August Newsletter 2015

South Africa celebrates its national Women’s Day on 9 August every year, in tribute to the many thousands of women of all races, ages and backgrounds who, on 9 August 1956, marched to the government Union Buildings in Pretoria to demand the attention of the country’s Prime Minister at the time, JG Strijdom. Although he was not there to meet with them, the women were undeterred and left piles of petitions for his attention, protesting against the hated “pass laws”. They stood quietly, calmly and peacefully for half an hour and then sang a prayer which is now our national anthem, ‘Nkosi sikeleli Afrika’ and then dispersed. This dignified mass march was one of the country’s first unified political actions and united all sorts of women, who shared a belief in something and were prepared to take a stand against injustice. They risked being imprisoned or ‘banned’ but bravely took a stand. This mass gathering of women striving for change is echoed today in the Zimele programme, where we see every day how women work together to bring about significant change for the better in their own lives and the lives of those around them. I am so proud to be a South African woman!

Rosetta Stander

For further information visit the Zimele Website

Thanks for the Royal Show

Picture 1

The Royal Show in Pietermaritzburg is one of the country’s premier events, with thousands of visitors and ten days of excitement. Our Zimele ladies were there, and worked very, very hard to make the most of this important showcase for their produce. We were given an insider’s view when one of the ladies sent us a letter, describing her experiences at the show. Read more…

67 minutes for Madiba


July is traditionally ‘Mandela month’ as it is when Nelson Mandela or “Madiba” as he is affectionately known celebrated his birthday on 18 July. In tribute to this great man, a world symbol of goodness and humanitarianism, South Africans traditionally take 67 minutes of their time to help others, paying their respects to the 67 years that he served us as a nation. We were delighted to be approached by the team from Nedbank Pietermaritzburg, who wanted to help people in need as part of their 67 minutes campaign. Read more…

A wonderful Open Day


On Wednesday 5 August, a group of Zimele supporters, donors and representatives from NPOs keen to see Zimele’s programme in action, headed off to Swayimane, an hour from Pietermaritzburg, to see how this rural community has been transformed by the Zimele programme. This vast and hilly countryside is home to thousands of people and families who live a rural and often impoverished way of life.  But since 2007, when Zimele first launched its programme in Swayimane, there is now hope and energy and change. It was an inspirational day! Read more…

Powerful ladies are our ambassadors

Mam Zuma

The ladies of the Zimele programme are women whose lives are changing for the better through their own energy and drive, impacting in turn on the people around them. They might be women from distant rural communities, they might be women with little in the way of formal education, but they are significant agents of social change. This month, two Zimele ladies are sharing their experiences as part of the Zimele programme to audiences keen to hear their story.

One Friday 7 August, the day before the Women’s Day weekend, MaZuma was one of three guest speakers invited to talk about her role as a community developer at a Women’s Day breakfast, hosted by the Pietermaritzburg Community Chest. Unfortunately, a last-minute family emergency meant that she was unable to attend, but we are so proud that she was invited to be there. Read more about her story here…

We are also extremely proud of another of our leading ladies, Octavia Gwala, who has been acclaimed by Shoprite Checkers for her community work. She won R10 000 for her OVC feeding scheme by speaking so passionately about it on Ukhozi FM radio station, competing against several other people also involved in community/outreach projects. This woman has changed lives and is an author and community leader. This is her story…

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Zimele Community mentioned in the Meander Chronicle

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