|Contact this Exhibitor|
|PO Box 100102, Scotsville, Pietermaritzburg, 3201|
|082 707 0761|
|Read about on Facebook|
The organisation was founded in January 2007 with the aim to fight hunger and poverty in a sustainable manner and aim to promote sustainable access to the economy.
Zimele’s core programme is the establishment of self-help groups with savings and financial literacy at its essence. The programme is about empowering women with skills and opportunities to start micro enterprises. The women receive personal development and business skills training and are encouraged to save as a group. As a result of the success of this core programme, the organisation developed the Fairtrade craft programme as a way of supporting women/crafters to become more financially resilient in the different communities in KwaZulu-Natal.
The objective of this project is to assist women who are trapped in poverty to start micro enterprises through the making of craft products. Zimele Community has a well-developed product design, training and international marketing programme in place. The international demand for our products provides an opportunity for women who are trapped in poverty, to benefit from making crafts and the organisation see this as an opportunity to expand our markets and are currently doing research to have a better understanding of the American craft market.
Zimele Community has become a pioneer in sustainable community development in South Africa. The most outstanding achievements can be seen at any point by visiting the communities to see the results on the ground. The development of individuals through the Savings & Self Help Group program has seen the capacity of beneficiaries built to begin to take control of their once poverty stricken lives. We were the first organization in Southern Africa to reach the final phase of the SHG program where rural women begin to focus on policy transformation and advocacy. It is much more than the tangible results like 2 computer schools; cultural guest houses; toy and book libraries; vegetable gardens run by 800 farmers; 140 crafters earning an income with World Fair Trade craft products; over 17 crèches; the Philaqala Burial society and various baking businesses . We have seen several social enterprise initiatives including 5 orphaned and vulnerable childcare projects, 3 home based care projects, 2 care for the aged and 2 children's life skills programs being developed and monitored by the beneficiaries themselves.
What we are most proud off is that vulnerable women residing in tribal land areas who has a low literacy level, are able to provide in the financial needs of their families and, as a result of this programme, has become active community developers in their own communities. https://www.facebook.com/Zimele-Community-South-Africa
An example of a success story:
Lindeni Gumbi - Lindeni had to stop school in Grade 11 as her father passed away and there was no money for her to complete her schooling. Lindeni had to make ends meet by working at a local supermarket as a cashier before finding work in a garment factory. She married at the age of 25 and moved to Swayimane. She has 5 children of her own to support and 4 children from her husband’s previous marriage, plus her husband’s sister’s child, 2 grandchildren as well as an elderly aunt who needs care.
Lindeni joined the Zimele craft program in 2012 and became a leader in the Train the Trainer craft program last year. She is skilled and enjoys sewing; she used her craft earnings to contribute to her 2 daughters who are studying teaching, her pride and joy as she was never able to. She is also able to purchase school books, uniforms and have something left to buy new kitchen cupboards. Despite the large family that needs looking after and a husband who works in Durban, Lindeni has used her craft money to attend fashion school in Durban. She travels every Saturday to study and attend classes to fulfill her dream of becoming a fashion designer!