A helping hand: Swayimane Field Trainer’s belief in savings group member

Gugu & Noli

Travels through the Zimele communities often yield surprising partnerships to the Zimele staff as well as supporting our belief that the work being done will yield results!

In early 2012 Gugu Zondi met the Swayimane area Field Trainer, Nolungiso Mnduna, for the first time. Nolungiso had come to the area to begin the formation of a savings group. Gugu happened to be in the first group she ever managed to form, the Kusa Kusa Savings group. Nolungiso spent many days travelling to and from the group that is far from her own house to train the various SHG modules. She began to know Gugu and spent time listening about Gugu’s struggles in life: first losing her husband and then trying to raise children with minimal and often no income.

Nolungiso soon saw the commitment of Gugu to learning about the SHG programme and her potential to achieve so much more in life than circumstances currently allowed. In August 2013 an opportunity arose for the training of 6 bakers and Nolungiso immediately thought of Gugu as possibly being one of the participants. She was a hard worker, responsible and loved to bake! But, unfortunately, Gugu was barely able to afford to put food on the table, let alone find the R300 registration fee that the participants were required to invest in the training. Gugu was also unable to borrow from her savings group as she already had a loan out to pay for a doctor’s visit for one of the children. There was no way her group was able to give her another loan, without going against the group’s constitution.

When Nolungiso heard that Gugu simply couldn’t afford the fee she dug deep into her own pocket and offered to loan Gugu the R300 because she believed that this women would make a success of a baking business. Gugu attended the training and excelled, winning the course award – a mixer – for being the top student! She now has a thriving baking business and even managed to attend an advanced course on her own steam to improve further her baking skills. When asked if she had paid Nolungiso back, the two laughed and said it was the agreement for Gugu to supply Nolungiso with plenty of delicious cakes as a return on her investment!

How impressive to see our Zimele team sharing with those in need, proving their dedication to their work and helping our beneficiaries above and beyond the norm!



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