Here are the links to our newsletters and news, so that we can stay in connection
A LETTER FROM THE CHAIR - APRIL

Another long week-end approaches, and depending on your commitments, the weekend can allow us to shift gear, and spend time connecting with friends and family . This week-end is a sacred week-end for many . For the Christians who celebrate Easter, this holiday is a joyous celebration to commemorate the Resurrection of Jesus, the defeat of death and the hope of salvation. If we trace it back to it’s roots, long before the advent of Christianity, there is a large body of research that points to Easter beginning as a pagan festival, a celebration of Spring, in the Northern Hemisphere. And as Carole Cusack, the Professor of Religious Studies and English Literature (University of Sydney, AU) states “Since pre-historic times, people have celebrated the equinoxes and the solstices as sacred times“.


So, however you choose to spend your time this week-end, whether it be “Much the same, but different”, hunting for strategically placed Easter Eggs, enjoying the taste of a warm hot-cross-bun in the morning or gifting daffodils to loved ones, the one thing we collectively can all experience and share, is staring up to the sky, as the Full “Pink” Moon rises into her lunar power, on Saturday, 16 April . Set to be the largest and brightest Full Moon of the year! How will you greet this transitory phase? How will you celebrate your “aliveness” in the moonlight? Wishing all a sacred, self-reflective and supported long week-end. 


A LETTER FROM THE CHAIR - MARCH

“It’s not even 3 months into 2022, and I’m already feeling shattered ”  this was the opening line shared, when bumping into a girlfriend recently, trying to align diaries to “catch-up” but life seemed to be getting in the way. “Why are we feeling so depleted ?” was the next piece of the conversation .

Many of us are barely keeping our heads above water; the competing expectations at home, at work, to the community and to ourselves - throw in a global pandemic and a myriad of uncertainty and yikes, it is a winning formula for burnout.

From the outside, someone might admire this full and abundant looking life but without the internal skills of prioritisation and self-care that build resilience and perspective, the pace and the load we carry, will inevitably lead to an inability to contribute sustainably.  

Time and reflection lead to realignment and strength. Learning the tools of communicating our needs, which might mean asking for support, is a fundamental self-care practice. A practice that not only honours ourselves but those we influence. We need to give ourselves permission to SLOW down, to PAUSE, to LISTEN deeply.

We invite you to reflect with us on these 5 questions;

  1. What does self-care mean to you?
  2. How do you respond to life's pressures?
  3. How are you nourishing your system?
  4. How would your life be different if you knew how to support yourself sustainably?
  5. What impact does you sustaining yourself have on future generations?
A LETTER FROM THE CHAIR - FEB

The new Board had its first meeting of 2022 and took the opportunity to connect and set goals for itself and the organisation for the next two years. In line with the way in which Women for Afrika does its "business" the women on the Board agree that the way we will work has collaboration as its guiding star - collaboration amongst each other, collaboration with the Leadership Circle and collaboration with the community of Women for Afrika and Women Within and beyond!

 

We have set a two year vision: 

To reconnect, maintain and grow the WFA community around the theme of "the future is feminine; the future is Africa" for the empowerment of women in South Africa and communities beyond by igniting collaboration on many levels within WFA. 

For this we have identified a number of key stakeholders in particular the Leadership Circle, the FIT/FACS and members of the WFA community at large.

We have identified the following focal points and identified for each a member of the Board: 

  • Build Diversity & Inclusion; Ingrid Lotze (chair)
  • Community engagement, including to build and sustain circles and all different sectors of membership: Phryne Williams (vice chair)
  • Governance: Britta Rotmann
  • Technology and Systems: Trine Zacho
  • Reaching different markets and groups: Nomfuzo Ntolozi
  • Building brand recognition around “the future is feminism, the future is African”: Sarah Lamond
  • Training and Development: Judith Haupt

Each of us will develop our role further and we look forward to our two years as your Board with joy and enthusiasm.

A LETTER FROM THE CHAIR - JAN 2022

SHOW UP

My first women’s circle of the year happened this week and only 40% of the members showed up. This in itself is not a problem as we have an agreement that attendance should not feel like an obligation. The tricky part is that the women who do show up are doing the work and those absent, miss out on the connection, vulnerability, self-accountability and personal empowerment.

I have noticed in my nearly 20 years of volunteering for various schools and organisations that criticism and complaints come from the people sitting on the sidelines not the ones showing up and being intimately involved in the activities undertaken to achieve a mission.

This speaks perfectly to Brene Brown’s philosophy of “If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”

Her philosophy was born out of Theodore’s Roosevelt’s quote:- “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

We are all invited to step into the arena and show up. Show up for ourselves and for those we care for.

It is only when we show up that we find success, community, love or healing. And this showing up is despite feeling uncomfortable, despite being bothered by our monkey mind around perceived expectations or fear of disappointment.

To help understand how you are currently showing up, here are some helpful questions:

  • Are you showing up in your life?
    • If you are showing up, are you showing up fully and completely and how is it serving you?
    • If you aren’t showing up, at what point are you going to show up for yourself or for those who are important to you?
  • What is the impact of not showing up on your life?
    • What is preventing you from showing up?
    • What would you gain if you showed up fully?
Over the past eleven years of being involved in women’s empowerment work I hear the repeated longing for community. I hear a deep desire for a sense of belonging and a need for a place to be seen and heard. Women For Afrika (WFA) has this on offer but to quote Stephen Hawking “half the battle is just showing up.” Showing up, both literally and metaphorically, points us toward the promise of our communal vitality and the free well-being we all desire.

As the new chairperson of Women For Afrika starting a new year with a strong Leadership Circle and powerful Board, I know, love and acknowledge this group of women who show up for the community and for themselves.

I’m so excited about what the next two years hold and my invitation is for the full WFA community to show up.

* If you haven’t sat in circle for a while, come join our monthly open circles,
* if you have strong opinions of how you think Woman Within should change, join in the conversation and
* if you’re missing vulnerability, connection and generosity of spirit, join the group of women who are working together to bring the next weekend to Cape Town and Johannesburg this year.

We’d love to hear from you. What do you need from us in order to show up?

  • What do want from our community this year?
  • How are you going to show up for the community in 2022?
  • How can we collaborate in making things better, faster, more impactful?
  • How can we show up for each other?

Click here to complete the online form

Here’s hoping that this year is full of Ease, Evolution and Elevation and I am aware that progress is the result of conscious thought, decision, and action so I look forward to showing up with you.

“The tools we are taught on the Woman Within Weekend are continuously used to help us stay connected, supported and accountable, and provide us with strength, safety, and empowerment,” I continue to be amazed at the power of this work and this community.


Ingrid Lotze

July Newsletters
Skills Workshop
We will not be holding another skills workshop until 2020, so make sure you don't miss out.
Gauteng WW Weekend
For the first time ever in South Africa...our WWI Gauteng weekend, registrations are open!
Circles Newsletter
Come meet and sit in circle with like-minded women on their own personal journey.
Jump Start Joy
Another first ever to South Africa - come and jump start your joy.