It is with great sadness that we inform our friends, partners and communities that our beloved colleague Francis Henry passed away on the 22nd of January. This was exactly three months after she was placed on medical leave following a time of illness.

Francis, aged 68, worked at Masifundise as Finance Assistance since 2017. As part of our Finance and Admin team, she was a pillar of the organisation, and a great support, working behind the scenes to make sure that we were able to operate on the ground. She was committed to Masifundise’s vision of a just society and although she wasn’t directly involved in the Programme’s work, she always wanted to hear about the details of what was happening in the  field and had the wellbeing of South Africa’s fishing communities at heart. It was this knowledge and information that drove her commitment for the work of Masifundise and helped her understand the struggles of our poor fishing communities. Being a reliable colleague, she was also a key axle and pillar in our organisation. She was always willing, always available and always ready to work. And never did she claim any limelight or recognition for her role. “This is my contribution” she would say.

Some of us would sometimes call her the ‘reliable Francis’.  

Francis is survived by her 3 children and 5 grandchildren of whom she spoke with wonderful fondness.  To her family, we express our heartfelt condolences.

The loss of Francis is shocking and heartbreaking for all of us who interacted with her in the Masifundise office on a daily basis. She was a dedicated and kind colleague, who we sorely missed during her sick leave period.  We were so looking forward to her return to work.

Rest in peace Francis, we will miss you