Funds raised will be used to support Zimele South Africa through its unique position to help people stand on their own feet.
Dear Friends and Family,
In just under six weeks a group of six people, including myself, from Metro Community Church will be travelling to the Kwa Zulu Natal region of South Africa. We will be departing on the 5th of March and begin our return home on the 20th of March. The purpose of the trip is to observe and assist a non-profit organization called Zimele. I am inviting you to join me on this great adventure. First, I would like to familiarize you with Zimele a bit.
Zimele is a Zulu word meaning “to stand on one’s own feet” and this is what makes Zimele truly unique. My church, Metro Community Church, is a partner with Zimele. Zimele USA is run by a group of young professionals at Metro who work closely with the director of Zimele South Africa, Rosetta Stander, by supporting and aiding in the development of Zimele’s programs. I have been fortunate enough to meet Rosetta when she visited Metro, recently. Rosetta has great dreams and plans for Zimele South Africa, and since its inception in 2007 has managed to develop successful micro-businesses, savings groups, and mentorship programs.
Rather than offering immediate aid to people, Zimele seeks to offer long term solutions to the people of the region who are in need. This is accomplished through building physical, emotional and financial infrastructure. In other words, Zimele believes that each person is responsible to their self by learning to feed and care for themselves. This belief is further reinforced by the idea that individuals are also responsible to provide for their families and the community.
Personally, I believe in Zimele, and this idea of helping people “to stand on their own feet” and that is why I have volunteered my time to go to South Africa in March. Hope is very important for people to thrive and continue on the path God has in store for them, Zimele provides that hope in the way it engages in lives of those in need in Kwa Zulu Natal.
At this point, you might be asking yourself, “What will this group of people form Metro be doing on their trip?” I can tell you that we will be visiting the sick and elderly people of the region to care for them in any way we can, specifically by cooking for them, cleaning for them, praying for them, and providing general encouragement for their situation. As you may know from recent reports in the news media, the AIDS pandemic in South Africa is getting worse. Many of the current medications, which work for most people, are beginning to not be effective in South Africa. Thus, part of our trip will be to survey the situation so that we can learn from it and to find ways of leveraging our lives and the resources of Zimele USA for a return trip within the next year to continue supporting Zimele South Africa. In addition we will be helping in a building project for one of the crafting micro-businesses. This building will create more space for new businesses or to expand existing businesses as Zimele South Africa continues to grow.
The money raised for Zimele USA will be used for these purposes:
-First, the majority of the funds will aid in supporting Zimele South Africa efforts.
-Second, it will change the lives of many people for the better… forever!
There are a few things to consider about giving to the cause of Zimele. We are trying to raise a sizeable monetary gift for Zimele of $12,000, that equates to $2,000 per team member. These resources will be used for such things as vehicle maintenance and repair, food parcels, tuition for students, and the building project for one of the craft micro-businesses. If you are prepared, and able to give, here is what you can do:
1. Mail me a check, payable to Zimele USA, and mail it back to me in the enclosed envelope.
-Please make sure to write: Matthew Hertel March 2010 in the memo
2. Donate online by going to http://www.razoo.com/story/Zimele-Trip-March-2010 .
-Go to the right side of the page and click on a suggested donation amount of $25, $50, $100 or enter your own amount to give a one-time donation.
After I return from South Africa I would be more than happy to send you a follow-up letter about what I experienced in South Africa. I appreciate your partnership with me in this endeavor!