The Story So Far

Celebrating 20 years in 2024

winnie mabaso was a wonderful woman who looked after orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa

In 2004 Lisa Ashton travelled to South Africa to make a TV programme that marked 10 years of the end of apartheid.  The programme celebrated people who had made a difference in their communities and Winnie Mabaso was one of the interviewees.  Winnie was the most amazing woman Lisa had ever met.  She cared almost single-handedly for orphans and vulnerable children living in a township called Finetown in the south of Johannesburg, providing them with bowls of soup and armfuls of love but her greatest desire was to own a property that would give the children a home.

When Lisa returned to the UK she began fundraising to enable Winnie to have the safe-haven she needed and it wasn’t long before Winnie and the children moved in.

Sadly, just a few short months later, Winnie passed away suddenly. At her funeral as the children stood hand in hand around her coffin, Lisa knew that her dream could not die with her, and she made a promise to Winnie that she would do all she could to keep her legacy alive.

The Foundation has grown considerably over the years.  Although, as you can imagine, not without a huge share of heartache and sadness.

In 2013 Lisa was awarded an MBE for her services to South Africa, particularly to those living with HIV.

lisa ashton with children of the winnie mabaso foundation




What Drives Us

Our Mission & Vision

Mission: To support vulnerable and orphaned children and the wider community in South Africa, particularly those living with HIV.

Vision: To enable the disadvantaged, underpriviledged and marginalised in South Africa to be afforded the same opportunities as others.