Newsletters

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
Founder/Director
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

SARCDA

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.

January Newsletter 2016

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you celebrated the start of 2016 in good spirits with family and friends. Now that we’re a few days into the New Year, it’s good to look ahead and think about what this year may bring us. But first, a quick look back.

2015 was quite a year for all of us at Zimele Community. We’ve been through many developments, some of which were quite challenging. But we have achieved great results. We have made an exceptional impact on the lives of our beneficiaries through infrastructure support, capacity building and mentoring. What I treasure most about New Year’s resolutions is that we take the time to reflect on our mistakes and this gives us the opportunity to learn from them. It also gives us the opportunity to build on our successes as we plan for the year ahead.

So, fill up your glasses as I want to raise a toast to last year’s achievements and 2016’s brighter future. Zimele Community is entering a new phase and we are planning on working with 2800 women in our existing communities and expanding into two new areas. In the existing communities there are now a number of businesses that are still vulnerable and need our support to grow. In the new communities we will introduce the first phase of the Zimele Community programme and with our experienced team we will lead more women to financial self-reliance.  I see 2016 as a critical juncture for Zimele Community overcoming our dependency solely on donor funding. I see us leaping with enthusiasm and energy onto the pathway of sustainable growth leading to great success as a thriving community development organisation.

To our wonderful donors and the Zimele Community team: thank you for your loyalty and effort; I am looking forward to a great, productive and successful new year with you all.

Rosetta Stander
Founder/Director

For further information visit the Zimele Website Continue reading

November Newsletter 2015

A true test of strength is resilience under pressure and I am immensely proud of the way that our Zimele Community team has weathered a particularly difficult period that saw staff members leaving us and various changes being implemented. Each and every one of them rose to the occasion, capably took on the new challenges, and proved themselves champions of the Zimele Community programme. Thanks to their dedication and passion we are able to continue with our work, changing peoples’ lives in an incredibly positive way. Zimele Community team, I salute you and thank you.

It was also heartening to hear from the Zimele Community beneficiaries in the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal that they continue to trust us and welcome the opportunity for us to continue working together to achieve transformation for both needy individuals and the wider community in these distant, dusty places. Together we can maintain our various programme activities as we remain focused on the core Zimele Community mission, ‘to empower women with the skills, resources, and support networks to start businesses and social service projects to sustain themselves, their families and the communities’. I am heartened by the support from these marginalised women who are driven by a need for financial independence and my wonderful team who strive every day to bring about this change.

Rosetta Stander
Founder/Director

For further information visit the Zimele Website

Continue reading

October Newsletter 2015

World Food Day takes place on 16 October 2015. This year the theme is very relevant to all of us at Zimele Community and will doubtless resonate with many people – “Social protection and agriculture: breaking the cycle of rural poverty”. Breaking this cycle is exactly the core mission for Zimele Community, helping people to discover that they possess the skills and the power to free themselves from financial insecurity and dependence on social grants and other forms of aid. To us, agriculture is just one element of this empowerment programme. When people can feed their families, whether through the crops that they have been taught to grow, or through the craftwork that they have been trained to produce (to world class standards), or through selling baked goods to their communities (thanks to skills learned at baking courses), or making clothes and school uniforms, it is the start of a life-changing process. People hold their heads higher. They stop scrabbling for money to survive the day-to-day existence that breaks them down. They start to look towards tomorrow. They begin to plan. They envisage a positive future for themselves, their children and their grandchildren. They start to see beyond the walls of their own home to notice the needs of others within their community. They open their arms to help others. Lives, communities, small worlds are changed. We are truly blessed to be able to bring this transformation to our beneficiaries. Thank you for helping us to help them. God bless you.

Rosetta Stander
Founder/Director
For further information visit the Zimele Website Continue reading

September Newsletter 2015

The first day of September is traditionally celebrated as the first day of spring. This year, Mother Nature has been a little early as all the plants were already in bud and the fruit trees full of blossoms. It’s a glorious time of year, especially in this lovely province of KwaZulu-Natal where we are so fortunate to live. Spring is a time of new beginnings and fresh growth. As I looked back over the past few months while working on the Zimele Community annual report, I became aware of so many examples of fresh growth and change. We have moved offices, we have had to refashion our work within the communities on completion of the two-year contract with the Office of the Premier, and we have had various staff changes too. Exciting times indeed. I am proud of what we have achieved in the past months – the 2014-2015 year has been a time of expansion and transformation. Most rewarding of all is that our community projects are starting to generate income, evidence of their success and sustainability. This is proof that our programmes are having a positive impact on people’s financial independence – as intended. This is certainly something to celebrate!

