A pioneering group of women, led by Irene Kholosa, reached their goal on Saturday, 22 November, 2014. The very first Soroptimist club in this deep rural area of the Eastern Cape was chartered! The SI South Africa (SISA) President, Lisette Genseberger, who had steadfastly mentored the women’s group over three years, Lieske Bester, a SI member of 35 years standing, Gail Charalambous, SISA’s Vice President and Sally Currin, SIGBI FCC, proudly welcomed a further 18 Soroptimists into the National Association. In true Xhosa tradition there was much singing, praise and enormous generosity.
After the formalities and sustenance the whole group visited Irene Kholosa in hospital – a cruel irony that she had not been able to attend the chartering of SI KSD and witness its welcoming into the SIGBI fold. The group then moved on to Bethany Children’s Home, one of the main projects of SI KSD.
We ended this special day with a visit to Qunu, the village of Nelson Mandela’s childhood and area of his final resting place. A tour of the museum had to compensate for the disappointment that we could not get close to his homestead and grave.
SISA knows that Madiba would be deeply satisfied if he knew of the establishment of a Soroptimist club in the area that remained profoundly important to him. SI KSD is positioned to build on his legacy.