Zimele Craft for Social Empowerment

Zimele Necklaces
Image: http://www.designindaba.com/profiles/zimele

Zimele Social Empowerment craft group.

The Necklace made from felt and beads consists of differently sized, colourful circular discs hanging from different strands of string/twine to create a playful and fun necklace.

Zimele focuses on developing community self-reliance through crafts.
Zimele is a non-profit organisation based in Pietermaritzburg that was founded in 2007 by Rosetta Stander.

Determined to break the cycle of ‘hand-out dependency’ and basing her model on highly successful schemes in India, she created Zimele, meaning “people stand on their own feet” in Zulu.

Zimele is a non-profit organisation that acts as a facilitator, not just feeding people for a day but leading them towards belief in their personal ability to work their way out of poverty.

Methods and processes:
Zimele is currently implementing its programmes in all 11 districts of KwaZulu-Natal with approximately 3500 women actively involved with Zimele.

The Zimele model works to:
• empower women by unlocking skills, resources, support systems and networks, and
• create new opportunities such as local and international markets and links to government programmes
Zimele pursues this vision through providing women with the knowledge, skills, resources and support networks to sustain themselves and their families.

Women are traditionally excellent crafters within Zulu society and many rural women have existing craft skills.

Through Zimele they are trained to make high quality items, using their incredible talents. They work with fabric, felt and beads to make a range of stationery, bags, decorations, home ware and jewellery. The range includes bags, décor, homeware and jewellery made from felt, beadwork and fabric.
The training and materials are free of charge, although the women are expected to purchase the tools/equipment needed such as needles, scissors and pliers. Once the products are of a good standard, the women purchase the raw materials and Zimele pays for the items that they make on order.

Social responsibility

Zimele helps  leading people to belief in their personal ability to work their way out of poverty.

Zimele’s aim is to focus on the individual’s journey to self-worth, self-realisation, and finally sustainable self-sufficiency. People are therefore able to contribute fully according to their individual strengths on a community level for the ultimate benefit of both the individual and the wider community.

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