Zisize began operations in 1999 as a single project (a Teachers’ Resource Centre) in Ingwavuma, KwaZuluNatal, South Africa. Its purpose was to improve the quality of education for children by providing educators with the necessary tools to do their job. It soon became apparent that education in Ingwavuma needed a far more holistic approach, as so many factors impacted on children's ability to learn and teachers' ability to teach.
Over the past fourteen years it has developed projects which focus on the 'whole' child as well as maintaining its original aim to improve educational standards. Although a small charity (NPO) it is making big differences to the lives of orphans and vulnerable children and the schools they attend.
Zisize means 'help yourself'. This Zulu word was chosen as it is a true reflection of the charity's aims and ethos. It encourages those who use the organisation to no longer be part of the problems that face this impoverished area, but rather to be part of the solution towards a brighter future.
Zisize believes that “it is better to light a candle than to complain about the dark” and encourages volunteers and supporters to do whatever they can, rather than do nothing because the problems seem too big. It encourages people enduring difficult circumstances, to believe that they can effect positive change with a little help. Children from very disadvantaged backgrounds are encouraged to believe that they can not only have ambition but that they can also achieve that ambition. Its aim at all times is to provide support which will result in a brighter future for Ingwavuma's children in the New South Africa.