Project #200 | COVID-19 Emergency Relief in South Africa

Our partnership with Zimele

On March 26 2020, a countrywide lockdown in South Africa was enacted in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. During this time, the impoverished rural communities remained the most vulnerable, as the shutdown disrupted their ability to access resources and maintain small businesses. This put entire families and communities at risk of both food and financial insecurity. 

One Day’s Wages partnered with Zimele Wethu Foundation to respond to the needs of rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal during the countrywide lockdowns. The project supplied emergency relief to the most vulnerable families, children, and small business owners who were at risk of losing their livelihoods. Zimele conducted community workshops with Clusters Groups, Social Care Projects, and Small Businesses to provide them with education on social distancing and instruction on basic hygiene to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. They provided essential hygiene supplies like soap, cleaning materials, and face masks which were made by Zimele crafters. Finally, Zimele supported chicken farming and agro-businesses to support the community during COVID-19.

Our Collective Impact

Business Owners Supported

People Supported with Hygiene and Prevention Supplies

Orphans and Vulnerable Children Supported

Meet Sibongile

Ms. Sibongile is a 58-year-old craftswoman and seamstress. She joined the Zimele Self-Help Group program in 2015. Being a member of a group helped her access loans from her savings to buy materials and start a craft business. Her business was dependent on selling products at tourist centers outside her community, but with the onset of Covid-19, business at tourist centers stopped. She tried a business of sewing some products to sell in the community, but her range of products was limited due to the capacity of her sewing machine. During the Pandemic it was also extremely difficult to get materials for her products due to the lockdowns. Seeing her sewing abilities, Zimele Wethu hired her to train other sewing groups. She was able to support 27 other seamstresses, helping them earn an income by making cloth face masks.


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 the fund below.

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