Cronjé rewards local NPO

2013-03-14 00:00

SIX years of selfless work in community outreach has earned a local non-profit organisation R7,5 million in the budget tabled on Tuesday by the MEC for Finance, Ina Cronjé.

Zimele Developing Community Self-Reliance “has led social development and women’s empowerment projects in KZN since 2007”, Cronjé said in her speech.

“These new business owners invest their funds back into their businesses and communities while also supporting new business and local social development programmes.”

Rosetta Stander (53), the director, said the funds would enable Zimele to take its community development model to all 11 districts in the province.

Zimele aims not only to meet the daily needs of women who are affected by poverty, but also to enhance their physical, financial and emotional security to uplift the entire community, Stander said.

It provide skills training, creates financial awareness and develops micro businesses underpinned by a network of community support.

Its clients are about 1 200 women in 110 self-help groups in Mtubatuba, Winterton and Swayimane.

The programmes help some of the women sell their craft products. Others are involved in commercial farming.

According to the Zimele annual report, sales of craft in 2011 brought in R508 000.

The organisation also serves Imbokodo Computer Centre, seven pre-schools in Swayimane, the kaLanga and Thuthukani cultural guest houses for backpackers.

Stander said Zimele was born out of frustration.

“With all the food parcels and donations being given to poor people, I felt society was keeping them trapped in poverty as they still were not able to escape their day-to-day situation.

“I wanted to give them dignity, knowledge and opportunities so that they can become agents of change in their own lives,” she told The Witness.

She said she believed there was a winner within every woman.

“All they need is a little encouragement, knowledge, information and opportunities and then they can change their communities.”

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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