Future Africa Federation Conference in Pretoria

DSC_3475DSC_3469DSC_3472DSC_3471The Soroptimist International Southern Africa Network (SISAN), in partnership with the task force of the Proposed SI African Federation is hosting the Soroptimist International Future Africa Federation (SIFAF) Conference in Pretoria, Greater Metropolitan City of Tshwane, Gauteng, South Africa from Thursday 20 March to Saturday 22 March, 2014. Members of SI South Africa (SISA) form the organising committee. The aim of the Conference is to lay the foundation for the Future Africa Federation.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SISA supports Dignity Dreams

Dear Sisters
Please see the project below. This such a perfect project for us…and a national collaboration would make it so much more powerful in every way.
Sally Currin
President: SISA

dd uitsig.3

dignity dreams new pads.5DIGNITY is the birth right of every girl and woman – and it starts with education
Can we really afford to let young girls miss 60 school days EVERY year?

Why we need your support
Every time you donate money, sewing machines, over lockers or polycotton material you are helping us achieve our two goals:
• To distribute 1 000 packs per month to girls and women.
Our market research indicates that young girls have the greatest need for our Dignity Dreams packs – it is them who miss up to 60 school days per year; marry too young and have their own children at an age when they should be experiencing the joys of youth.
• To create sustainable employment by giving previously unemployed women and men the opportunity to acquire a skill and earn a decent wage.
Every Dignity Dreams pack purchased means that the previously unskilled, unemployed women and men we employ, will earn a decent wage and be able to support and educate their families! Dignity Dreams packs are proudly made and produced in South Africa.
Our approach to doing business
1) Partnerships – Start conversations between girls, women, community and church leaders, social workers, volunteers about taboos, gender and human rights and misinformation regarding their bodies. By strengthening our partnerships we will have a measurable impact on communities and societies;
2) Transfer skills to previously unemployed women and men and set up protective workshops;
3) Ensure that our environment is not polluted by sanitary wear.

For more information and banking details contact:
Sandra Millar sandra@dignitydreams.co.za
Melodie Heyns melodie@dignitydreams.co.za
Tel 012 430 2630 or 082 555 4905

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Controversial rape section in Moroccan penal code could be scrapped

Morocco aims to repeal part of its penal code allowing rapists who marry their victims to go free, according to lawmakers.
Article 475 of the Moroccan penal code is a controversial holdover from the North African kingdom’s colonial era that has in recent years resulted in some rape victims committing suicide.
The Commission of Justice, Legislation and Human Rights, part of the Moroccan parliament’s lower house met on Wednesday, 8 January and voted unanimously to repeal the provision of Article 475 that allows a man who rapes a minor to go free if the victim marries the assailant.
Moroccan civil society has aimed to cancel the controversial law for decades, but it was the death of Amina Filali, a 16-year-old who killed herself by drinking rat poison, that forced lawmakers to address the issue, after a public outcry drove Moroccans into the streets.
Click below to join thousands who are demanding reform of this rape law:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Message from Margaret Oldroyd, President: Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) Ltd

It is with the greatest sorrow that I have just learned of the death of former President Nelson Mandela. Flags are already at half-mast in London to show the respect with which he was held in the UK.

I am sure that this tribute will be repeated in countries across the world. He was one of the most remarkable statesmen of this or any time, earning the admiration of men and women of peace everywhere for his integrity and matchless courage in bearing witness to the truth at enormous personal cost.

David Cameron said tonight that ‘a light had gone out’. While that is true in one sense, I believe that the light of his example will live on and be used in many future situations, where violence is threatened, to show that there is another way. That is the most wonderful legacy – a light to live in the hearts of men. South Africa has every right to be enormously proud of one of Africa’s greatest sons – an outstanding world leader.

On behalf of their sisters across the Federation, I send your members our deepest sympathy at this time of national mourning.
In friendship

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Soroptimist International of South Africa mourns the passing of a great man

1920x1440-nelson-mandela-in-jail-desktop-wallpaper-hdSoroptimist International South Africa mourns the passing of a great man, the father of a nation and a kind and gentle soul and icon.

“This is a sad day which reminds us of the gap that is going to be part of our lives now that our revered leader and icon has departed. We need to be acutely aware of the work we have to do, to keep his legacy alive …. through our projects” Sally Currin President of Soroptimist International South Africa said.

