Success of the Thuthukani SHG

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.

Through the trainings that the Thuthukani group has received from Zimele since the start of their savings meetings, they have started a Home Based Care Project in a bid to help the sick people in their community. Later on the women realised that a lot of children were orphaned due to the HIV virus and that some of the children were affected with the disease and did not have anyone helping them since most of the homes were children headed. The realisation of this social problem led the women to start an OVC Project (Orphaned and Vulnerable Children).  When the OVC Project was started the women would pool their resources together for example, one member would bring mealie meal, another member a tablet of soap, another member a packet of rice to make food parcels for the children. However as they grew in their quest to help these children, they started attending and networking with different stakeholders. Through creating these networks and linkages the women have been able to receive a lot of help for their project. The women are now being asked to identify orphans and needy children in their community each time SASSA (South African Social Security Agency) has things to donate.

OVC ParcelsMolding Bricks Thuthukani SHG

Above left: Thuthukani SHG handing out food parcels to OVC children under the OVC project.

Above right: Thuthukani SHG molding bricks to build a house for one of the orphaned family under their OVC project with the help of their guests from their B&B.

Thuthukani MaSwazi traditional guest house

The women realized that the need is so big and they have little resources.  They came up with an idea of starting a business that would help support their Social Economic Projects. They opened a traditional guest house. One of the group members offered the group some land on her property for the group to build the guest house. Using the resources available to them the women built a Zulu hut (Uguqa) to host their visitors. When the visitors have three meals (breakfast, lunch and supper), the lunch money goes into the OVC project to buy the orphans food on dry periods when no one donates food.   The money is also used for special extra things such as Christmas parties which they throw for the children. Over and above donating food parcels, the women try to build the capacity of the children by having holiday craft lessons.

Statistics of their achievements:

The Thuthukani OVC Project has to date helped:
Total number of children looked after: 124
Total number of children taught craft: 33
Food parcels given through Zimele since they started: 81
Food parcels given to 5 families every month for the next 6 months
Food parcels given donated to the group by SASSA: 8
Total number of people helped to get identity documents: 3 and birth certificates: 7
Total number of people who managed to get grants through the women’s help: 10
Total number of children given new school uniforms by Dept. of Social Development: 12
Total number of children clothes by the Zimele group: 16

Order worth R28 000

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!

The Beaded Pens order from Philakahle NGO:
Pens bought 800 @ R1.30 each. Cost R1 040
Beads for decoration R719
Material (cloth) R500
Total amount spent on materials R2 259
Total received upon delivery of order R28 000
Profit made R25 741
Time taken to complete order 2weeks.

Beaded Pens
Above: the beaded pens order worth R 28 000

At the moment the Thuthukani SHG has R46 000 tied up in their fixed account for their Bed & Breakfast. They use the money that the guests pay in cash as their float for the guest house.  The cash that they have on hand for the guesthouse is R6 000.  On the 19th of November 2015, the Zimele Business Training Department brought twelve Zimele women from Mtubatuba to receive training on how to start and run a guest house by the Thuthukani SHG. Zimele wanted the women to get practical training from other women like them who have made it against all odds and really put the saying “train the trainer” into practice.

Report by: Precious Matongo (Field Trainer).

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