What is Zisize?

Zisize - The Heaton Lee Memorial Trust was registered as a UK charity in 2001 to gather funds, initially to support an education project in Ingwavuma, KwaZulu Natal. Its aims are to promote and advance educational standards and alleviate poverty in rural areas of South Africa in general but more particularly in KwaZuluNatal. To date it has concentrated on the Ingwavuma District, one of the poorest areas of the country. Ingwavuma was designated a Disaster Area in 2005 because of prolonged drought and is one of thirteen designated Presidential nodes in South Africa where the level of underdevelopment needs special attention.


Zisize - The Heaton Lee Memorial Trust is based in South Wales. It incurs no overheads, so all funds raised go directly to help the South African projects. Zisize has a large support base in South Wales but also has supporters from all over the UK through UNISON members and branches; Medway Towns Soroptimists; Goodenough College, London; a group from Berkshire and several ex pat South Africans living in UK.


Zisize means 'help yourself'. This Zulu word was chosen as it is a true reflection of the charity's aims and ethos. It offers a hand up rather than a hand out, supporting those who have shown a wilingness to help themselves.


The charity is named in the memory of the late Heaton Lee, a South African who loved his country but hated the inequalities. He had an active social and political conscience which led him to work for the rights of workers first in South Africa and later in the UK. His influence on his daughter Niki, who is the driving force behind the charity, led her to work with the disadvantaged in South Africa after the demise of Apartheid, having lived all her life previously in Wales. She now divides her time between the two countries.


Zisize believes that “it is better to light a candle than to complain about the dark” and encourages volunteers and supporters to do whatever they can, rather than do nothing because the problems seem too big. It funds projects which encourage people enduring difficult circumstances, to believe that they can effect positive change with a little help.


Zisize encourages children from the poorest homes to believe that they can not only have ambition but that they can also achieve that ambition. Its aim at all times is to provide support which will result in a brighter future for the children of the New South Africa.

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