Rosetta Stander

SocioNext Training – Flourishing entrepreneurs

Young people from Mbuba, Umzinyathi district, guided by Zane Dlamini (Zimele Community Field Trainer) attended training organised and facilitated by SocioNext at the Ibandla Labazalwane Church from 29 February to 4 March 2016. During this time, the young entrepreneurs came up with brilliant business ideas and within three days had made their ideas into reality and were “up and running” and selling! Their businesses included two bakeries, a hairdressing salon, and a “shisa nyama” food takeaway. Each group was given a loan of R700.00 as start-up capital. The businesses were able to pay back the loan and still make a profit within a week of setting up and training. Very impressive! What is perhaps most significant is that these young people have seen that by investing energy in their own good ideas they can be successful and generate income without searching for a ‘job’…and have learned practical skills that could become a suitable ‘career’ for them to pursue.
Group pic - Newsletter
Bakery - MatimatoloShisa Nyama Business

Above left: the bakery business from Matimatolo showing their baked goods. They have paid back their loan and have made a profit of R150.00 in two days of selling their goods.
Above right: the “Shisa Nyama” traditional takeaway food business selling lunch to Zane Dlamini (Zimele Community Field Trainer) at R15.00 per take away. After paying their loan back they had made a profit of R140.00 by the end of the training session!

Bakery - MbubaSalon Business






Above left: the bakery business from Mbuba selling their goods. By the end of training they had paid their loan back and made a profit of R380.00.
Above right: the hairdressing salon in action! After the training and paying back their loan, the business has made a profit of R240.00

Report by: Zane Dlamini (Zimele Community Field Trainer).

Level 3 craft training progress report

Level 3 craft training is progressing well. Level 3 requires more personal input and time and the crafters are expected to exercise their own initiative as opposed to Level 2 where everything is more prescriptive. During the month of April all the craft groups did more in-depth work with the 4 Ps of Marketing. They were all asked to make two products (that they could make and sell to their community) and sell them. The groups had three weeks in which to do this. At the end of this time each member was to bring in two of the items they sold and the amount of money they had made.

The two lessons in April covered the following:

Lesson 4 – Product

The crafters looked at aspects of the products they had made and each person had to discuss why they chose certain colours, the design of the product, the size of the product and the comfort of the product. This was done to inform the groups that designing and making products is not just random – you need to carefully consider your market and these aspects when making a craft product.

Lesson 5 – Costing and Pricing of the products

Each member went through the process of how to cost the raw material expenses and then the groups looked at what the items were sold at (ie the Selling Price) and therefore what profit they had made. Costing and pricing at this level did not include labour or indirect costs – these will be covered at a later stage.

The groups really benefitted from this exercise as they were doing costing and pricing on items they had made and they began to understand how to do this. Most groups said they had learned a lot.

Of all the group members the person who made the most money was Khombisile Majola of Sukumani group, who made beaded bracelets and sold products to a total of R1380.00.

Although Zimele has costed and priced each item that the women have made in Level 2 – all of a sudden they were excited about learning costing and pricing of the products they had made, because it was more personal and directly affected them. They began to understand the importance of knowing costs because it showed them what the profit would be from their items. We also discussed with the groups whether their customers were happy with their prices, what their competitors sold the same/similar item at and how they could make their prices more attractive. We did this to see that the women understand that pricing is also about the market demand and not just about what you think you can make in terms of profit. You have to also consider what your customers are willing to pay and what your competition sells for.

It was particularly exciting to see someone like Khombilsile Majola begin to understand Costing and Pricing. Although she sold the most goods she struggled with understanding the maths involved in costing a pricing. However by the end of the lesson she was able to see how to calculate the costs of a single item and see how much profit she was making.

Khombisile & SindisiweKhombisiles bracelets











Above L-R: Sindisiwe Ndimande and Khombisile Majola of the Sukumani craft group in Swayimane & Kombisile’s beaded bracelets.