In his inaugural speech as the first president of our republic, Nelson Mandela expressed his dream for all who live here, saying: “Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves.” We are faced with many challenges and we still have many hills to climb in our quest for freedom and democracy. Soroptimist International South Africa will strive to heed your call, Tata, in working towards peace, freedom and a society free of violence where women and children enjoy respect and dignity.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Soroptimists from Southern England on tour in South Africa

On 15 November a group of 11 Soroptimists from SI Southern England, accompanied by one Soroptimister started an extensive tour of South Africa, visiting all eight clubs in the country. Read more about their experience and learn about Soroptimist projects by following their blog at


We wish them a wonderful, safe and productive time in our beautiful country.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Our Projects Have Impact

Letter from PumzaPumza
Dear Soroptimist members,
I am Pumza Mdlatu and I am one of the girls you sponsored with a high school bursary at St James (RC) secondary school in Schauderville. I am currently studying at Nelson MandelaMetropolitan University (George campus) doing my 2nd year BCom accounting and my aim is to become a Chartered Accountant. I know it is not the science route I always thought I would go since I did Math and Science at school, but I later realised that science is not my thing and now I am in love with accounting.
I wrote this email to thank you all for everything that you have done for me. The opportunity for the education that I received at high school is the foundation of where I am right now. You have made those years very easy for me as I had only my studies to worry about and not school fees and any other financial matters towards school because you took care of it. My parents and I are very grateful for all of that.
I wish you all many more successful years with helping young girls like me.
It is much appreciated.
Kind regards,
Pumza Mdlatu

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Human dignity and gender-based violence

The early months of 2013 were marked by an appalling escalation of violence, rape, abuse and brutality. South Africans were shocked out of complacency due to the increasing severity of these crimes, as well as the fact that many of the perpetrators were known to their victims.

In order to understand the social processes and fragmentation that have contributed to the present conjuncture; how such an aberration can take place in a society where the dignity, corporal integrity, and equality of all are upheld in the Bill of Rights enshrined in the Constitution, and hopefully provide an indication of the kind of interventions required to arrest this pattern of violence and to restore human dignity and security to all, the SA Catholic Bishops’ Conference Parliamentary produced a briefing paper on this issue. They believe the complexity of violence as a social phenomenon with its many ramifications needs to be studied in order to be effectively countered.  Read more. Human dignity and gender-based violence

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October is Breast Cancer Month

Breast cancer incidence in South Africa

Cancer in South Africa is an emerging health problem, with breast cancer being one of the leading cancers in women. This does follow similar worldwide statistics.

 Lifetime risks of developing breast cancer vary from a low of one in 81 in African women (similar to Japan) to a high of one in 13 among white women, similar to rates in Western countries. Age and stage at diagnosis vary considerably between the different races and populations (urban v rural) living in South Africa.

There are many different determinants (socioeconomic, cultural, geographic and accessibility) to medical centres with oncology services.

Availability of traditional healers affects patients with breast cancer (mainly rural black women) in their decisions to obtain early medical help as well as to refrain from the proposed therapeutic methods (surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy)

Reference: Sandton Oncology Centre, University of the Witwatersrand.

CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) is proud to be associated with the NCR (National Cancer Registry) and is waiting for the decision to be gazetted soon from the Department of Health which will compel all health care facilities and laboratories to provide the NCR with information. This is especially important when decisions’ relating to screening, prevention as well as treatments is made.

Many Medical Aids in South Africa pay for a yearly Mammogram and Pap smear but this is of course only accessible to those with medical insurance.

Would it not be an idea to challenge those who can afford Medical Aid to sponsor one person to undergo a mammogram? This could be your domestic worker, your Au Pair or your Personal Assistant.

Most of the state hospitals in South Africa have long waiting lists and many of our population do not receive medical treatment for cancers in time.

The top five cancers among South African women are:

  1. Breast
  2. Cervical
  3. Origin unknown
  4. Colorectal
  5. Kaposi Sarcoma( AIDS related)

Have you had your mammogram this year?

Are you a breast cancer survivor and willing to share this experience with your fellow club members?

Are you willing to sponsor one mammogram?

Delegates at our National Conference in Durban, all dressed with a touch of pink.

Delegates at our National Conference in Durban, all dressed with a touch of pink.

Lisette Genseberger, SISA President-elect

PA Officer

October 2013

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In memory of Joan Goudswaard

It was with such sadness that Soroptimist South Africa members learnt of Joan Goudswaard’s passing. Just a few weeks ago we conferenced and partied together in Durban. How wonderful, and in such character, that she decided to spend time with South African Soroptimists even though she was recovering from ‘flu and not feeling her best.

She was a woman of integrity who touched many, many lives……not least, the hundreds of Soroptimists in South Africa whom she had interacted over the years of her membership. 

Joan, left, received an Honorary Life membership from her Club in April. With her are Pam van Rhyn and Maureen Maguire.

Joan, left, received an Honorary Life membership from her Club in April. With her are Pam van Rhyn and Maureen Maguire.

Soroptimists in South Africa are remembering with love a truly remarkable woman.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment