Zimele. To Stand On Your Own Two Feet.


In Zulu, Zimele means “to stand on your own feet”. The goal is to uplift women, who are the poorest of the poor, and enable them to believe in their ability to work their way out of poverty.

Our Mission

To empower women with the skills, resources, and support networks to start businesses and social service projects to sustain themselves, their families, and their communities.

Our Vision

To confront the root causes of poverty and remove the barriers to economic self-sufficiency for women in South Africa’s rural communities.

How It Works

Zimele Staff invites women in rural areas of South Africa to establish Self-Help Groups that meet weekly to receive training and mentoring. Each group extablishes its own charter and rules, allowing the women to borrow money and invest it in their education and businesses.


The Zimele Model

Phase 1: Self Help Group (SHG) - SHG’s are groups of rural women who come together to form savings groups to help themselves and their communities.

Phase 2: Cluster Level Association (CLA) - SHG’s in a geographical area form a CLA. They help develop businesses and create social service projects.

Phase 3: Federation - A federation is responsible for the indepenent overall management and development of SHGs and CLAs and also negotiates with the government for economic, social and healthcare reforms.



Connect With Us

Together, with your support and partnership, we are making a significant impact in the lives of women and children in the rural areas of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. We don’t give handouts, instead, we encourage each person to take ownership of their family’s future and empower them with the confidence and skills to “stand on their two feet” in an area ravaged by poverty and HIV/AIDS.


For more information, or to make a donation, please visit our website at http://zimelecommunity.org/ or contact Angela Yu Bae at angela@zimelecommunity.org