In the next lesson we will complete the 4 Ps of marketing by doing some in-depth work on Place (to sell) and Promotions (used to sell).

Report by: Julia Buss (Zimele Community Craft Co-ordinator).







Agriculture Programme Updates

Value-added Training in Swayimane

The successful Value-added Training was previously done with Zimele Community farmers in Mtubatuba and this time two members from each cluster in Swayimane attended. Training was conducted by Nomcebo Nyandu from the Department of Agriculture, Cedara Agriculture College and took place on 2nd and 3rd March at the Swayimane Tribal Court. The members were enthusiastic and eager to learn as they were keen to solve their long standing problems of commodities going to waste and losing money in the process.

Training showed the farmers that what they currently grow in their gardens can be converted into different products, not only sold as fresh produce. These different products can be sold easily, consumed differently and can give the produce a longer shelf life. Participants were trained in the following:

Jam and juice-making from pumpkin

Making chutney from beetroot and atchar from cabbages

Making sauces from tomatoes

Drying fruits

Training also included good hygiene practice which was very useful to the farmers. They were shown the importance of boiling the bottles to ensure they are clean before filling, wearing something on their head to cover their hair and removing jewellery whilst working.

With both Mtubatuba and Swayimane farmers having had the opportunity to receive this valuable training the uThukela (Winterton) district communities will be next, as per the training provider’s schedule.

Members of Value added trainingValue added training in progress

Above: participants at the Value-added Training in Swayimane.

Small Dam Construction training

Drought is a major problem that we are faced with at the moment. Water scarcity has reached a point where people are having to buy water just for their essential needs. Fields are dry, growing crops is very difficult and in some places livestock is dying, resulting in farmers losing money.

In light of this a three day training workshop on the construction of small dams was organised at the African Enterprise conference venue in Pietermaritzburg. The training was attended by representatives from different organisations in and around Pietermaritzburg, with delegates from organisations such as Lima, Siyazisiza, Wessa, Mahlathini Organics, Thembalethu Trust, ERS, Siyavuna and ACAT.

The objective of the training was to take the information gathered by the representatives and relay it back to the farmers in the communities. This is to help the farmers conserve the little rain water that we do get. The concept is that rain water is collected in a small plastic lined “dam”. The process involves digging a small (about waist-high) hole which is then lined with plastic to prevent water filtering through the soil and the dam drying out. The plastic lining should overlap and be covered with soil to secure it. Channels are then dug to guide the water to fill up the dam. The hope is that these small dams give the farmer some water for their gardens so that they can continue growing crops for their households and for selling.

Discussions during training considered how safe these small dams would be and the chances of children or livestock falling in and drowning. It was emphasised that the dam shouldn’t be too deep and also constructed in a fenced off area.

The practical part of the training was carried out in one of the Zimele Community gardens in Winterton. This garden was chosen as part of the One Day Wages Programme. Members of the community participated and worked together as a team. During the practical training a pedal pump was introduced to the community. This type of water pump is ideal as it requires neither fuel nor electricity to run and is also user-friendly. By peddling, almost like riding a bicycle, the water is pumped from the stream via the pipe then collected into a container. The pump itself costs approximately R4000 each. The community was offered the pump provided they maintained the work that has been done so far.

Hole being dug for small damPlastic lining to prevent seepage





Above: a hole being dug for a small dam & plastic lining to prevent seepage.

Mumma being shown how to use the pump









Above: muma having fun while learning how to use a pedal pump.

Report by: Bheki Makhathini (Agriculture Field Trainer).

SHG’s receive valuable life skills training

Children’s right’s training

Teachers and assistants from the crèches associated with Zimele Community in Swayimane received training on children’s rights last month. Thirty-four crèche teachers and assistants attended the training from eight different clusters in Swayimane. The women were trained on the importance of child well-being.

