Wir arbeiten mit der Selbsthilfe Organisation Zimele zusammen
South Africa particularly the rural regions have been devastated by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and extreme poverty. While there are several relief programs in place throughout South Africa, the majority of them are focused on meeting the immediate needs of the people in the area, whether they are nutritional, medical, or educational.
We believe that Zimele is different. Zimele in Zulu, means ‘to stand on your own two feet’. And our name captures the very spirit of what we are about, and what makes us unique. For we are about
providing a hand up not a handout - so that the people of South Africa
can stand on their own two feet.
We do this through the implementation of the following three programs appropriate for the rural communities of Kwazulu Natal.
The first phase of our micro savings program is the launch and growth of self help savings groups.
Many participants in the self help savings groups start various individual or group micro businesses such as spazas (roadside stand), tuck (small grocery) stores, community gardens, catering businesses, and beauty salons. As part of the self help savings group training, Zimele provides business training to such entrepreneurs to assist them with the launch and growth of such businesses.
Zimele’s community mentoring program:
We have seen firsthand how our programs have not only encouraged people to take ownership of their own lives and the lives of their family, but also empower them with the economic tools to provide for the immediate needs of their family and even plan for their future.
Because our programs take place in the context of community groups, we are also breaking down the walls of isolation often found in the rural areas. As women and families begin to save together in their savings group or pool savings together to launch a group business, they are developing a spirit of trust and a spirit of fellowship that is able to cross familial and even tribal boundaries. As a result it is not just individuals and families that are being transformed, but gradually the entire community.
A highlight of one of our successes is the direct benefit to children as the increase in income in the households has an immediate positive impact on their lives. We also notice that more orphaned children participate on the Savings program.