Our Vision

To confront the root causes of poverty and remove the barriers to economic self-sufficiency for women in South Africa’s rural communities.

Our Mission

To empower women with the skills, resources, and support networks to start businesses and social service projects to sustain themselves, their families and their communities.

Zimele means “people stand on their own feet” in Zulu. It is a faith-based, non-profit organisation based in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, that has spearheaded social development and women’s empowerment projects in remote, impoverished areas of KwaZulu-Natal since its inception in early 2007. Zimele is guiding the way to personal empowerment – self-discovery, self-awareness, self-realisation, self-sufficiency, self-fulfillment.It is important to note that Zimele’s assistance aims to empower people, not tie them to a lifetime of dependency.“Development should be about others, not ourselves; we can participate, where appropriate, in influencing their lives and giving advice when we are invited, but even caution is needed in giving advice, because advice can easily turn to compulsion and manipulation. We must be aware of our impositions, meaning how our cultural values may differ from others we try to help, and how forceful we are, or can be, in influencing their ideas and actions and ultimately their lives. . . As outsiders, we are influential and often are automatically given a status that we do not deserve. It is wise for us to move slowly and carefully.”
David A. Shuler, An Ethical Dilemma: The Imposition of Values on Other Cultures

Zimele founder Rosetta Stander comments, “The question then is: how do we build self-reliance without creating dependency? I found the answer in 2 Kings 4.1-4.8: ‘tell me, what hast thou in the house?’. I see sustainable development as guiding people towards identifying their needs, whether their problem is a lack of information, knowledge, or resources as well as helping them to identify their existing skills, knowledge and the resources that they do have. Then we set up a process to assist the individual to meet their personal, individual needs…to build their capacity, so that they can work with what they have and build on that. Our goal is to help open their eyes to what they already have, and create an awareness of how they can transform their lives through their own inspired hard work.”

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Zimele Community mentioned in the Meander Chronicle

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South African-based donors will score points in terms of socio-economic development and skills and enterprise development for BEE ratings.

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