This March I'll take a group to work with Zimele in South Africa. We're raising funds to bring as a gift for Zimele as we partner with them
One year ago I went to Africa to see for myself the dire crisis that we hear so much about back here at home. I was struck not only by the grave nature of the situation, but by the seemingly endless complications that make humanitarian efforts seem like a lost cause.
Africa has become a continent of people looking for the next handout. They have been conditioned toward that, and the social fabric of black africa has been torn apart from top to bottom. In a place like this hope seems like no more than an empty word. But then I learned about Zimele.
Zimele means, "I can stand on my own two feet." It is not an organization of hand outs, it teaches men and women to take a stand for themselves, and leverage their own gifts and potential toward a life free of dependency. What a beautiful thing it is to see the poorest of the poor embrace hope as something real, not just a word.
Zimele teaches people to save their money, to invest their money, and to invest their gifts and talents into their community. This model of micro savings has had huge success in just its first 3 years. Literally thousands of people have become active parts of savings groups and community development.
The success has also become very tangible. 3 months after my return from Africa last summer, Zimele was awarded the Courageous Leadership Award by the Willow Creek Association. The award committee were blown away by the work that Zimele was doing. They had never seen anything like it before, and they were so encouraged. Even the South African government is starting to take notice. Sometime in the middle of this year Zimele will have become large enough to become an officially politically recognized association within South Africa. Even their own government is curious as to how we are having success, without giving out a single dime.
All the funds that we raise go toward operation costs. I know that's not as exciting as sending a child to school or providing meals to a family for a week. But remember, Zimele exsists to empower, not to perpetuate dependance. But we have seen the proof that deep life change and empowerment are the keys toward long-term success. Zimele does not exist to create more dependence. I hope that you can join with me, knowing that your financial gift goes not toward a food parcel, water, or a medical kit, but toward real hope.
Zimele is a Non Profit organization run by Christ Followers, and based on deep seeded Christian values. We go there out of our own conviction that God longs to bring whole-life restoration into the lives of all his children, spriitual, physical, and emotional. Zimele provides a place where the hope of that reality can be more than just a dream, but a reality.