The facilitator showed the teachers how to facilitate brain-developing activities and games. The teachers were also shown games to wake the children up in the morning and help them to identify if a child is undergoing any problems at home such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse. The women were taught not to mix different ages of children, to take special care of disabled children and shown safety measures to protect the children. It was emphasised that a teacher should always be present when looking after the children outside, gates should be locked and they should form bonds with the children without over-spoiling them.

The Children’s Rights Centre aimed at helping the teachers and assistants break the “Lala Vuka Crèche Approach”. This is used in some crèches where the children are told to sleep, wake up, eat, go back to sleep, wake up and then go home. They showed the teachers and assistants a number of role plays, games and activities to stimulate the children and help in their physical, emotional and brain development.

Ladies attending CRTNewspapers

CRT gamesPlaying games CRT








Above: Crèche teachers during Children’s Rights training in Swayimane.

Gender Based Violence training

On 9th March, Gender Based Violence Training was organised and well attended in Ntabamhlophe, Winterton with a turnout of 22 participants. The women learned so much from this training, and some of them were referred to places where they could get further help. The training was very beneficial to participants because it addressed real issues that the women experience in their lives. Some of the issues discussed were sensitive and some of the women were very emotional. Fortunately the trainers were well equipped to handle the issues and to counsel the women through the training.

The following topics were discussed in depth:

  1. Economic Violence
  2. Emotional, Verbal and Psychological Abuse
  3. Physical Abuse
  4. Harassment

Sexual abuse was also discussed and the women were made aware of many things that they did not realise were in fact abuse. The subject of abuse pertaining to children was discussed in length. It was the general feeling that most women thought that girls are the only ones exposed to the risk of rape. This was highly beneficial to the women as we live in a society where rape is on the increase and occurring in both sexes. Precious Matongo (Zimele Community Field Trainer) said it was wonderful to see the women being empowered and made aware of the warning signs even though the signs do not always necessarily mean the child has been sexually molested, but do show that something is wrong. The women were told to keep an eye out if a child shows the following signs:-

  • Clinging, withdrawal, unexplained fear or depression
  • Nightmares or sleep disturbance
  • Deterioration in concentration and school work
  • Behaviour problems for example stealing, lying, running away
  • Soreness, discharge or bleeding in genital regions
  • Soiling or bedwetting in a child already toilet trained
  • Recurring abdominal pain or headaches with no obvious reason
  • Sexual behaviour or sexual knowledge beyond what is normal for the child’s age
  • Sudden use of new terms for private parts
  • Drug abuse
  • Attempted suicide

Precious Matongo (Zimele Community Field Trainer) said that it was the most educational and beneficial training the women have attended. Despite the emotional challenges during the training the women loved the opportunity to learn more.

Ubumbano Cluster representatives during G B V training

Above: Ubumbano Cluster representatives in Winterton attedning Gender Violence Based training.

Report by: Nolungiso Mnduna & Precious Matongo (Zimele Community Field Trainers).

Siyahlomula Crèche begins the building process

Siyahlomula Crèche has been operating under the Sizanani Cluster in Swayimane since 2012. The Siyaphambilli Crèche governing committee put measures into practice to help decide which crèches would be selected for a new building when the opportunity arose. Although there were several candidates, it was decided the next in line would be the Siyahlomula crèche under the Sizanani Cluster. The teachers have attended and graduated training; the governing body has become effective and active in the daily tasks of teaching the children and the crèche has a sound track record!

Months of preparation and securing permission were needed and carried out to begin the initial phase of the project. The Project Build team, Zimele staff, Sizanani Cluster and Siyahlomula Crèche governing body women and builders met to team up for another crèche project.

Final plans and an outline of what is required and expected by all parties were revised. Within the next few weeks the builder and engineers will be arriving on site to begin. The building should be complete towards the end of July 2016.

This project is possible thanks to kind and generous contributions from Zimele funders totalling R160 000 and Project Build which contributed R100 000. An exciting milestone for all involved in early childhood development! Many thanks to all parties involved! We look forward to following the work of this incredible group of Zimele Community women.

