SI PE Club Exco 2017: Back: Rika Haasbroek (Club Secretary), Elna Maree. Middle: Carmen Ҫakmak (Club Treasurer), Andrea Exley. Front: Sherry Moorhouse (Club Vice President), Diane Connell (Club President), Maria Bekker (Club President Elect)
SI Port Elizabeth
Soroptimist International Port Elizabeth club was the first club to be chartered in South Africa, on 24 July 1959. It focuses on women and girls, their education, safety and economic empowerment.
This project started in 2009. In 2016 we were proud and thrilled to be granted a financial boost by the SISA Foundation Trust.
Secondary Level: Girls from financially disadvantaged backgrounds showing potential in the fields of Mathematics and the Sciences, are nominated by their schools. Every second year recipients in Grade 11 are selected by a panel. Financial support provided by SI PE covers their school fees, extra lessons, uniforms where needed, academic blazers, matriculation (Grade 12) fees, prefect camps, matric farewell fees etc. The co-ordinators meet with the recipients at the end of every school term for social interaction and discussing their marks or any matter they bring up. Their plans for the post-matric year are discussed and we provide help with applications for tertiary institutions, bursaries etc.
Our four current bursars are matriculating at the end of 2017 and two of them are also iGEMS (Incubating Great Engineering Minds) scholars with the Unity in Africa Foundation.
Tertiary Level: We stay in contact with our bursars as they move on to tertiary institutions and assist where needed, if possible. We have regular contact with two young ladies doing Science degrees at NMMU and Stellenbosch University as well as another who is doing a Pharmacy Learnership in Port Elizabeth.
Thuthuzela Care Centre
Starting in 2013, SI Port Elizabeth has undertaken to be involved with the general upgrade and upkeep of aspects of the Thuthuzela Care Centre at the city’s Dora Nginza state hospital, as well as facilitate the provision of care packages for the personal needs of the clients. We have cleaned and painted in order to improve the overall look of the outside of the centre. With the generous support of the SISA Foundation Trust in 2015 we completely revamped a counselling room. During 2016, the entrance passage and kitchen were painted and we were able to contribute to uplifting staff morale by installing dual purpose furniture, allowing seating for staff meetings as well as for eating together. The TCC is a one-stop facility for survivors of rape. It aims to reduce secondary victimisation, improve conviction rates and reduce the time taken to finalise court cases. We liaise with the centre’s staff and counsellors regarding Thuthuzela’s ongoing needs. Its management team combines the Departments of Justice, Health, Police and Social Development.
VAN STADENS FLOWER RESERVE FARM SCHOOL (inception 2016):
SI PE is liaising with the principal of this poorly resourced state farm school as well as the community partnership co-ordinator of nearby Woodridge College. Our aim is to provide support in a couple of areas, namely supporting teacher training in the areas of reading and literacy; encouraging sustainability and environmental awareness; enabling the school to forge partnerships which will help improve its facilities and utilities.
In keeping with the importance of girls being able to attend school daily, we have donated disposable sanitary pads to the school.
Programmes We Support
Khaya Cheshire Care Centre
Khaya Cheshire Care Centre is an outreach programme initiated by the Port Elizabeth Cheshire Homes. It caters for severely mentally and physically disabled children ranging from the ages of three to 20. Most of these children have not been accommodated in mainstream or special education. They are all resident in Walmer Township.
The club has sponsored Khaya Cheshire since its inception in 2006. We supplied soft furnishings, educational equipment, burglar bars, security gates and a wheelchair for a little boy. We also made provision for the security features when a second classroom was built. At the end of the school year, we supply the pupils and their families with groceries for the holiday closure period.
Khayalethu Youth Home
The club has been supporting this well run home for youngsters (former street children) for more than 20 years. We make a monthly monetary contribution towards the purchase of fresh fruit and vegetables for Khayalethu residents, and we help with the provision of various household needs when we can oblige.