November Newsletter 2014

Welcome to our November issue: it has been a year since we launched our first newsletter and we are delighted in the way that it has become a mouthpiece for Zimele and an invaluable medium to update you on what we are doing. In October’s issue, I described the Donate a Doll campaign which was so successful last year, with over 300 dolls being made and donated to vulnerable children. These toys give children something to love and are usually their first ever gift and personal item of value. As of yet I have not received any responses from South African donors and would urge them to take part in this innovative and heart-warming campaign. However, there is so far a single request for 70 dolls which has just been received from a visitor, Scott Haumersen (Wegner CPAs) from the USA who had come to see what we do. People have said how this is such a good idea but so far there is very little enthusiasm for this wonderful project. I am sincerely hoping that this is simply because people are overloaded with demands on their time and energy. Please, please, help us to help these little ones. Tell others and spread the word, because by working together we can transform the lives of these children for the better, as well as generating income for the crafters who make the dolls. It really takes so little from us….For details, please contact me at

Rosetta Stander

An early Christmas rush


For most of you the festive season has not yet begun but for our team in the Craft Programme it feels like it’s almost over, with boxes and boxes of gorgeous angels and Father Christmas and reindeer decorations adorning the Craft office floor.  And wouldn’t you know it – South Africa has a “no end in sight” postal strike and so grumpy customers abound as we run around trying to get alternate pricing and new ways to miraculously transport boxes overseas.  But we will do it – never fear. For those of you who want to make that last minute order – please place your orders by November 15 at the very latest. Happy Christmas and enjoy our angels!



Proof of our success

Like other people, we at Zimele tend to be so busy with our lives and our programmes that we forget to open our eyes to what is going on around us. It was therefore uplifting for us to receive a letter from Sandra Schumacher of “For Children”, one of our international donor organisations, who made us see how our work is truly changing lives and communities. She writes, “I had the great opportunity to visit the Orphaned and Vulnerable Care (OVC) Programmes in Winterton and Swayimane this October. For the past five years we have supported these projects and experienced change and development every year. This year it was striking to note that something had changed. It wasn’t the amazing women who have developed their skills and do great work, it was the spirit in those communities that has changed. Life in Swayimane and Winterton is simple; hunger, desperation, poverty and hopelessness is easily found. But what touched me so much on this visit was how the community helps each other so that people feel they belong to the community and that the others care about them. Poverty and hunger are still there but the feeling that every child, woman and man is part of the community and has a value is immeasurable. It was great and touching for us to experience this and to see that the OVC women touch not just the lives of the children and their families but also the community.” Thank you Sandra for making us notice the wider positive change that is being created through Zimele!

Smile for the camera!

Our hard-working ladies in the MaSwazini area of Winterton have identified a need for their business to help them keep track of what they are busy with. This SHG group of 10 ladies is very industrious…not only do they run the Thuthukani MaSwazini guest house but they also run a home based care programme, an orphan and vulnerable child programme and a crèche, as well as sitting on several councils to work with government and social workers to improve their community. Read more…

Our new and improved financial system



Zimele’s accounting department has been going through an exciting but challenging transformation in the last couple of months. Zimele’s finance manager Midge Joubert felt there was a need to restructure Zimele’s accounting system to meet our specific requirements as a Non-Profit Organisation. Within Zimele we run various programmes which are reliant on donor funding, and the allocation of this money within the different programmes needs to be accurately reported on. Read more…


Zimele’s fencing project






Fencing is central to successful crop production especially in rural areas where stray livestock are a major problem. The Zimele Agriculture programme has therefore added assistance with infrastructural development to the many services it offers programme participants. The fencing programme operates on a 50/50 contribution basis, with both the farmer and Zimele contributing equally towards fencing material. This system is working well as participants wish to own what they have. Read more…

Breaking News

Zimele Community mentioned in the Meander Chronicle

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