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Soroptimists in Africa

At the International Convention 2019 in Kuala Lumpur – July 18th 2019 marks the date when the SI Board announced that they have given the green light for the Charter of the African Federation.

It is anticipated that the 5th Federation is to be Chartered in 2020.

At the convention – see photo of the Future African Taskforce president Mary Muia  and IPP Nneka Chris-Asoluka at the SI AGM in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where they gave an excellent presentation to the SI Board.

SI Future African Federation Conference 2018

The Conference was held in Marrakech, Morocco in April 2018 with the inspiring theme Together we Can.

Click here on Si Europe website to read an account of the conference

The early days of Soroptimist International in Africa

The first club in Africa to be chartered was Soroptimist Harare Zimbabwe on 26th March 1956 by the Federation President of SIGBI  Rebecca Morris, who also visited Bulawayo, where a club was formed and Chartered a few years later. 

See Countries below in Order of Charter:


There are to date 2019 4 Clubs working in Zimbabwe – in order of Charter

Harare – 26-Mar-56…..Bulawayo – 01-Jan-67…..Vabatsiri – 12-Sep-98…..Uyanda – 25-Aug-10

In the early days members of Harare Club Zimbabwe organised a picnic for 160 children and teachers of Emerald Hill School for the deaf – it was a picnic with a difference and was to be held in the lion and cheetah park on the outskirts of Harare. Many of the children had never seen wild animals before and the day proved to be both educational and fun for all concerned,


May 24th 2019 The Soroptimist International Bulawayo members visited Chithekani to make a donation for their campaign #KnickersForKnowledge.

SI Bulawayo

The club also donated Soccer Balls and Whistles, Textbooks and Grocery items for the Feeding Scheme the school runs. The grocery items included Cooking Oil, Cabbage and Sugar Beans.



South Africa

Federation President Rebecca Morris, after Chartering the Club in Zimbabwe  proceeded to Port Elizabeth in South Africa and enlisted the help of Frances Sloan, whose enthusiasm brought about the formation of the first Club in South Africa Port Elizabeth which was chartered on 24th July 1959 by former SIGBI President Elizabeth Glen-Dobie. SI Port Elizabeth celebrated 60 years in 2019

In 1963 SI Cape of Good Hope & SI Johannesburg  were chartered 

There are to date 2019 seven Clubs working in South Africa – In order of Charter

Port Elizabeth 24th July 1959….. Cape of Good Hope – 02-Apr-63…..Johannesburg & District – 08-Jun-63…..Durban – Apr-64…..Grahamstown – 25-Oct-75…..King Sabata Dalindye – 14-Nov-14……Pretoria Tshwane – 28-May-16

The first meeting of the South African Council took place in Port Elizabeth in October 1964 and the 4 established clubs – Port Elizabeth, Cape of Good Hope, Johannesburg and Durban, each sent 12 representatives – the first national

President Gertrude Brinkman was inducted



Click here for Roll of Honour – Cape of good hope – South Africa

Check out the website Soroptimist International Southern Africa Network (SISAN) for more information about clubs


The first club chartered in Nigeria was Soroptimist International Lagos in 1964.

SI Lagos is based in the old city of Lagos. One of their main projects is supporting a girls’ secondary school in Yaba, a part of Lagos. In 20133 Club President Biola and her members had arranged a colourful ceremony for Federation President Pat Black to present a huge parcel of books for the school library.  The presentation ceremony was very colourful with musical entertainment by choir and musicians.  The books were warmly wwelcomed by the school, but the club intend to provide many more books.

Extension has been at a rapid rate in Nigeria – To date August 2019, SI Nigeria has 16 vibrant Clubs the youngest being SI Asokoro which was chartered in 2018.


Clubs in order of Charter:

Lagos – 01-Apr-64…..Eko – 02-Oct-81…..Ikeja – 28-Jan-84…..Lagos Mainland – 01-Feb-85…..Apapa – 23-Feb-85…..Osogbo – 22-Jun-90…..Surulere – 27thAug-92…..Abujah – 22-Oct-92…..Asaba – 10-Jan-98…..Ikoyi – 06-Oct-02…..Onitsha Niger – 30-Jan-10…..Nnewi – 07-May-11…..Awka – 08-May-11…..Gwarinpa – 14-Oct-17…..Enugu Coal City – 16-Feb-18…..Asokoro – 23-Jun-18

Soroptimist International of Nigeria Association’s (SINA) announces  the official charter of four new clubs situated in three geopolitical zones out of Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones all chartered within a space of five days namely:

SI Abakaliki chartered on 10th December
SI Festac Town 14th December
SI Kubwa 16th December
SI Maitama 16th December.