Creche 1Creche 2


Above: Signing paperwork agreeing to the role of the women during the building. The children and teachers are very excited at all the activity.

Creche 3Creche 4






Above left: Nolungiso Mnduna the Zimele Community field trainer signs on behalf of Zimele.  Above right: everyone staying out of the hot sun for the meeting.

Creche 6Creche 5






Above: the committee stood where the actual building would be so as to get a good idea on how everything would look once finished.

Report by: Kim McCall (Zimele Community Enterprise Developer).

A visit to Swayimane!

April breaking news

Zimele craft leader training at women’s business association meeting!

April b news

March Newsletter 2016

On 8 March the world celebrated International Day for Women. As a single mother, who raised my children alone and who knows the challenges of being a mother, breadwinner, “father”, taxi driver, sports coach, peace-maker, etc, etc, etc, this day has special meaning for me. It is this personal experience that feeds my passion to help women in rural South Africa to earn an income

On 8 March the world celebrated International Day for Women. As a single mother, who raised my children alone and who knows the challenges of being a mother, breadwinner, “father”, taxi driver, sports coach, peace-maker, etc, etc, etc, this day has special meaning for me. It is this personal experience that feeds my passion to help women in rural South Africa to earn an income where they live in the tribal areas and build their capacity to change the social ills of their communities.

Two days ago, during a fundraising meeting with the Corporate Social Investment manager at one of the leading companies in KwaZulu-Natal, I eagerly and passionately told him about the Zimele Community women’s empowerment programme and the great success thereof. I told him about all the pre-schools the women had opened, and how the women have received the best training in Early Child Development through the programme. I told him about the libraries the women have opened and the computer school that has led to many of their children finding employment in the city. I told him about the crafters who are in full production because of the high demand for their products and the farmers who have expanded their farming from a small vegetable garden to a large garden where they can produce enough for home consumption and also to sell. I explained that they have diversified their business by adding layer chickens to their produce selection. At this point I was rudely interrupted by the CSI manager, who asked me why we focus on women and why do we undertake community development at all. He continued, describing the importance of the patriarchal system in the tribal land areas and said that he didn’t think the women need any additional empowerment as the men will provide.

I don’t believe it is worth arguing with a man, or any person, with this point of view. It is better to show him the evidence – show him the difference in a community once the women are empowered and have the means and the knowledge to be better mothers and wives. Show him women who understand the value of a healthy meal because of the training in nutrition they received; women who understand the importance of playing with and listening to their children because of the Children’s Rights and Needs training they attended. Women who produce crafts that are exported so now they can pay for a better education for their children. Women who understand that they are not in competition with their husbands but that they are a team who respect and love each other.

Throughout history, women have made extraordinary contributions to their societies. Some are well-known, some less so, but all have been trail blazers. To continue our life-changing work with 2000 women here at Zimele Community we need your support. You can make a donation by visiting our website and giving a contribution via PayPal. Thank you for all the years that you have walked with us. It is because of you that we have been able to change the lives of thousands of women and their children.

Have a blessed month.

Rosetta Stander
For further information visit the Zimele Website

Craft Level Three training has begun!

Newsletter craft

The Zimele Community crafters were introduced to Level Three craft training through various fun activities. The women had to bring along a product which they had designed and made themselves (pictured here). This was to prepare them for Level Three training, which is a mentorship programme in which craft-makers take the next step from making products that someone else has designed to designing their own products and establishing their own production group. During the introduction the women were asked to make different collages including showing what they were wearing that day (depicting themselves), to a collage of what they liked most and finally a collage of four products they would like to design and make including the materials needed. Read more about this fun and exciting introduction to Level Three training here.

