As part of the Soroptimist aims, our club supports a number of projects and initiatives benefiting women and girls both in the UK and abroad.
Lima Instituto Mundo Libre: Ninos de la Calle (Peru)
This institution aims to remove children and teenagers from the streets of Lima. Many of the girls had ended up in prostitution and encountered drugs. Instituto Mundo Libre provides a secure environment removed from the dangers of the street, and tries to instil structure and give purpose to the children’s lives. As well as school education, the girls are taught practical skills to help them support themselves at a later stage.
Our former president has got links to Peru and is frequently able to visit this organisation to see first hand that any donations are well spent. SI London Central & Southwest has supported the institution with basic necessities like blankets, cook pots and school furniture, as well as stationery.
Kiev School for the Visually Impaired (Ukraine)
One of our club members is also associated with SI Kiev and provides a link to the Kiev School for the Visually Impaired. She is able to follow progress of the students and affirm how donations are being used. This school provides a safe environment for the children to learn and also gain experience in craft work to help them to support themselves once they leave the school.
SI London Central & Southwest support the school with monetary donations and also materials. During the last year, money was donated to improve the garden area. One of the orphaned students who graduates from the school this year has received support in form of clothes and shoes. Some of the donated money was also spent on more materials for sewing and embroidery for the school.
Ashiana is an community driven charity in London for women affected by forced marriage and domestic violence. Originally mainly providing support and refuge to Asian women, many of their clients now come from conflict areas like Syria and Afghanistan.
As well as some monetary donations, our club provides items like toiletry bags.
Schools Literacy Project
This year our club has run a pilot for a girls’ literacy project, together with Walthamstow School for Girls in school. The students were given a selection of contemporary photographs about issues in the current world, to chose one as a starting point for an essay or short story, with the best submission rewarded with a book-related prize. 15 essays from 13/14-year-old girls were received, all of very high quality. We hope to roll this project out to further schools.