Susters4Life was founded by the four Thompson sisters, Lesley, Reneé, Toni and Nashreen. The work began with ad-hoc community projects in Worcester and Laingsburg, with a focus on helping women in these rural communities.
We organised numerous projects around Mandela Day, Human Rights Day, Mother’s Day, Eid and Christmas, all of which we funded from our own pockets. As we became more involved in the lives of the local families, we realised just how widespread the need was for women’s empowerment and education.
The idea to start the Susters4Life NGO was born many years ago, when we lost our mother to pancreatic cancer. Mom was an inspiration to us all. After our father’s murder, she was left to raise four daughters on her own. Like so many women in South Africa, she became the head of our family and raised us to be successful in life, despite the many challenges she faced.
In the time after her death, we really became aware of just how much she sacrificed for us. Thanks to her support, we were each able to find our own successful paths in life. We wanted to do the same for other South African women facing difficulties like poverty, violence and trauma.
We started with projects in our hometown of Worcester, as well as Laingsburg where Mom was born and our grandmother still lives. Poverty and abuse of women and children is pervasive in these communities. We saw first-hand just how much need there is for women to receive guidance, mentorship and support, in order to rise above these tragic circumstances.
Our community projects were originally all funded from our own pockets, and through the generosity of our friends. Later, we decided to formalise our structure, and Susters4Life was officially registered as an NGO in 2017. This step will enable us to make more a meaningful contribution to the communities we’re working to help.
- Our mission is to empower and support women in general, but single mothers, abused women and child-headed households in particular.
- We encourage and help women to develop entrepreneurial skills, and assist with the capacity building of women.
- We advocate for gender equality and gender parity, and for women in rural areas to understand their rights.
- We also work in collaboration with other organisations and institutions who deal with empowerment, education and the protection of women’s rights.