The Woza Moya Sustainable Livelihoods Staff had a very successful visit to the Mtubatuba area. Our first host was Zimele, an NGO that facilitates Community Development & Empowerment through women’s Self-Help-Groups (SHGs) www.zimelecommunity.org
It was particularly interesting for our team to witness the more mature collaborations of Cluster Groups, a level of SHGs that we have not yet reached at Woza Moya.
We visited a crèche, formed by a SHG, participated in making crafts and visited a community computer school initiated by SHG members.
Women told us that they no longer sat at home isolated with their problems, but through these SHGs found support and advice in each other’s company, as well as making income through various micro-enterprises.
We travelled to Pongola to visit local farmers trained by BioWatch using Agro-Ecological Practices. We were very impressed at how resilient and successful these farmers were, despite experiencing a severe drought. Adapting their techniques to local conditions, using a variety of traditional seed, avoiding pesticides and synthetic fertilisers, using innovative ways of composting and harvesting and saving water, all contributed towards this success. Their household seedbanks were beautiful, powerful and inspiring.
We also attended a Biowatch (www.biowatch.org.za/) meeting in the town of Pongola, sharing with other organisations the ways in which we each embraced agro-ecological techniques.