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Our Friendship Link with SI South Africa

Our Friendship Link with SI South Africa

Our Friendship Link with SI South Africa (SISA) is well established and this year our collaboration is focussed on the “VIP” (Volunteering in Pretoria) project.

SI Southern England (SISE) is sponsoring two young women from a Pretoria township to work in a school (whose principal is a Soroptimist), giving them work and life experiences which they would not otherwise have had.

Andile Zwane (21) and Koketso Mevlin (24) started work at Makgatho Primary School in January 2020 and SISE pays a monthly stipend of approximately £150 each direct to SI Pretoria-Tshwane who manage the spend on the girls’ food, transport and work clothes. SISE have also recently sent £450 to finance a basic laptop for each intern to allow them to work more effectively, particularly under the current pandemic circumstances, and to assist them to report to SISA as required under their internship agreements. The members of SI Pretoria-Tshwane organise activities for the girls.

The following is the report from the SISA VIP team at the end of the first 6 months of the internships:

“We have reached our half-way point with the VIP Project. We are excited at the progress made and growth of our two girls, or should I say young women, and are happy to report that their progress has been fulfilling and relevant, even in the face of dealing with the COVID 19 Pandemic. Through the reports we share with you, we can table the growth and the visualisation of their end-goals in line with the expectations they voiced in the formative period of the project.”

Needs expressed by the interns………

Koketso and Andile have ambitions to work in school education and are studying towards achieving this goal. Their drive is evident in their diligence and work ethic demonstrated in their impeccable attendance as well as positive feedback from the teachers they assist in their capacity as Teacher Aides and as they carry out other school-day related support functions. (This is information collected from Jane, who is the Head Mistress and a fellow Soroptimist sister.) They have tabled their wish to enhance their chances of success in their studies and to be excellent in their teacher support functions now and ultimately as qualified teachers themselves, assisted in part through this opportunity made possible through SISE and SI Pretoria Tshwane club.

The next six months……..

Schools recently re-opened and the girls, as Teachers Aides have been obligated to return, which they have. We are looking to acquire laptops for the girls to use as the lockdown has now created a space where most of our interaction has to be limited and structurally thoughtful.

We thank SISE for the support you have given us and are looking forward to ensuring the success of this programme through action and your continued support, both in advice and of course financially.

The girls have declared their gratitude in being able to participate in this programme and are looking forward to working through the next 6 months.”

It is wonderful to read how well the girls are doing in spite of the current situation and to hear that they are inspired to learn and gain experience to support their ambitions for the future. We are hoping that some of the SISA VIP team and possibly Andile and Koketso will join us via Zoom at the SISE AGM in November.


Andile Zwane


Koketso Chepape