ZIMELE is a community development organization. It aims to empower people (particularly women) by building self reliance, assisting them to take control over their lives, building their confidence so that they become conscious of their own situation and are eventually able solve their own problems.
South Africa, particularly in the rural regions, has been devastated by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and extreme poverty. While there are relief programmes in place throughout South Africa, the majority are focused on meeting the immediate needs of the people in the area, whether they are nutritional, medical, or educational.
ZIMELE is different. ZIMELE in Zulu, means ‘to stand on your own two feet’. The name captures the very spirit of what the organization is about and what makes it unique. ZIMELE is about providing a ‘hand up’ not a ‘handout’ so that the people of South Africa can ‘stand on their own two feet’. This is done through the implementation of the following four programmes appropriate for the rural communities of KwaZulu Natal namely:
- The ZIMELE Self-Help Group (SHG) Programme
- The ZIMELE Skills Building Programme
- The ZIMELE Community Mentoring Programme
- The ZIMELE Fair-trade Marketing Programme
Currently, ZIMELE seeks to work with women in the rural areas of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, and potentially throughout Africa. The improved livelihood status of these women will impact the children in their care.
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