Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Learning about CWR and Partnership

1 Comment » Written on January 27th, 2014     
Filed under: Community Development
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As a lifelong Covenanter, I grew up being familiar with Covenant World Relief. When I was a child I would put money in the Covenant World Relief soup can offering bank, and knew in general about their work in the world. However, as I have come in to my 2nd week as an intern at CWR, I realized that I was unfamiliar with the specifics of what CWR does. I did know that CWR partners in transformation but, who are the partners and how does that create transformation?

IMG_0140One of the partners who I have been introduced to in these past few days is Zimele in South Africa. Zimele has been in partnership with CWR since 2011. Zimele, based in the KwaZulu Natal province of South Africa, works to empower women in local communities by having groups of women gather together to encourage and support each other. These groups then choose a trade or craft they would like to learn to earn extra money and better themselves. Some of the new and creative options for the women are jam making and recycling glass containers, along with more traditional possibilities like child care and farming. With the surplus money these women have earned, they have chosen to reinvest in their own community, helping care for orphans and people affected by HIV/AIDS.

The Zimele project has created remarkable change for the three districts it is working in. The change is so remarkable that the government has given Zimele a contract to expand its work into all 11 districts in the province.

Zimele, speaking about the government partnership, says that “this was a huge experience and honor for all. For the ordinary rural women, it increased their hope and confidence as individuals, and in their collective efforts to bring change for themselves and their communities. They now feel recognized, confident, powerful and highly motivated to work to confront obstacles in their struggle for better lives. Zimele is very excited about this new partnership and looks forward to its unfolding.”

I am excited to learn about other partners of CWR and how they are transforming their communities.

–Written by Michyla Lindberg, new CWR intern and student at North Park University


Zimele: Gracious Zulu Hospitality

1 Comment » Written on December 19th, 2013     
Filed under: Community Development
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Recent visit to South Africa by CWR staff and advocates.

Recent visit to South Africa by CWR staff and advocates.

Visiting Covenant World Relief partners is always inspiring for me because I get to see first-hand God’s transforming work in the lives of individuals and communities. Recently CWR advisory team members Debbie Blue, Robert Owens, and John Tanagho joined me on a trip to South Africa to visit Zimele, a Christian organization that seeks to empower Zulu women. These women form Self Help Groups (SHGs) in which they meet regularly to build up their savings, take out loans for small businesses, study the Bible, pray, and encourage one another.
As we visited several SHGs we heard how the women and their families were being changed. Not only that, we also heard how the women in these groups are seeking to change their communities. Many of the SHGs have started kindergartens and programs for youth. Most of the groups we visited were actively engaged in caring for orphans whose parents had died of HIV/AIDS. Their goal is to make it possible for these children to be raised in families in the community, rather than be placed in an institution. Continue Reading »

Standing on One’s Own Two Feet

Post a Comment » Written on June 26th, 2013     
Filed under: Community Development
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Zimele Photo 1God is doing amazing things through the work of our partner organization, Zimele. “Zimele” is a Zulu word that means, “to stand on one’s own two feet.”  Currently in South Africa, Zimele is working to empower impoverished women in the province of KwaZulu-Natal to stand on their own feet and provide for their families and community.  Though each woman is learning to stand on her own, we know as a community of believers that we can only stay standing through the support of one another.

Click here to support this project. Continue Reading »

Stewardship: Whose World Is It?

Post a Comment » Written on June 12th, 2013     
Filed under: Community Development
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The hymn, “This is My Father’s World,” speaks of the beauty of creation and the wisdom of the Creator. Not only does this hymn remind us of God’s constant and gracious care, but its words point to simple truths about how we live and interact with one another in God’s world:

  • This is my Father’s world…God is the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of this world.  He created all peoples and gifted us this world in which we live.
  • O let me ne’er forget…It is easy to feel entitled to the things we own in this world—but truthfully we are stewards of this earth and everything we have is God’s.
  • though the wrong seems often so strong…Despite the good creation of God, the world has been corrupted by sin and we are plagued by human suffering and injustice.
  • God is the ruler yet! We have the promise of redemption of the whole world through Jesus Christ. It is our privilege to partner with God in bringing his hope to the world. Continue Reading »

Mrs. Gwala’s Story

Post a Comment » Written on March 6th, 2013     
Filed under: Community Development
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Mrs. Octavie Gwala is 55 years old. She tells of a very challenging upbringing, because her family did not have the means to send her to school. So she quickly stopped dreaming of a better future – and of becoming a teacher – and focused on her survival.

But since she joined Zimele, Mrs. Gwala has become a community developer in her own way and has formed 10 Self Help Groups (SHGs) with a total of 100+ members. She is training and mentoring these groups. Her life has completely changed from being just an ordinary community woman to a busy woman with a training schedule. Continue Reading »