Also we wish to commend and appreciate our dear national president Mrs Bose Milan-Jack, SINA Executives, Club members and everyone who worked tirelessly to ensure the fruition of the new club’s.A special welcome to the new clubs as we inspire actions and transform lives.

Soroptimist clubs in Nigeria work mainly in education and health to improve the lives of women and girls. You will find out more about our work on the club pages – link to Soroptimist Nigeria website here for more information.


SI The Gambia

There is one Club in The Gambia – SI Banjul.

The Club received it’s Charter on 7th May 1987

The BIG Project (Birthing in the Gambia) was a good example of clubs working together and Soroptimists made a huge difference to mothers in The Gambia in this three year project.


There are two clubs in Mauritius  – In order of Charter

SI Ipsae received its charter on 1st December 1987

SI Port Louis was chartered don 3rd April 2004


Sierra Leone

Soroptimist International Freetown is the only club in Sierra Leone. The club received its Charter from Federation President Jane Barrie on 23rd February 1991, on the 24th birthday of the club in 2015 Past President Jane says

“Happy 24th Birthday. I was there at the birth and had the privilege of chartering you. You have been through so much since then and we are very proud of you all for your resilience. Keep up the good work, you are in our thoughts”.

SI Freetown has triumphed through good times and difficult times – we think of the devastating Ebola epidemic in 2014 when a club member says – “Getting ready for emergency club meeting this afternoon to discuss the on going ebola emergency in Sierra Leone and SI Freetown’s programme for prevention and support. Women are disproportionately at risk, as care-givers and health workers”.

SI Freetown has a wonderful history of excellent Programme Action, carrying out inspirational projects with the help of many Friendship Links and friends. On the occasion of the 25th Charter Anniversary a Service of Thanksgiving was held – read report in Local Newspaper

Members from Soroptimist clubs around the world visited Sierra Leone on a Study Tour in August 2017 – this was hugely successful, and members are still talking about it today. Dr. Wendy Kreider, a member of SI Whittier, California, writes of the visit to Sierra Leone, Wendy wanted to learn more about the work they do to educate and empower women and girls, and the projects in action. Click on the link to read her blog.


There is one club in the Seychelles – Victoria – Male chartered 3rd August 1994

The club works on many projects – one is supplying books to schools.
12 bags and boxes destined for the Praslin Secondary School and the two Primary Schools in Grand Anse and Baie St Anne on Praslin island were donated. Another shipment went to the school on La Digue Island.


The first club chartered in Cameroon was Bonaberi-Douala on 12th may 1995. To date 2019 there are three clubs in Cameroon – In order of Charter

Bonaberi-Douala – 12-May-1995…..Yaounde – 17-Jan-98…..Kumba – 18-Feb-01


There is one club in Malawi SI Blantyre Chartered in 1998

Many clubs work with SI Blantyre and with NGO Mary’s Meals to provide food for all the children in their schools.

School children in Great Britain also like to send items for school and backpacks for children of Malawi. These projects have proved very successful over many years




To date 2019 there are three clubs in Uganda – In order of charter:

Masaka – 29thSept -12…..Tororo – 29-Apr-16…..Lira – 23-Feb-17

SI Masaka has many wonderful Programme Action projects and is supported well by good Friendship links.



The club supports a group of HIV positive women & girls (HOFTAC). They are being empowered economically to enable them live positively with the Virus and look after their families. They do Crafts, Tailoring and Agriculture The club also supports a project to make sanitary pads and painting brushes from banana fibers. Also Bee keeping projects and work to build a dormitory at a School for Girls


SI Tororo UGANDA received Charter on 29th April 2016

Click here to read more about Soroptimist International Tororo




Si Lira UGANDA was Chartered on 23rd February 2017


Members of SI Lira, pose for a photograph with school girls after distribution of sanitary kits to the young girls in a primary school.