A happy highlight – work opportunity through SHG
SHG newsletter

Bongeka Khumalo of Sphembokuhle Self-Help Group, launched in 2013 in Ntabamhlophe, Winterton was just an ordinary girl like many South African youths who finish matric and stay at home. There was no hope of employment for her. When Zimele Community introduced the Self-Help Group concept to her mother, the motivated young woman was brave enough to join the “mamas” to start a savings group. In October 2014 Bongeka was enrolled by her mom to study a computer course in Swayimane at the Imbokodo Computer School, which was started by the Zimele women in Swayimane through the Zimele Community programme. She studied hard and Bongeka received her certificate, and as she now has skills, she has managed to secure a job at a reputable company. Bongeka recently invited Precious Matongo, the Zimele Community field trainer, to her house to show her what she has bought her mother with her hard earned salary as a thank you. Read more here about this amazing story…

“Learn to Earn” bakers training
With flour

The first group of aspirant bakers from the KwaXimba district attended the Learn to Earn – Bake for Profit training through the Ethembeni HIV/AIDS organisation. This initiative came about through the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development in an effort to train rural women to develop practical skills and obtain the resources needed to become sustainable income generators. Zimele Community sourced this hands-on training that follows the same principles of Zimele Community, namely giving people a hand up rather than a hand out for capacity building. Read more…

Follow up on 2015 poultry training

ChicksLast year some of our farmers received in-house poultry training by the Zimele Community Agriculture team as well as a week-long practical course at KZNPI (the KwaZulu-Natal Poultry Institute). At the course the farmers learnt about producing chickens for potential business opportunities. After receiving the training the farmers bought broiler and layer chickens to start up their fledgling enterprises. Bheki Makhathini, the Zimele Community Agriculture facilitator, recently visited the communities to do a follow up on their progress. Take a look…

The launch of our very own electronic data capture system

Satellite searching

Zimele Community staff were introduced to and trained on the new data capture system. The program is user-friendly and is operated on tablet devices. The tablets have been set up with the capture program and staff can input information easily and update the information continuously. GPS logging means that it will be easier for staff to map beneficiaries’ movements and attendance at training sessions. This exciting new data capture system will make the collection of statistics and impact monitoring far more effective and time-efficient for Zimele Community staff. The Zimele Community team seen here learning about the new system.

SARCDA Trade Show


We are off to represent our multi-talented crafters at the annual SARCDA event in Johannesburg. The SARCDA show has been running for about 15 years and is one of South Africa’s most prominent shows for design and gifts. Most significant for Zimele crafters is that it is a retail show, so that only retailers are allowed to buy at the show through the placement of orders. This enables us to make contact with potentially long term buyers rather than making short term sales to the public. The show is open to buyers from Thursday 10 March to Sunday 13 March at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Johannesburg. We look forward to seeing our existing and new customers at the show.

Zimele Community at the SARCDA show


An introduction to Level Three training

As an introduction to Level Three training, Julia Buss, our Zimele Community craft programme co-ordinator, explained that the women would be having some fun. First they presented the products they had made to join Level Three and Julia took photos of these products. The group members were then asked to do a collage of themselves, as they were that day. This meant that the collage they made should try to depict themselves in the outfits they were wearing. After this collage was completed the groups were asked to do a collage of what they liked most: most people included images of food, family, nice houses etc. They were also asked to do a collage of four things they could make (in craft but not necessarily Zimele craft), that they liked and with these images they needed to include the type of material they would use for the item and the colours they would make it in.

The women had a lot of fun making the collages and were extremely good at depicting themselves and their outfits. There was less creative thinking put into the items that they liked to make, but this will be an area that they revisit as they do their market research into their communities.

Quite a number of the women had made really original and exciting products to present to the course and it is probably these women that will gain the most out of the course and be the most successful.

Some fun products done by the women of Winterton:
BonisiwePhumelele (3)

Crocodiles by Bonisiwe Cebekhulu                            Mice by Phumelele Mlambo

Report by: Julia Buss (Craft Co-ordinator).

Breaking News

Zimele Community mentioned in the Meander Chronicle

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