ODW is pleased to announce our fourth grant recipient – Zimele – and their compelling work in the rural areas of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa.

This matching grant of $12,800 will go towards funding for supplies and transportation for volunteers and patients with HIV/AIDS to receive care and mobility to visit doctors. The grant will help create jobs, provides training, help build infrastructure for this new initiative, and will impact over 4000 people over the course of the two year term of the grant. 


Zimele is a nonprofit organization originating from South Africa and founded by Rosetta Stander in 2006.  Zimele is a unique non-profit organization which seeks not only to meet the daily needs of South Africans in the Kwazulu Natal region today, but also to build the physical, financial, and emotional infrastructure of their lives to improve the entire region.

While there are many non-profit organizations which seek to feed the people of this area we believe it is imperative that each individual learns to feed themselves.  We also believe that each individual must accept and embrace the responsibility of providing for themselves, their families, and their nation.  South Africa, particularly in the rural regions, has been devastated by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and extreme poverty.

While relief programs are 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’ and takes a more long term approach. Instead of a charity approach that reinforces a dependency on others, Zimele builds self-reliance by equipping individuals with the skills and tools necessary to develop emotional and financial independence.


Zimele organizes primarily women into Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and provides valuable training and support. By empowering women to improve their own lives, Zimele is reversing the dependency mindset which is critical in fighting poverty. Since 2007, Zimele has grown to support over 600 women who meet on a weekly basis and are changing their own lives.

Like other rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal, the village of Swayimane is overwhelmed with poverty, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis. Most households are either caring for someone who is terminally ill or burying a family member or friend. The Home Care Project was an initiative started by the Sinothando SHG Association (an umbrella body of six Self-Help Groups). Zimele's home care projects are designed to offer instructions on how to properly care for the sick and terminally ill, relieving the burdens felt by so many households. The women of these SHGs not only offer direct home care but also educate and counsel families on effective treatment practices and options.


As with any disease, education becomes a primary goal and priority. In order to provide this service free of charge to community members in need, these women require supplies and transportation funding for themselves as well as for the patients. 

The Home Care Project plans to take care of 10 patients at a time. Most of these patients are the breadwinners in their households. The direct benefit is not only to the patient but also to the household, which usually consists of approximately 7 people. Based on this estimate, up to 70 people per month would be directly impacted.

The women who volunteer in the home care project are also vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Having the skill to care, nurse and counsel the sick empowers and educates them to manage their personal situations. Fifteen women are currently trained to provide this care. Each of these women may have up to 7 people in their own households who would also be impacted from this project. Therefore, an additional 105 people a month could be impacted by the knowledge gained from this project. In essence, the Home Care Project directly and indirectly impacts a total of 175 people every month and about 4,200 people over the course of the 2 years spanning the duration of this matching grant.


If you're interested in donating towards the $12,800 matching grant, click here. ODW has pledged $6,400 and is inviting the supporters of Zimele and the ODW community to help fund the remaining $6,400.