Our Mission

Generating growth for African children and communities devastated by HIV-AIDS and poverty, through the goodwill of people in the UK and elsewhere

GAGA Project - Zimele - Mtubatuba

Zimele - Mtubatuba

Zimele UK is part of the Zimele Community, a group of organisations that work together to achieve our vision: self-reliant and safe communities in targeted rural areas in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, where women, vulnerable children and orphans can access their basic rights and lead a fulfilled life. Zimele- Building Community Self-Reliance is a registered NGO in South Africa and is the implementing organisation.

To reduce the level of poverty in KwaZulu Natal, we primarily target women as the care givers of families. They are most likely to share benefits with their immediate and extended families and lay the foundation for future generations. We implement a mix of appropriate community and social development and economic empowerment programmes that are scaleable and flexible, to transform each of our targeted rural communities.

Project News Project Gallery

Zimele's Report on how our funding was used 2013

Watch Zimele's video it helps explain their model and approarch.

The Self-Help approach sees every human as having a potential of strength and abilities which when provided with the right environment can be unleashed to enable him or her to lead a life of dignity. Hence, the very poor can become active members of their community and cease to be passive recipients of handouts. The three phases in the self-help approach are based on the social, economic and political empowerment of people.

mtubtubaZimele has been working in two communities, Swayimane and Winterton in KwaZulu Natal, since it was formed in 2006. These areas are currently at phases two and three. Recently, we have begun the project in a new area, Mtubatuba. Our funding will enable Zimele to carry on operating the project at its current level for 12 months from February 2012 to January 2013. A self-help group implementer, Xolani Zondi, will visit the area every 4-6 weeks to carry out the training to 10 SHGs, reaching approximately 100 women directly. The training consists of modules in life skills, financial literacy, business, and administration, project management, mentoring and networking. During each visit, Mr Zondi monitors the SHGs and evaluates their progress. If he identifies any issues, he addresses them immediately by repeating the appropriate training.

Implementation Phases

Phase One/ Introductory Phase: The setting up and supporting the first self-help group (SHG). Each group will have 10 – 15 members, affecting approximately 1500 children in one year. The women will be encouraged to start saving small amounts of money. The expected outcome of this programme is the implementation of income-generating activities; for example, bigger vegetable gardens, baking (catering), sewing and opening child care facilities.

Phase Two/Expansion Phase: Setting up many groups and forming the next super-ordinate group called Cluster Level Associations. At this level the community are in the position to operate on NGO level and implement health and larger income-generating projects. (2 representatives from 10 savings group form a CLA).

Phase Three/Consolidation Phase: Setting up a super-ordinate Federation and the withdrawal of the supporting organisation. This level gives a voice to the poor in policy matters that affect them. (1 representative from each CLA forms a Federation).

Project Update November 2012

Earlier this year we funded Zimele to expand their project into a new area of South Africa. The work Zimele is doing and what they are achieving is groundbreaking and remarkable. It is a system, which has the potential to spread. GAGA gave Zimele £5,000 to launch their programme in a new area of South Africa. They did this in a town called Mtubutuba which roughly three to four hours NE of Durban. Zimele has worked to train and educate groups of mainly women (as unfortunately the men of the community don’t see the potential) to become entrepreneurs, to stand on their own two feet and there are many varied ways they are doing this. The spin off has been incredible; from pre-school, to farms, to jam making, B&B’s and the craft programmes.

These groups then form together and save collectively. The admin of each group is controlled by the group themselves. They open their own accounts; they take it in turns to hold the ledger and banking the money. The ladies of each group can then borrow against the savings and the default rate is extremely low, as you are essentially borrowing, from your friends and neighbours. I have simplified the model, but hopefully you get the idea. 

The move to the new area was funded by GAGA and another funding body. The effects are already been seen. There are now 11 functioning Self-Help Groups in Mtubatuba which include 123 people, 119 women and 4 men. Between them they have saved nearly R23, 000 (Est. £2,300). They have borrowed over R19,000 (Est. £1,900) in 151 loans which put to variety of uses. They have paid back R11, 481 (Est. £1,148). They have started new businesses and increased their household income and stability.

Zimele Project Update April 2012

Great news from one of our latest partnership projects in South Africa. Already we are starting to see success in Matubatuba;

Currently there are 9 Self Help Groups with 101 members. This community is far from essential services and the Mana-la group saw the opportunity to sell school shoes. The group spend R1400 to purchase the shoes and made a profit of R1600. This is a big achievement for such a young group, but they are inspired by their success and are now in consultation with the local schools to become the retail agent for the local area.

Well done - Zimele!

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

I accept cookies from this site.
EU Cookie Directive plugin by www.channeldigital.co.uk