Catch up with a Soroptimist – Aminatta L.R. Ngum
Member – Aminatta L.R. Ngum
Founder Member of Soroptimist International of Banjul, The Gambia
How did you first hear about Soroptimist International?
Sometime in 1986 when I was Senior Magistrate, the late Mrs. Louise Njie, then Minister of Health and Women’s Affairs invited me to attend an inaugural meeting for the establishment of a Club in The Gambia by Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI).
I became a Founder Member of Soroptimist International of Banjul [SIB] and the Club was chartered in March 1987.
What particularly attracted you to Soroptimist International over other Membership organisations?
I was attracted by the professionalism and integrity associated with doing voluntary charitable work together as Soroptimists, overriding age, class, religion, race, education and other barriers as enshrined in the Charter, covering development, legal, human rights, health and education issues for women and children.
What has Soroptimist Membership got to offer modern women?
Modern women have the advantage of using social media to work in collaboration and networking with other Soroptimists at home and abroad in order to support women and children all over the world. Additionally, one can keep abreast using Soroptimist Club Websites or join the debates on LinkedIn with Club Members all over the world and appreciate what is being done in projects to help alleviate hardship for women and children.
What do you enjoy most about being a Member?
As a Founder Member, I enjoy when young ladies that SIB has sponsored become members and help us to continue the work of the Club.
I have also served in most positions up to President SIB and attended the Annual Conference in Hong Kong 1993. I visited and stayed a few nights at the Club House in London. I also enjoy visiting our SIB projects like the Female Surgical Ward at the Sir Francis Small Teaching Hospital with a donation of desperately needed items. Finally, a visiting Soroptimist can attend a Club Meeting in any country in the world.
Which projects will your Club work on in The Gambia and internationally?
SIB will continue to work on fundraising to enable us to support current projects:
- The SIB Ward at the Sir Francis Small Teaching Hospital with gifts and needed essentials;
- The Kassakunda Women Sesame growers and buy their oil and animal feed;
- The Women Vegetable Gardeners and buy their fruits or vegetables in season and donate clothes from Sister Clubs and SIB;
- SIB adopted St. Joseph’s Girls High School, Bakau New Town Primary School including sponsorship of deserving girl students from poor families at different levels of education.
- Collaboration with other NGOs in The Gambia, Female Lawyers of The Gambia [FLAG]; Gambia Women Finance Association [GAWFA] to alleviate hardship and help to end violence against women and children, child marriage, harmful practices like female genital mutilation.
Unfortunately, SIB does not have adequate funds to support international projects financially. However, we always support international projects when voting and in spirit.
We plan to corroborate with Clubs that have twinned with SIB to continue with projects. In addition, Soroptimist International Europe’s The Soroptimist Club in Silkerborg, Denmark [SIS] has approached SIB to collaborate with them for a Water Project in The Gambia starting in November 2016 when they plan to visit The Gambia and we are preparing for that.