Through international partnerships and a global network of members, Soroptimists inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls by: advocating for equity and equality; creating safe and healthy environments; increasing access to education; developing leadership and practical skills for a sustainable future. Soroptimists work to achieve programme objectives through strategic
AWARENESS, ADVOCACY AND ACTION
SI Poole’s Programme Action commitments evolve throughout the Soroptimist year and are reviewed annually. Members contribute on an ongoing basis through their enthusiasm and their ability to pick up a project and run with it; action may include lobbying, fundraising, raising awareness, and in different ways providing help and support particularly to women and girls. Three club meetings each year are devoted to our programme action work when members can share progress on their projects.
The Soroptimist International (SI) objectives and SI Poole’s current work to achieve them include:
1 Improving access to economic empowerment and sustainable opportunities for the employment of women. A project group is raising awareness and funds for the charity Positive Women which works to support HIV-positive women in Swaziland hampered by poverty, lack of information, infrastructure and crippled by disease; their access to resources and power is practically non-existent, yet they carry the burden of survival for themselves and their children. All SI Poole members aim to support Fairtrade and Ethical Trading initiatives.
2 Addressing the specific needs of women and girls by improving environmental sustainability and mitigating effects of climate change and disasters. Through fundraising we support WaterAid. Club members participate in Dorset Wildlife Trust’s beach cleans atWorbarrowBay and Kimmeridge. Items for recycling are collected and distributed, including plastic bottle-tops, used stamps, foreign coins, pens, pencils and other children’s school stationery, greeting cards, redundant mobile phones, used spectacles, raffle ticket strips and used computer cartridges. One of our members regularly litter-picks the Castlemaine Trailway plus, via Broadstone in Bloom, the centre of Broadstone too.
3 Ensuring women and girls have food security and access to the highest attainable standards of health care. The club has representation on Poole Christmas Parcels Committee. Members provide support by helping with collections, attending fund-raising events and distributing the parcels. A member is the Save the Children representative – members purchase Wish List gifts in lieu of Christmas cards, and Save the Children cards, and goods. We support SI’s Project Healthcare, raising funds to save the lives of critically ill women, babies and children in the Gambia. We support Chesthelp, a Bournemouth-based charity that supports local needy people with tuberculosis; an SI member is on their working committee. In 2012 a project group reviewed the needs of the elderly locally with regard to access for advice and support, and supported Social Services in the development of a Source Directory. Members take part in Poole Races for Life (23 June 2013) to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. Member Lynn Butterworth is walking over 500 miles along the St James’s Way in April 2013 to raise funds for Target Ovarian Cancer. To sponsor Lynn, please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/1000000stepsforTOC
4 Increasing access to formal and non-formal learning opportunities. The Club provides financial support to put a female student through her secondary education in Kenya via local charity Out of Afrika. We have set up Grants for Girls funding scheme to help young women undertake projects that support SI objectives.
5 Eliminating violence against women and girls and ensuring women’s participation in conflict resolution. Human trafficking remains central to the club’s 2013/14 programme action work through the Purple Teardrop Campaign initiative, raising awareness of the trafficking and grooming of women and girls, and raising funds to support rescued victims. The club has a specific project campaigning to ban ”sex for sale” advertising from all media. We support the Poole Lions annual Swimarathon by helping with administration prior to the event, working on reception and as lane stewards on the day, swimming in the SI team and sponsoring swimmers. Next Swimarathon is 8/9th March 2014. Members support local refuges which provide safe house support for victims of domestic violence, and trafficked women rescued from sexual exploitation. We support the newly opened Assault Referral Centre locally. A working group has developed guidance in the form of bookmarks to raise awareness of good/bad relationships, aiming to promote this in schools and colleges locally.
Read comprehensive information on SI Great Britain and Ireland’s work here
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