August Newsletter 2014


On 9 August it is national Women’s Day in South Africa. Rather than being a general acknowledgement of women, this annual public holiday celebrates a specific groundbreaking event in our country’s history. On this day in 1956, thousands of women of all races marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to have their voices heard. Although neither the Prime Minister (JG Strijdom) nor any of his senior staff were there, the women left piles of petitions for their attention. After standing in silence for thirty minutes, the women sang a prayer, ‘Nkosi sikeleli Afrika’ (now our national anthem), and then peacefully dispersed. This mass march proved once and for all that women were capable of arranging a significant political event to ensure that their shared voices would be heard, and that it could be managed with respect and dignity and without violence. It is this quiet yet forceful passion that makes women such a powerful means of change, and especially change for good. It is this energy that we harness when we work with the women of KwaZulu-Natal to transform their lives, and in so doing, transform their communities.

On 29 August 2014, the women of the Self Help Groups of Swayimane will yet again celebrate a groundbreaking event in our country’s history, and that is the official launch of the first Federation of the Self Help Groups in South Africa. This time, it is not a petition for political rights, but a female celebration of understanding and exercising their individual rights. The similarity between the two occasions is the forceful passion of women who want a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. On 29 August, the Self Help Group members in Swayimane will present to Government and other stakeholders their community outreach programmes that focus on health, education, the youth and the elderly. Over the past seven years, the Zimele team has built the capacity of these women to be the agents of change in their own community. All glory to God for guiding us and providing the resources we needed through our partners, donors and volunteers.
Read more about the Women’s Day March here

Rosetta Stander

Crop Zaza 1
Zaza says thank you

The artist Zakhele ‘Zaza’ Hlabisa is an inspiration to us all. His township scenes are full of life and energy, and have secured him numerous fans from across the country and around the world, amongst them Ina Cronje, former MEC for Finance, whom he painted carrying a huge pumpkin on her head – she was entranced by this delightful and creative portrait! We are very proud to have received a letter of thanks from Zaza: a letter as charming as the artist himself. Read his letter here.


Progress by crèche governing bodies

Zimele Truck

A series of Crèche Governing Bodies’ Capacity Building workshops were recently hosted and trained by Zimele’s Business Trainer and partners for the ten crèches in Swayimane and one in Winterton. There have been some outstanding results, with the crèche governing bodies putting into practice what they have learnt to improve conditions as well as overall administration of their crèches. Read more here…

Annual General Meeting 2014


The 2013-2014 Annual General Meeting was held on Friday 25 July at the Msunduzi Hospice Conference Centre in Pietermaritzburg. There was an excellent turn-out, and people were interested to receive feedback from the various Zimele representatives who made presentations at the AGM. To read more about Zimele’s activities during the past year, have a look at our 2013-2014 annual report.

Biowatch cross visit for Mtubatuba farmers

Cross visits are a good way to facilitate farmer-to-farmer learning and a great way to enhance the transfer of knowledge and skills, as it is generally understood that it is easier to learn from like-minded people and so grasp new concepts. Zimele co-ordinated a cross visit for Mtubatuba farmers from the Sukumasakhe (Mfekayi), Vulamehlo (Somkhele) and Iziphiwozethu (Mapheleni) Clusters to visit Biowatch farmers who farm under stringent agro ecological principles. Read more…

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