Edith Mathsikiza was born in 1943 in the rural Transkei, South Africa. She and her late husband were blessed with four children. After completing school, Edith joined the Transkei Girl Guide Project as an instructor to teach girls life skills. She decided early to dedicate her life to the betterment of her community. Edith developed a water scheme that has improved the health of the community and engaged them in managing their own water resources. Her involvement also resulted in the building of roads and other infrastructures. She has also been instrumental in reducing unemployment.
Edith is committed to instilling a sense of patriotism in young girls. As a Girl Guide instructor, she is committed to doing her best “to God and my country". She has traveled across Transkei and witnessed the suffering of her people. She decided early in her life that she was going to dedicate her life to the betterment of her community. She has done this with grace and passion. She has been instrumental in reducing unemployment by introducing poultry farming, business skills and trade to the unemployed local women, as part of a poverty alleviation program. The businesses are wholly community-owned and all profit made goes towards improving the lives of the community. In Edith’s village people fetched water from a river that was also used by the local tuberculosis (TB) center as a drainage passage. This often resulted in the spread of TB and other related infections and diseases. Edith together with some other concerned members of her community initiated a community water scheme. The main objective of this project was to supply the community with clean running water and also to provide skills so that the community could operate the scheme and do minor repairs whenever necessary. The project is community-based with only financial assistance from the government. Through the water scheme Edith has managed to improve the health of the community and engage them in managing their own water resources. Her involvement has also resulted in the creation of roads and other infrastructures. This she has done without any promise of rewards or glory.
Community water initiative