Sponsored by Zingela Ulwazi Trust

Development is a means of achieving a quality of life that is sustainable, and allowing the expression of the full range of creativity and humanity. 

Wangari Matathai

Our programs focus on the key elements necessary to support women’s independence, in line with SDG5.  For women to be able to stand on their own, they must be able to grow their own food to feed their families so they are not hungry.  They must be able to bring income into their households so they have the resources they need to support their families.  And they must  have the skills and strength to protect themselves from assault and rape.  Woven through with stress reduction techniques, at the intersection of these three securities, independence is possible.

We are thrilled to announce the launch of 10 Trees, in collaboration with Project Biome, a Zach Bush initiative. With the Zingela Ulwazi team, 15 graduates of Permaculture Explorers will now take up leadership positions to coordinate and implement 10 Trees. This will start with a mapping of productive plants in 165 households in Orpen Gate Village, Mpumalanga.  Community permaculture education will follow, with discussion and decision making about which plants each household requires to have broad biodiversity and nutritional diversity. Our first planting happens in September; in the meantime, we’re busy with stakeholder engagements, mapping and building solid foundations.


The Centre for Women’s Independence was launched in October 2022. It is a classroom and community meeting space, embedded in a model permaculture garden and food forest.

Lekina Mashile and Dephney Mhaule, Chair of Zingela Ulwazi’s Board

Permaculture Explorers is a program synthesising business development training, permaculture education and stress reduction techniques, for rural South African women who wish to lift themselves above the international extreme poverty line. The first class in RDP Village graduated in March 2020, the second on August 21st 2021 and our third class, in Rooiboklaagte B, on June 18th, 2022. Participants from both villages are currently growing co-operative businesses producing and selling eco-friendly home cleaning products. 

When I joined Permaculture Explorers, my heart changed inside.  We eat healthy now and we never ate healthy before.  I was always shouting at the kids.  What made me stressed was I was alone without a husband.  Now the garden is my husband and I can buy bread for my family. -Teresa

Sekwanele was launched in November 2020 by a group of women in rural RDP Village, Mpumalanga, in response to rampant violence against women and girls, unrelenting sexual assault and the belief that a lot of men have, that women exist for their use and abuse.

The women say “No more. It’s OVER”.

Zingela Ulwazi stands with these women who are doing the hard work of trying to change culture and the dominant mindset, by facilitating weekly self-defence classes for women and girls, many of whom are survivors of sexual assault, some multiple attacks. They’re amazing women, courageous, humble, loving, generous, and we want to help them be safe in their village AND change a decaying entitled, abusive patriarchal system.

“Culturally we are taught to be submissive, to be quiet, to endure, and that supposedly indicates respect. But we have had enough of bearing the brunt of men’s frustration, of being their punching bags and their sense of ownership of us and our bodies. We are claiming our lives and our rights as women, as human beings.”

Do you want to make a difference?

Zingela Ulwazi means

“Hunt for Wisdom”

in isiZulu


We are a Non-Profit Organisation based in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Our mission is to enable access to critical information to improve women’s lives, help to build resilience in communities and custodianship of nature in rural South Africa.

Our Vision is a world where women are independent, connected, healthy, joyful, respected and have full participation in the economy and full access to information and technology. A just world, where women’s rights are honoured, their lives and bodily integrity and safety treasured. Where women’s unique gifts, talents, skills and contribution to healthy, vital communities is valued and held in the highest esteem.

Registered NPO#134-226         Registered Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) #930045369 

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