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Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland, welcomed its newly chartered club; Soroptimist international Lira in a colourful ceremony which took place on 23 February, 2017, in Lira, Uganda. The chartering ceremony was officiated over by a representative of Soroptimist International, from Zimbabwe; Ms Betty Spiwe Katiyo.
The event, which was attended by guests from Lira District Local Government, community leaders, NGOs, Academic institutions, Church, beneficiaries and the media saw the Chartering Officer charge the new club with duties of being exemplary and to fight for the cause of women and girls. She encouraged the Members to remain together as one and to work as a team. She said that being chartered means having an opportunity to join the umbrella body of Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland as well as paving way to be linked to funding opportunities when available, although the club must continue sourcing funds through different fund raising activities.
The speech made by both the Chartering Officer and the President of the new Club, Ms. Betty Spiwe Katiyo (pictured below left) and Ms. Margaret Ejang (pictured below right) respectively, highlighted the vision and the mission of the Club. The Club is committed to a world where women and girls together achieve their individual and collective potential, realize aspirations and have an equal voice in creating strong, peaceful communities worldwide. The mission is to inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls through a global network of Members and international partnership.
The Club founder members were decorated with budges provided by the Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland. The excited women danced in celebration for officially being accepted to be part of a huge global initiative fighting for the wellbeing of women and girls.
In her inaugural speech, the president of the new club thanked Soroptimist International and the Chartering Officer for chartering the new Club. She pledged commitment to ensure that the vision and mission of this global initiative for women and girls are achieved. She explained how, the Club before chartering has been working with the; Regional Referral Hospital to help the malnourished children in the therapeutic feeding unit, working with the schools to help the adolescent girl child by; providing sanitary pads, buckets for bathing and washing. The girl child at school has also been supported with counselling and guidance on being a woman in general and specifically on reproductive health related issues. She further talked about the skills imparted by the club members to its beneficiaries; sowing and knitting skills, Adult literacy and crafts (making of hand bags and jewellery). The skill is to enable the women and girls earn a living through sale of their products. Some of the products made by the beneficiaries were also exhibited (pictured below).
The school pupils who are beneficiaries of the club joined the club members in celebrating the chartering event. These girls shared a poem (tpictured below left) on how Soroptimist has become their savior, taken away their shame of having no pads at school, now they are at school learning like any other child from a rich background.
Invited guests who spoke applauded the club and the initiative to reach out to women and girl child. They all pledged to partner in the mobilization of women to join the club. The church leadership specifically took the responsibility of letting their congregation know about the club and to encourage them to join. Club Members shared a cake with their guests (pictured below right).