Dorcas Tshuma is the South African founding member and programme director for Triumphant Hand of Mercy Initiative (THOMI Africa). THOMI Africa empowers women and girls, who are helpless or homeless, with the skills and confidence necessary to secure a job, create a healthy lifestyle, and regain a home for themselves and their children.
Dorcas has participated in prestigious events across the globe: The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York, the Civil Society Policy Forum in Washington DC and as the guest speaker for NIMSA (Nigerian Medical Students Association) on their Empowering women to Empower Humanity female international summit.
Please briefly highlight what THOMI Africa is about?
We are a non-governmental organization which support the UN Women’s flagship programme of ”making every women count”. We look at challenges women face, and suggest different solutions.
We equip women with the knowledge that will enable them to be skilled at all levels, irrespective of their geographical location.
THOMI Africa is against the abuse of women and children. We also campaign against the abuse of drugs, alcohol, and form of substances. We raise awareness pertaining to breast cancer, TB, HIV & AIDS, including the care and counsel of victims dependents. Additionally, we make every women count by assisting the elderly, disabled and widowed in our community.
Why and when was THOMI Africa founded?
I founded this organization a long time ago, but it was officially registered in 2015; due to my natural passion for gender equality. It used to sadden me every time I saw girls and women suffering, begging on the streets with kids on their back, starving, being raped, abused and murdered. That is what triggered me to be involved in making every women count, through empowerment programmes which equip women and girls.
As a Programme Director what does your role entail?
I oversee the administration of policies and programmes; and I monitor and report on the economic empowerment portfolio and provide assistance when needed. I also communicate with all project/programme partners at all levels, and ensure that the organisation strategy is developed across all areas. I play a role in in decision making and provide financial analysis, and provide guidance on all activities, plans, targets and business drivers.
What is the best book you have ever read?
Animal Farm by George Orwell.
Since its inception what are some memorable THOMI Africa achievements?
Attending the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit (New York) in 2016; Being part of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings as part of Civil Society Policy Forum in October 2016 in Washington DC,USA; Being guest speaker at NIMSA Female International Summiton on the topic, “Empowering Women to Empower Humanity”.
We also participated in the Anti Female Genital Mutilation Campaign which took place on Saturday, 19th of November, 2016; and were nominated by United Nations women last year, as a 2016-2017 Global Champion for change.
Being unable to secure adequate funding to execute programmes and campaigns. But, every organisation face challenges and they differ depending on the circumstance at hand.
For anyone who would like to contribute to ‘making every women count’, which qualities are you looking for?
Someone who will contribute to ‘making every women count’ must have, among other qualities, a natural passion for helping the underprivileged. That individual needs to be able to listen, give appropriate counsel and mentoring. They need to have a strong sense of compassion and empathy for people.
In conclusion they need to be able to meet deadlines and interact effectively across many levels of management. I have developed multitasking and prioritization abilities, and willingness to do whatever is needed to empower women. And a positive attitude!
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