Since the introduction of the Best Grantee Award way back in 2005 – the Stanley Elliott Memorial Trophy has travelled across the Eastern Cape – from Matatiele to Willowvale to Alicedale to Centane to Port Elizabeth to Zwelitsha and back to Port Elizabeth again and this time round was awarded to Seki Women’s Foundation in New Brighton.
Seki Women’s Foundation was established in 2004 by a group of ladies from different churches to offer soup to community members in the neighbourhood who by and large are on the margins of society. Since those early days, Seki now offers a multitude of different services including a library for children, a bakery and a food garden. To top it all Mrs Bono and her team single-handedly went out seeking donations and with these donations built their own community hall from which they operate.
The only money they have ever received on a regular basis has been from Ikhala Trust and to this day we still pay their tranches in monthly instalments. They say behind every successful woman is an understanding and supportive man and this could not be more true for Mrs Bono as without Mr Bono the group be completely lost. Mr Bono, despite his age and the fact that he should be happily retired does all the errands and brings their monthly report to Ikhala Trust and never ever complains. Mrs Bono ensures that their report is with us by the 3rd or 4th of each new month. What is probably the most important for us is the swiftness of a ‘THANK YOU’ – no matter how big or small – without fail there will always be a Thank You letter either hand-delivered or faxed. This is something that many organisations do not do at all and do not realise how important these two words are for building relationships.
There has got to be something about older people and their courage to ASK for assistance when they need it. Mrs Bono certainly does not hesitate to ask when she needs donations or assistance and usually gets it too!!
The ladies in this organisation, unlike many others, have worked together for many years and we still see the same faces and the same people since the day we started supporting them in 2008. They do not receive stipends but generate a little bit of money through their bakery and yet carry on serving others. We salute you all the ladies from Seki not forgetting Mr Bono, the gentleman in all respects. Mr and Mrs Bono have been married for 50 years – what an inspiration to all of us!!
“Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake to do them” – Liberian Proverb