June Newsletter 2015


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

For further information visit the Zimele Website

Craft Fair at the Mall


In May our Craft Programme team arranged a second successful trade fair at the Liberty Mall in Pietermaritzburg. The show was held from 4 – 9 May, and was a celebration of World Fair Trade Day on 10 May, which was also Mother’s Day. It offered us an invaluable opportunity to market our ladies’ craft products to shoppers from the city where Zimele head office is based, namely Pietermaritzburg. Sales were good at R17, 900 for the duration of the show, and this is also an important way to make ourselves known to the general public.

Imbokodo graduation ceremony


On 13 May 2015, Imbokodo Computer School in Swayimane celebrated its successful learners at a colourful graduation ceremony at Swayimane Tribal Court, the venue for the school’s numerous graduation events. This time there were eighteen students graduating: of the 29 enrolled, 5 had dropped out mid-way and did not finish the course and of the 24 students who passed the course, fifteen graduated, whilst the other nine did not make it to the graduation ceremony. Only 1 student failed the course. Read more…

Feeding the needy

Nutrition Newsletter

Nomalungelo Phakathi and Letheni Mngadi are members of Thembani SHG under the Thandanani Cluster. These two ladies are passionate about looking after children. They saw youngsters in their community who have nothing and they began to plan how they could help them. Thembani SHG started to buy toys for a toy ‘library’, where children can come and play on weekends. For the orphans they did even more. Read more…

A successful farmer

Agric Photo Newsletter

It is 5am in the cold autumn morning light of Mtubatuba, and Mam BZ Mabuyakhulu of Mpukunyoni area, a mother of eight and grandmother of thirteen, is already in the garden.  Her field is dark green with spinach and butternuts.  She is carrying two ten litre buckets with both hands, watering the seedlings that she has ordered from Zimele Agriculture Programme. Her two water tanks, 2200 and 5000 litres, are full after being filled up from a tractor she has paid R550 to do so the day before. Three big piles of spinach have been harvested, ready to be taken to the Mtubatuba street vendors to be sold. Read more.

Land allocation finally takes place

Chief and Mam Zuma

On 22 May, the long-awaited land allocation ceremony for the Thembanani Cluster Orphaned and Vulnerable Child Care (OVC) Project finally took place. There were over 35 community members from Swayimane present on the site including the Chief and other community leaders. Also in attendance were staff members from Project Build (the construction company) and Zimele. This event took place after many traditional procedures and negotiations between the local Tribal Authorities and the women of Thembanani OVC, with matters complicated as the piece of land the women had requested was initially allocated for community animal grazing. This delayed matters: it took over five months for the process to be finalised. Read more here…

Breaking News

Zimele Community mentioned in the Meander Chronicle

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