GO! People – Lesley Ann Foster

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Q: Occupation? Community/charity work?

I am the executive director of an international NGO called Masimanyane Women’s Rights International.

We are an equality and social justice organisation working to end violence against women and girls. We are a community-focussed organisation which is locally rooted and globally connected.

Q: What does it mean being a woman in your line of work?

I am blessed to do the work that I do because I belong to a global network of very powerful women who are working to create a safer and better world for all women and men. Boys and girls.

Q: What motivates you to achieve more in life?

I dislike injustices of any kind. I am driven by a need to fight inequality.

I hate it when people are treated unfairly or when they are disrespected.

The desire of my soul, my inner being is to see everyone being treated with dignity and respect and I want to work towards creating a better life for everyone who crosses my path.

Q: What keeps you grounded?

My loved ones. This includes my mother, my children including my nephews who live with me; my two grandsons. My brother, his family and my three nieces, who are special and step in to assist when I need it most.

I am spiritual. I believe that God directs my path but I have the freedom to choose the path I want to pursue.

I have learned over the years that I do not have to do anything except listen to my inner voice.

I have daily spiritual practices that keep me grounded. Sometimes I can pray non-stop for an entire day while carrying out my work commitments.

I have the unique experience of still being close to six women that I went to nursery school with. They are part of my support system. I am blessed to have a global sisterhood who can be brutally honest with me, calling me out if I go on a pity party or if I self-indulge in any way. They also provide me with the most important guidance as well as fun and laughter.

Q: What is your motto in life?

Treat people as you would like to be treated.

Q: What do you value most?

Honesty and integrity, fairness and justice are what I value most.

Q: What book are you currently reading?

The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu.

I am actually re- reading it. It has been an excellent read and I would recommend everyone to read it.

Q: What would you like to see change in our country?

Improved good governance. The current political problems do not provide the kind of leadership required to change our country around.

Good governance will go a long way in addressing the challenges that communities face. I would like to see an end to racism, inequality and violence.

More women and girls are being raped and killed because of their gender, which is a terrible injustice. G

Generally, the levels of violence are unprecedented as young men are also being killed at alarming rates.

We need to end all the violence and it is possible with strong leadership that has a social conscience.

Q: What is your favourite family destination in East London?

I love the sea. My favourite destination is Gonubie beach – the boardwalk, beach and lagoon.

Q: Where is your favourite place to eat in East London?

I enjoy taking my family to Guido’s on the beachfront. They offer tasty, affordable meals and the service is good.

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