SIGBI Programme Director’s Blog August 2018

Barbara DixonAugust is the month when the Assistant Programme Directors (APDs) trawl the database to select nominees for the Best Practice Awards that will be presented at Conference in Liverpool.

It is a heart-warming, yet heart-breaking task as there are so many good projects to choose from and so often really good projects miss out because of poor reporting or lack of information.

We cover so many different areas, in fact nearly all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals and their 169 sub sections- it can be so difficult to know where to enter a project or how to relate it to our goals. In addition this wide spread of action means that Soroptimist International is really renown for anything specific.

At the FPAC Forum in Liverpool we hope to present a simpler way to work, making our projects SMART and in line with a reduced number of programme areas so look out for information on the 5 P’s.

As we hear news of disasters such as fires and water shortages we are ever more conscious of the effects of climate change and how this impacts on women and children in particular. I am constantly reminded of my visit to Meru and that when asked what the women wanted they all said water.

At one time our forays into Environmental issues were often beach cleans and support of Water Aid on World Water Day.

Water is essential to life- we are made of 80% water. I have mentioned previously how “inconvenient” it has been to find we are without water when holidaying in Greece, but that was always transient. It has never been more than a couple of days before I could once more turn on the tap.

Imagine what it must be like to have to trek miles to collect a daily supply of water for the family, a supply that is often contaminated and may be lethal.

The Blue Planet has certainly increased our knowledge of the effect of plastics on all life on earth.

There are many entrepreneurs working on alternatives- perhaps support for them may be a project you could try.

Education is always the key. It underpins so much of what we work for.

Without the basic skills needed to progress how people can get out of the poverty trap, how do they know what to feed their families, protect their health, look after their environment and simply be supportive of one another? This is why it is so important to promote all forms of education across our Federation.

If we concentrate on Education with time and patience the rest can follow.

What ever you are doing this month and wherever you are I wish you health, happiness and success in your ventures.

Barbara Dixon
Programme Director

Read previous blogs from Barbara Dixon: