December Newsletter 2014


The 2014 PACSA Food Price Barometer is a research document that makes terrifying reading. PACSA (Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action) reports on a society in crisis. It is against this backdrop that the work of Zimele takes place here in South Africa. The report states: “A significant number (45.2%) of our households are female-headed. Female-headed households are typically the most vulnerable sector of our society, women being the lowest paid and shouldering the highest burden of care. Almost half of all people of working age are unemployed, many having given up hope of ever finding a job.” It continues, “Food is not the first expense which households pay but typically one of the last because food is one of the few expenses which households are able to control. The 2014 PACSA Food Price Barometer has shown that as economic pressures increase on households and certain foods became unaffordable, households substitute those foods for cheaper products. These cheaper products have now become unaffordable leaving households with no further choices but hunger.” Please read this document, it will open your eyes to how our country’s impoverished communities simply cannot survive without assistance, as we enter this time of feasting and plenty…PACSA document.

Rosetta Stander

For further information visit the Zimele Website

CameroonA visit to Cameroon

The two directors at Zimele, founder Rosetta Stander and Programme Director Audrey Matimelo, have just returned from an African country that we all knew very little about: Cameroon. They went to this country on the west coast of the continent to attend the Africa regional gathering of the Covenant World Relief Partners, which took place in the city of Bamenda, Cameroon from November 7-13. The purpose of the meeting was for delegates to share mutual learning, inspiration, and networking, with each organisation’s delegate having an opportunity to give a principle-based presentation on their aspects of community development. Zimele’s presentation was on our Savings and Self Help Group programme and looked at introducing ourselves into a community. Seen here are the group delegates. Read more…




Zimele farmers giving back

Our Mtubatuba farmers, who sell fresh produce to Gateway Hospital, heard that on World Aids Day, 1 December, the hospital would be selling ribbons to raise funds for an HIV/ Aids cause. In the spirit of the day, the Zimele ladies decided to donate some of their freshly grown vegetables to the hospital to be given to orphaned children. It is amazing that these women who have very little themselves are nevertheless generous enough to express their gratitude to all at Gateway Hospital by giving to others in need. This truly captures the heart and spirit of Zimele.



DSC_0316World Aids Day at Gateway Hospital
World Aids Day, observed globally on 1 December annually, is a day aimed at uniting against HIV/AIDS, raising awareness of issues surrounding this pandemic, as well as fighting the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS. A community workshop hosted by Gateway Private Hospital, attended by both the hospital staff and community members from the Zimele agriculture programme and participants from the Mtubatuba and Swayimane communities, was no different. The workshop was informative, addressing issues pertaining to how the disease is transmitted and myths attached to the virus and also provided invaluable information about the importance of good nutrition, not only for HIV infected patients but for the general public.  Read more here…
Using their initiative

Our Enterprise Developer Kim McCall recently did a follow up on Swayimane bakers who had been trained through the Learn to Earn Bake for Profit course and who graduated in December 2013. She found successful mini-businesses and some ladies who showed real initiative, such as Maria Zungu, Philisiwe Zimu, Hleksile Gasa and Flomina Phakhathi from Buhlebeyeza – Snothando Cluster (pictured above). Three months ago these ladies decided to work together to maximise markets in their area. In addition they also run their own mini-enterprises. Also a quick thinker is Noktula Ngubane from Masibambane – Thembanani, who realised that another baker lived close by and so sales within the community would be limited. So she bought a taxi coupon to ensure a reduced rate for transport and travels to Wartburg and sells in the town daily – very lucrative as no one else sells there! And our innovative ladies are not even hampered by illness. Tholithemba Goge has not been well. As she is too ill to go out and sell, she asks her customers to place orders and collect them from her home. With this system in place she is continuing to make her baking business work…
Helping others in the community
Helping others FinalOne of the most wonderful impacts of the Zimele programme is how it opens people’s eyes and their hearts to the needs of others within their community. Here women from the Masisizane SHG help to repair the house of an unwell single man that was damaged in a heavy storm. The women were so touched by the plight of Mr Mkhize that they discussed helping him at their savings meetings and came up with a plan of how they would assist him.

Sinamandla certificates
Sinamandla Awards Newsletter

Zimele is very proud to have received recognition in the form of certificates from Sinamandla for our first ever Federation, launched in August, and for our partnership with them on our Self Help Group programme. Sinamandla was, like Zimele, formed in 2007 and it was through Sinamandla that Zimele was introduced to the Savings/Self Help Groups development programme. It is also a non-profit organisation that currently works with 14 local partners (9 in KZN, 1 in the Eastern Cape, 2 in Limpopo, 1 in Mpumalanga and 1 in Free State), assisting and supporting local South African non-profit and community-based organisations to promote self-reliance as a central concept within development networks and practices in local communities. To receive these accolades from them is truly momentous for us. Thank you to our partners in the UK, USA and Canada for their ceaseless help and contribution to our efforts, and for giving up so many hours of their time so that we in South Africa can have the funds to implement our programmes.
Breakfast promotes learning
Breakfast Promotes Learning

One of our volunteers, Nikki Hamm from Canada, sent us this lovely story about women providing children with a healthy breakfast. Their inspired approach to government for help resulted in funding for their project. It is truly inspirational to see how people are taking the initiative to change their communities one step at a time! read more here…
Despite being treatable, 130 people die from tuberculosis EVERY DAY in South Africa, one every 11 minutes, and TB has been the main mass killer of our people since 1997. This is simply inexcusable…Please sign this pledge to promote TB awareness. Click here…link to pledgeSA Stats 04Sep14

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