communities in Zimbabwe. He believes that the central government in Harare does not serve the interest of the poor rural folks; He wants to empower the rural communities, to make the central government irrelevant in their lives. To this end he is hoping to start double masters in September 2008 at the University of Toronto in Health Promotion and Social Work with a focus on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Community Development Projects Management.

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