Skip links


South Africa

We support projects in South Africa in cooperation with our Friendship Link Soroptimist Clubs (SI Durban and SI Pretoria/Tshwane).

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”

The Soroptimist clubs in Southern England launched a joint project to offer a short internship to 18-25 year-olds in 2018.   SI southern Region funds the project and ensures its rollout.  Our Friendship Link Club in South Africa (SI Pretoria/Tshwane) makes the local arrangements, selects a suitable local applicant 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!

More information is available on the Regional website:



Our Friendship Link Club, SI Stourbridge, has supported the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia for many years.   Woking Soroptimists are contributing to the effort to give 1,000 blankets to the hospital and aim to send 20 blankets by February 2024.  So we are knitting furiously!

The hospital aims to end fistula in Ethiopia for good.  It always needs blankets for the women who come for fistula repair surgery and for childbirth.

The Hamlin College of Midwives in Addis Ababa trains midwives to BSc degree level. They go ont to work in rural health centres across

across Ethiopia and change countless women’s lives.

Read the charity’s latest report here.


Early in 2024, the SI Woking Microfinance Group arranged a loan for Stars 1102 in Zambia.  Stars 1102 is a group of five businesswomen in Livingstone. Thel loan will help these women to care for their 24 dependents and also to run their family businesses – market stalls, shoe repair stalls and grocery stalls.