Rosetta Stander

Zimele Community mentioned in the Meander Chronicle

Jan 2017 Breaking News

Festive Wishes from the Zimele Community team

TAKE A LOOK at the TEAM who wishes you ALL a happy and peaceful festive season! – team video 1 – team video 2 – team video 3

Follow up on the NUF fertilizer trial with our farmers








Above L-R: Measuring the space for the blocks & planting the seedlings for trial.








Above L-R: the Zimele Community women involved with the fertilizer trials.


This year has seen some of our farmers from Ntabamhlophe and Swayimane actively involved in a partnership with universities researching and testing Nitrified Urine Fertilizer (NUF). The universities wanted to carry out their urine based fertilizer research on traditional soil and the aim of the project was to identify the effect of this new fertiliser.  The research has consisted of focus groups over eight months discussing whether the communities would in fact use this NUF fertilizer and the Zimele farmers’ feeling about it.  The practical research has involved using one Zimele garden in Swayimane and one in Ntabamhlophe.  The research concept involves growing similar crops using the NUF fertilizer, 3 other types of fertilizer and comparing the results and yields.  Blocks of 4m x 4m were marked out and prepared.  Block one: NUF fertilizer, block two: Urea, block three: Bone Meal and block four: DAP.  The project has involved intensive monitoring to ensure the crops grow well.  When the crops are fully grown at the end of this year the findings will determine if the NUF fertilizer is effective.   It has been a new and challenging project for the women to be a part of and we will look forward to reporting on the final results.

Crafters initiative & success after level 3 training

The pilot project of the level three craft training was introduced this year. The purpose of this specialist training was to extend the Zimele Community crafters to the next level by running a mentorship programme. The crafters had to take the next step from making products (that someone else had designed) to designing their own products and establishing their own production group, including the four P’s of marketing: product, price, place and promotion.

Nomonde Shabalala of the Thandanani craft group in Winterton has been with Zimele since 2010. She is a talented woman and became the craft group leader teaching the other members how to make new products. Nomonde is a 44 year old single mother of 2 who has always shown initiative in the programme. Last year on the 5th and 6th of December Nomonde registered to sell her own products at the Drakensberg Boys Choir Christmas Market. She paid R800.00 for her stand and sold products worth R3, 425.00. She has since managed to build a house for herself and her children from her craft earnings, a wonderful achievement and she doesn’t stop there. This year she once again registered to have her own stand to sell her  products at the Winterton Street Festival Market on the 5th of November. She managed to sell her products and make a profit of R2, 700.00 despite the displeasing weather conditions!


Above L-R: Nomonde at the Winterton Street Festival Market 2016 & her stand at the Drakensberg Boys Choir Market in 2015.


Lindeni Gumbi of the Qhubukela craft group in Swayimane is also one of Zimele Community’s level three crafters and a Gateway School of Fashion graduate. Lindeni put her great sewing skills to the test when Zimele put her in touch with a woman needing custom made cushion covers. Kerry McCulough a new customer who saw the Zimele craft stand at the 2016 House and Garden Show in Pietermaritzburg instantly loved all the bright colours and shwe shwe that our craft programme uses and asked if any of our crafters could help her.

Lindeni had to source the fabric which her customer wanted, make and design a pattern on measurements given to her and cost and price the cushion covers, all of these skills learnt in level three training. Lindeni also designed an extra, binding, to go around the edges of the covers. She professionally negotiated her own price and when it was time to hand over the cushion covers to her customer she brought her materials and sewing machine along with her. This was in case the customer required any changes. Lindeni was asked by her customer to please add tie backs so that the cushions would not slip off the chairs. No trouble to Lindeni, she got to work in the Zimele office with her sewing machine. She didn’t keep her customer waiting too long and it shows that her talent is recognised in the fact that she can use her initiative and keep customers very happy. She also has now made herself some extra income for the holidays.

Above: Lindeni with her customer, Kerry McCulough & her machine which she brought all the way into town for last minute adjustments.

Zimele Community Craft at the Midlands Liberty Mall!


Cluster crèches thank donors for contributions

Several of the crèches governed by the Zimele Community Cluster women were blessed with water tanks and their stands as well as wheelbarrows to help boost food security. The very dry conditions we are facing at the moment is making it difficult for vegetable gardens to survive let alone be established. The tanks have helped tremendously by collecting the little bit of rain we have received and help the community grow fresh vegetables to feed the children. Thank you to alBaraka Bank for the very kind donation of water tanks and wheelbarrows.

Water tanks

Another partnership with Community Chest saw over one hundred mattresses being distributed to ECD centres after the Comrades Marathon. Crèche committees were excited as they could now let the children have the necessary “rest time” and provide a comfortable sleeping “spot with enough room for everyone. Thank you Community Chest!


English learner puts new skill to good use

Mam Khumalo

Mrs Khumalo is a member of the Sphembokuhle SHG group in Ntabamhlophe. She has recently finished the three modules in Speaking and Writing English mentored and trained by Zimele Community’s trainer, Precious Matongo. Mrs. Khumalo’s Self-Help Group run a social project looking after the orphaned and vulnerable children in their community. The children come to her house after school and she is now able to help them with their homework and also mentor important life orientation lessons.

Zimele craft at SARCDA 18 – 21 August!

SARCDA Show aug 2016

Zaza’s work of art!

Zaza Art Painting - Mandela

Final Evaluation Report Dorcas Aid

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Zimele Community mentioned in the Meander Chronicle

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