October Newsletter 2015

World Food Day takes place on 16 October 2015. This year the theme is very relevant to all of us at Zimele Community and will doubtless resonate with many people – “Social protection and agriculture: breaking the cycle of rural poverty”. Breaking this cycle is exactly the core mission for Zimele Community, helping people to discover that they possess the skills and the power to free themselves from financial insecurity and dependence on social grants and other forms of aid. To us, agriculture is just one element of this empowerment programme. When people can feed their families, whether through the crops that they have been taught to grow, or through the craftwork that they have been trained to produce (to world class standards), or through selling baked goods to their communities (thanks to skills learned at baking courses), or making clothes and school uniforms, it is the start of a life-changing process. People hold their heads higher. They stop scrabbling for money to survive the day-to-day existence that breaks them down. They start to look towards tomorrow. They begin to plan. They envisage a positive future for themselves, their children and their grandchildren. They start to see beyond the walls of their own home to notice the needs of others within their community. They open their arms to help others. Lives, communities, small worlds are changed. We are truly blessed to be able to bring this transformation to our beneficiaries. Thank you for helping us to help them. God bless you.

Rosetta Stander
For further information visit the Zimele Website


The Zimele Annual General Meeting was held at the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business on Friday 11 September. Many of our beneficiaries attended, and it was wonderful to have them there and for them to hear, through a translator, what the past year had held and what the year to come might encompass. The meeting began with a prayer and a hymn, and Zimele board member Brian Basset and Zimele Director Rosetta Stander then ran through the details, which were largely included in the annual report, which can be read here.

Sharing for growth

Zane Planting

Two recent projects by Zimele beneficiaries prove the increased power of shared resources. The first sees vegetables being donated, which are planted in bags for growing and then given to needy households without access to land of their own to grow crops. The second project sees Self Help Groups sharing their funds to set up a potentially profitable egg-production business. Read more…

Craft leaders meet

Craft Leaders

In September, the Zimele Craft team met with the Craft programme group leaders at the Quarterly Leadership Meetings. This has been a great developmental tool for everyone in the programme.  Leadership meetings are held each quarter and give each group leader an opportunity to discuss problems they might have encountered with fulfilling Zimele expectations and problems they might have within their groups. Those at the meeting then help with solving problems, sharing their methods of success and making requests and suggestions to Zimele Craft programme representatives on how we can jointly make the Craft training programmes work better for everyone involved. Seen here are the Craft ladies of Swayimane.

Sharing the news of their success

cla1 - Copy

The Hlanganani CLA meeting was held on 9 September in Tafelkop, with 16 members attending the meeting and sub-committees reporting on work undertaken during the month. These include: functions/decorations and hiring of catering equipment, two SHGs who make bricks, and others who generate income through craft, agriculture and home-based care. Every SHG of the CLA was given the task of launching a new SHG, with 7 SHG started so far. On 2 September the CLA invited the Ward Councillor, Mbuyiseni Mkhize, to introduce the new group to him and to give him feedback on their progress. Mr Mkhize was very impressed by the work the women have done in the community and he asked them to register the CLA as an NPO so that the government can work with them and perhaps assist them with funding from different government departments.

English Literacy training – Swayimane

English Literacy Training

On 28-29 August 2015 our first training took place at Ezihlabathini and Swayimane (at the Intuthuko Yomama Federation offices). Eighteen learners attended the first lesson, which covered “greetings and speaking”. The outcome of this lesson is for learners to be able to start and continue a simple conversation in English. The women had to introduce themselves to the class in English, before writing a test. Lessons 2, 3, 4 and various presentations followed a few weeks later:

7-8 September 2015 – lesson 2: “Read This”. The outcome of this lesson is for learners to be able to understand written text.
14-15 September 2015 – lesson 3: “Write This”. The outcome of this lesson is for learners to be able to write short, correct answers.
21-22 September 2015 – presentations on Needs, Belonging, Chores and how to write a notice.
28 – 29 September 2015 – lesson 4: “Please”. The outcome of this lesson is for learners to be able to ask for information and give directions and instructions.

Building begins!


Well done all! The building of the Thembanani OVC Centre started at the beginning of August 2015, with ground levelling, soil testing and putting in the foundations. The building material has arrived and they will start assembling the walls in early October.

Breaking News

Zimele Community mentioned in the Meander Chronicle

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