Project #168 | Empowering Vulnerable Children in South Africa

Our partnership with Zimele

Despite the excitement of a newly democratic South Africa in 1994, there were still people, especially those in remote rural areas, who were still in need of assistance. Although a vast amount of good work was being done to alleviate poverty by both governmental and non-governmental agencies, there were still people living in poverty, children being orphaned and becoming heads of households through loss of parents to HIV/AIDS, ill and aged people living alone without any support, and people overwhelmed by life without hope.

One Day’s Wages partnered with Zimele USA/Zimele Wethu Foundation to empower 167 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) ages 7-21 in the communities of Swayimane, rural Durban, and Msinga. Zimele conducted training sessions and workshops directed at holistic healing through skills development, education, and mental and emotional support. Zimele’s grassroots approach empowered local leaders to be at the forefront of creating change within their communities. By cooperating with female leaders from the communities to implement the program, the impact will be ongoing through their sustained contributions to the OVC.

Our collective impact

Children Empowered

Students Increased School Attendance

Children Participated in Sessions on Abuse

Life Skills Retreat

The Life Skills Project closed with a two-day retreat during which the children engaged in various activities with a focus on the Memory Box Lessons on grieving and dealing with loss. Among the Memory Box lessons was a family tree where children were asked to draw a family tree of everyone living in their households and indicate what they felt about each household member. This was given as homework on day 1 of the retreat. The children came back with elaborate trees, designed each in a unique way, colored with crayons each color symbolizing an emotion attached to the family member on the tree. It was great to see their creativity, their playfulness depicted through pictures. What we did not anticipate however, was how serious the children took the exercise. Drawing the family tree opened up pandora’s box of emotions. Children depicted each family member and the relationship; in addition, the children highlighted what they felt for a specific family member and why they felt that way, which allowed them to begin the process of healing.

Thank you for making this possible!

Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.

If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our gender based violence fund.

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