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South Africa

Links with South Africa

We support projects in South Africa in cooperation with our Friendship Link Soroptimist Clubs.

Barbara Watts Volunteering in Pretoria/Tshwane (VIP) Project


Our Friendship Link SI Club in Pretoria-Tshwane chose Thobile as the best candidate for the 2022-23 internship.  She is newly qualified in social work but did not immediately find a position.  The Southern England SI Clubs decided to sponsor Thobile and the South Africa Soroptimist VIP team monitors and supports her.

Thobile started a placement with a psychologist centre in the Pretoria/Tshwane area in April 2022.  She reports that she is enjoying the work she has to do. Her first task was to help make videos for a psychosocial online support programme.  The programme covers a wide range of mental health issues and topics.

The SI Pretoria Club reports that Thobile is doing very well.


“We have changed lives for the better”

Some years ago, the Soroptimist clubs in Southern England launched a joint project to offer a short internship to 18-25 year-olds.  Sue Dyer and the late Barbara Watts developed the idea.  SI southern Region funds the project and ensures its rollout.  Our Friendship Link Club in South Africa makes the local arrangements.  SI Pretoria/Tshwane selects the applicants from their local area and supervises their progress.

During 2019-21, SI Southern England (SISE) sponsored two young women from a Pretoria township. They worked in a local school  where the head teacher is a Soroptimist, gaining professional and life experiences they could not otherwise have.  The two young women did so well in the first year that the SI Southern England Region decided to extend their funding for another school year.  At the end of the placement, both girls won a place to study at university – a great outcome for them and for us!

We are pleased to be one of the Clubs in Soroptimist International Southern Region that gave financial support to this project. 

More information is available on the Regional website: