July Newsletter 2015


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

For further information visit the Zimele Website

Hlanganani crèche visit

Hlanganani Creche

Our Field Trainer Precious Matongo recently visited the Hlanganani crèche and reports that “the crèche has 21 children and 2 teachers who are studying Early Childhood Development. The teachers have done a sterling job in decorating the walls and there are colourful charts pasted up, evidence that the teachers are being trained in their profession. With the cold weather arriving, they give the children oranges to boost their Vitamin C intake instead of just snacks like chips and sweets.” But there are challenges for this crèche and its teachers, like having to fetch firewood and water. Read more…

Children’s Rights Training

Ladies at Children right training

Our Field Trainer Precious Matongo held a Children’s Rights workshop with members of the Ubumbano Cluster. She says, “The training was successful and the women enjoyed it…The women had a time of reflection on their childhood to think of the times when they had been unfairly treated and when their rights were violated. Most of them shared sad stories and some of them said they did not even realise that their rights were being violated and that they were treating their children in the same manner unknowingly.”

Challenges within rural communities

OVC Newsletter 2

Drought, livestock destroying crops, shortage of resources for those needing food parcels, lack of school uniforms causing children to stay away from school, elderly people not receiving possible grants because they lack the correct identity documents. These are just some of the day-to-day challenges that our beneficiaries and their communities experience. Read here how they manage to overcome these problems in their drive to help others within their communities…

Enterprise news


June has been another exciting month for the Craft programme as all the women in all the groups have been finalising their training to do their assessments.  We have successfully completed the training of Level 2, which is what we call “production training”, when the women learn to make a saleable product.  Unlike Level 1, which teaches the women the basics of making things such as cutting, measuring and basic skills like applied beading and sewing, Level 2 training means the women make an item to set quality standards. We have made, among other things, some gorgeous new “Wild Animal” decorations, to add to our existing “Domestic Animal” range.  We hope that these are going to be a hit at the up-coming New York Now Show that we will be attending in August. Seen here is Nkosinathi Zikhali of the Cebolenkosi group in Mtubatuba, concentrating on his assessment.

Training our team

Group photo

Training is a vital part of extending our team members’ education and keeping them motivated and focused. Our Enterprise Development team, including Field Trainer Precious Matongo, recently attended Social Enterprise Training by the International Labour Organisation. She says, “It was good training as it gave me a clear understanding of what a social enterprise business is. I now know how to generate good business ideas, why it is important to start social enterprise businesses, especially now that donor numbers are shrinking due to global economic factors. I learnt how to do a feasibility study and this was very important as most businesses are started without the women doing any feasibility studies. It was of great help for me to learn how to do a business plan as I can now help the women with plans for their projects. Part of the course was learning different training methodologies such as lecturing, role playing, facilitating, case studies, presentations etc, which was helpful as I teach women constantly in the communities.”

An open invitation

You are cordially invited to join us for an excursion on Wednesday 5 August 2015, to see the Zimele programme and its effective impact on KwaZulu-Natal’s rural communities. We will visit the core of Zimele’s roots in all 3 phases of the SHG programme to view the impact of our mission to empower women with the skills, resources and support networks to start sustainable business and social services projects. We will witness the programme projects and we ask you to dedicate sufficient time to get a good understanding and experience of the communities. Read more…

Breaking News

Zimele Community mentioned in the Meander Chronicle

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

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