Soroptimist International Johannesburg club was chartered on 8 June 1963.
Fundraising can be fun
CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA was founded by the late Professor Lorna Macdougall, an honourary member of SI Johannesburg.
For 33 years the Foundation has supported Children with cancer and their families. Childhood cancers and blood disorders affect 1 in 600 children under the age of 16. Childhood cancer is a reality; it does not discriminate, does not care where you live; does not care about your bank balance or the colour of your skin. Childhood cancer is everyone’s reality because childhood cancer does not just happen to someone, it can happen to anyone. CHOC focuses on keeping hope alive for all children in South Africa as they know that children are our future.
As a club:
- A fundraiser by asking one of our members to give a talk on her adventures in Antarctica.
- Soroptimists with friends and family dressed up as CHOC cows and:
- Cooked up a storm on the spruit by making boerewors rolls and flipping pancakes. We timed it right for the cyclists/runners/walkers who gave generously.
- Out to the Cradle to tempt the cyclist training for the 94.7. They could not go passed the smell of boerewors rolls.
- On the day cycling the 94.7 complete in cow outfits and ice cream carts to promote awareness.
All in all the combined effort of all the CHOC cows riding on the 94.7 raised R3.3 million.
The money this year is to be spent on:
- Psycho-social support to children with cancer in the Eastern Cape, Free State and Gauteng.
- Running Bergvleit House in Cape Town.
- Running costs of CHOC House in East London.
- Childhood Cancer research in conjunction with the Zach Foundation.
Leyden Field, Chairperson: SI Johannesburg
Celebrating 50 years
SI Johannesburg celebrated its 50th Anniversary on 8 June 2013 at the Wanderers Cricket Club. It was a superb afternoon where memories were exchanged with older members. Leyden Field was personally thanked by her club for helping them through their difficult times and helping their club achieve this milestone in their history. Judging by the photos of present and past projects this club has much to be proud of! Carole Hadfield was thanked for the beautiful cake and the exquisite table decorations (handmade chocolates).
Two new members were inducted at this very special occasion: Mary Pule, Headmistress of a pre-primary school in Diepsloot West (a school supported by the Club for many years) and Grayce Masina who runs a créche/nursery school/homework centre in Diepsloot. Also present at this occasion was Ulrike Neubert( SI Europe Programme Director) who lives in Kenya.
The Aurora project supports South African adolescent girls (and school teachers) from disadvantaged areas, with the objective of enhancing their self-esteem, and enabling them to lead fulfilled lives as persons in their own right. Run jointly by SI Johannesburg and the Johannesburg branch of the South African Association of Women Graduates (SAAWG) this project has been running for 11 years.
The link with the Diepsloot Community goes back to February 1996 when the club met with community representatives in the veld. They had moved six months before, with the blessing of the authorities, from nearby Zevenfontein from where they were being evicted to Diepsloot West No. 2 to establish a new settlement. The people came with faith in the future saying, “If we help ourselves help will come to us”. The club’s main interests are in the pre-primary school and the adult education centre, both being grassroots creations that started with unpaid volunteer educators.
The Diepsloot Pre-school is self-funded, running itself on the minimal fee it requests from parents, not all families being able to pay. The club has assisted the school principal with her studies by obtaining bursaries for several years, members and friends, as well as the Irene Methodist congregation, have faithfully collected education supplements from their newspapers. The relevant supplements are of great use to the educators and are eagerly awaited. The club has also given monetary assistance to the Empilweni food growing project, a food garden in the pre-school grounds. that was established to supply fresh
vegetables for the children.
African Self-Help Association (ASHA)
SI Johannesburg continued to support Gillian Wilkinson, a club member, in her work in Soweto. The help was both financial and through the networking strength of the club. Contacts and moral support made a difference to the free flow of help into the community.
Previous projects include an opportunity where staff of schools in the area benefited from a motivational workshop held at Kingsmead College and a party for 70 Grade 0 children Kingsmead College. The Grade 7 Class entertained the Grade 0 children of Khomanani Primary School to a morning of games, party fare and songs. The club contributed to the transport costs, making it possible for the children to attend the event. Other projects include talks on cultivating trees and grass for schools, and assistance during teacher workshops.
Sithabile Child & Youth Care Centre
While the majority of the Centre’s children had parents who were unable to care for them for a number of reasons ranging from abuse to extreme poverty when the home began in 1994, 50% of those children are now orphans. The centre has also began supporting some of the parents as they became sick, in order to ensure that they receive ARV(anti-retro viral) treatment, proper nourishment and when they die – they can also be buried with dignity.
Club support is in the form of sponsorship of children to attend school and technical colleges; sponsorship of furniture for the boys’ dormitory; arranging council and education support for the children; and treating them to parties during the festive season.