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

For further information visit the Zimele Website


Order worth R28 000 for Thuthukani SHG

Beaded Pens

Thuthukani SHG is located in the Maswazini area, Winterton, in the Uthukela District. The SHG was launched on the 15th of August 2009.  Before starting the savings programme the group was already making craft for individual benefit. The group has the same 10 members from the launch of the SHG to date. These women are hardworking, dedicated and self-motivated.

The Thuthukani SHG is well known for their successful and inspiring work in their community and beyond. In October 2015 they were approached by another NPO, Philakahle.  Philakahle gave the group a craft order of 800 beaded pens. The pens were decorated with red and white beads along with the design of the HIV emblem. The pens were to be distributed by Philakahle to children to bring awareness during the HIV awareness month. Upon completion of the order the women received a whopping R28 000! Read more about the history and work of this inspiring SHG.

Swayimane women graduate from School of Fashion

Ladies with Rosetta

Our first 2015 group to take the initiative and sponsor their studies themselves have graduated from their design and sewing course. On graduation day they received their certificates as well as taking part in a graduation fashion show with their garments.  Zimele is pleased to announce that two of these women from Swayimane received 2nd and 3rd place in the fashion show.  Read more here…

Fruit tree planting in action


The Zimele Agricultural Programme together with the farmers have started growing fruit trees. Over 500 fruit trees were distributed across three districts, uThukela, uMkhanyakude and uMgungundlovu.  Trees are a long term investment as it takes on average four years before a tree bears fruit.  Read more here about this courageous initiative taken by our farmers.


Christmas donation from Nedbank Foundation


On the 15th of December 2015, the Nedbank Foundation offered Zimele Community R10 000 as part of their outreach project and giving back to the community.  The Nedbank Foundation having previously worked with Zimele wanted the allocated money to be given to two orphans and the Msunduzi Hospice.  The money was to be split three ways, R4 000 was transferred to the Msunduzi Hospice for a Christmas party, R3 000 was given to an orphan Nolwazi Mnyandu.  She was selected through women working with Zimele (Thandanani Orphans and Vulnerable Children) operating in the Swayimane area. The remaining R3 000 was to be given to an orphan chosen in the Winterton area by the Zimele women, his name was Lucky Mndawen. The faces of these two special children were pictures of shock and excitement when hearing of their good fortune.

Thank you Nedbank for your generosity and for the difference that you bring to these heart-rending situations in our communities! The money was used by the Zimele team to buy uniforms, new Christmas clothes, groceries and even a new toy car… take a look.

Marketing training for farmers

Training on product

With so much effort being put into developing the Agriculture Programme the need to develop the marketing side of the programme has become even more urgent. The effort was focused on providing the farmers with exposure and a training visit to see the results of fruit tree orders, planting and to develop the ability of Swayimane farmers to reach wider markets in addition to their local community. This took the Swayimane farmers to a small working commercial avocado farm (Hawthorne Hill) owned by a female farmer.  Aims and objectives of the training were specifically focused on fruit tree farming practices.  Read more…

Crafters take the initiative

20151206_102132 (Small)

Two of our craft leaders in the Winterton area (uThukela District), also belonging to the Thandanani SHG took the initiative to market their craft products leading up to the festive season.  On the 5th and 6th December 2015, Nomondi Shabalala and Bonisiwe Cebekhulu (both 43 years old) decided to explore other markets opportunities to sell their own craft products as well as Zimele products. They registered to sell their products at the Drakensburg Boys Choir School Christmas Market. They put R800 together to pay for the stand at the market. Their initiative paid off well, the women managed to sell products worth R3 425! Read more.

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Zimele Community mentioned in the Meander Chronicle

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