Rosetta Stander
Founder/Director

For further information visit the Zimele Website Continue reading

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
Founder/Director

For further information visit the Zimele Website Continue reading

July Newsletter 2015

Introduction

Last month, in my introduction to our Zimele newsletter, I looked at the concept of resilience and how it is a characteristic that we all increasingly have to demonstrate in today’s difficult times, whether we are wealthy or not, healthy or not, clever or not, skilled or not, employed by a NPO such as Zimele that is striving to meet its commitment to the needy, or not. I was interested to note that according to the dictionary, the word means “having elasticity, physical or mental”. Literally the ability to bounce back, no matter what. This is all too true of our beneficiaries. Not only do they have to manage the daily challenge of putting sufficient, nutritious food on the table, often for an extended household, they also have to ensure that their children grow up with the right values, that the elderly and ill are cared for, that school uniforms are bought or made so that children can attend school, that basic essentials such as firewood and water are collected. The demands of every day cannot be allowed to get them down…they have to be survivors.they have no choice but to be resilient. The stories below indicate that these people have taken up the challenge that the world has thrown at them. They are refusing to be kept down, marginalised. Through their faith – faith in God, faith in themselves and faith in the amazing people of Zimele who present the Zimele programmes, they hold on, focused on making a difference, not only in their own lives but also in the lives of those they love and those they live amongst. They are truly inspirational. They are truly resilient.

Rosetta Stander
Founder/Director

For further information visit the Zimele Website Continue reading

June Newsletter 2015

Introduction

Zimele, like most NGOs in this country who rely on public funding, is facing tougher challenges than ever before, thanks to the current recessionary economic environment. Much more is being asked for but much less is available. South Africa is not regarded as a country in need anymore, with the result that many international donor foundations are withdrawing. Yet the reality is that people on the ground in South Africa are actually becoming poorer as the cost of living goes up and up – everything from fuel and electricity to basic food stuffs – and the unemployment levels climb ever higher. Significantly, contrary to the belief in the West, the HIV/AIDS crisis is far from over and KwaZulu-Natal is regarded as the epicenter of this pandemic in the world today. The questions we have to ask ourselves are “how do we survive, how do we continue to provide a service to our beneficiaries?” since defeat and closure and walking away is simply not an option for us.

It basically boils down to being resilient – being able to keep on going no matter how hopeless things seem to be. This is applicable to me, Zimele as an organisation, our beneficiaries as well as our donors, and the passionate and hard-working Zimele staff, who often have to pick themselves up by their boot straps when projects don’t perform as expected. I have turned to the words of Dr Willie Visser, director of the Centre for Positive People @ Work, a centre of excellence, who has some invaluable insights about being resilient at work, including this comment: “Resilience reflects the capability of the people within an organisation to absorb turmoil and to stay competent, while at the same time renewing themselves.” Wise words indeed.  If you would like to read more, please do, you might find his words very beneficial…

Rosetta Stander
Founder/Director

For further information visit the Zimele Website Continue reading

May Newsletter 2015

Introduction

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (Lord Bless Africa)
Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo (May her glory be lifted high)
Yiva imathandazo yethu (Hear our petitions)
Nkosi Sikelela (Lord bless us)
Thina lusapho lwayo (Us your children)

Yihla Moya, (Come Spirit)
Yihla Moya, yihla Moya,
Yihla Moya,
Yihla Moya, yihla Moya,
Yihla Moya oyingcwele (Come Holy Spirit)
Nkosi sikelele (Lord bless us)
Thina lusapho lwayo. (Us your children)

Morena boloka sechaba sa heso, (Lord we ask You to protect our nation)
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho, (Intervene and end all conflicts)
Morena boloka sechaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho.
O se boloke, o se boloke, (Protect us)
O se boloke morena se boloke,
Sechaba sa heso (Protect our nation)
Sechaba sa heso

Ma kube njalo! (Let it be so)
Ma kube njalo!
Kude kube ngunaphakade, (Forever and ever)
Kude kube ngunaphakade!

Our South African national anthem is based on this beautiful hymn…Note that the opening line calls for a blessing on Africa, not South Africa. How far have we come since our first wonderful taste of democracy just a few decades ago that we have forgotten the heady sense of unity and brotherhood of those days, when we embraced the concept of the Rainbow Nation with joy? It is simply inhuman and inhumane to attack and degrade people because of who they are. This is the basis of the despised Apartheid system, the roots behind the Holocaust.  We are all one: one species, one world, one continent. Xenophobia has no place anywhere in this global community, where the drive to seek a better life, something more, is so commonplace. People take huge risks to move across borders all over the world, from Mexico to the USA, from Libya to Italy, from South East Asia to Australia, from the EU to Britain. People move, legally or illegally, because they are hoping for a new and improved way of life. This is a common thread that unites us all – the driven search for something better. Xenophobia is a terrible scourge and an awful blight on our so recently liberated society. Please – just say “NO”.

Rosetta Stander
Founder/Director

For further information visit the Zimele Website Continue reading

April Newsletter 2015

Introduction

This month we celebrate Easter, a very special time on the Christian calendar as it ensures we remember the greatest gift that mankind has ever received: God’s gift of salvation, through the giving of His Son, Jesus, to offer us all the gift of eternal life. It is with this spirit of giving in mind that I wish to thank every one of our donors across the world, and hope that they had a blessed Easter time. A very special thank you from the bottom of my heart to a wonderful humanitarian and Zimele SA supporter, John Cho, who has boarded our bus! I hope that his kindness and generosity will encourage others to help support this worthy and essential Zimele campaign.

Rosetta Stander
Founder/Director

For further information visit the Zimele Website Continue reading

Breaking News

Zimele Community mentioned in the Meander Chronicle


Get Involved

Craft Catalogue

Meet our Visitors


South African-based donors will score points in terms of socio-economic development and skills and enterprise development for BEE ratings.





Sign up for Website Mailing List
* = required field