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President’s Message – September 2021

Dear Members,

I hope you have all had a lovely summer break and enjoyed being able to meet up with family and friends again.

Having finally been able to experience our newly found freedom after what feels to be such a long time, our thoughts must go to the people of Afghanistan. So many have had to leave behind everything that is familiar to them, in order to start a new life, hopefully in safety and there are so many more remaining, who are living in fear of what the future holds.

As Soroptimists our concern is naturally for the human rights of the women and girls in Afghanistan.

Many young women and girls have never lived under oppressive rule – they have been free to pursue their education, careers and ambitions. These hard-won freedoms cannot be lost and belong to all women and girls everywhere.

Soroptimist International has published a ‘Where we Stand’ statement calling for the immediate mobilisation of aid to secure these basic rights for Afghan women and girls.  You can read the full Statement on the SI Website.

SI has produced some social media graphics for Clubs to post to show their support for the women and girls of Afghanistan. They are on the SI Trello Board – https://trello.com/b/212lu4Jl/social-media-resources.

Members wishing to make donations to Afghanistan should go to well established agencies who are still operating in Afghanistan and can receive and disburse funds to meet the needs identified on the ground, as well as report on how any funds are used. With the freezing of assets by the IMF and other banking authorities, it is impossible to get funds into the country, as has been reported on the news bulletins. People and organisations there cannot access their banks nor ATMs and so have no cash.

Donations can be made to the following:

  1. UN Women: https://www.unwomenuk.org
  2. International Committee of the Red Cross: https://www.icrc.org

Soroptimists can take practical action to support the refugees that have been evacuated to the UK, by donating items of clothing, toiletries etc; clubs can research this in their own localities.

Turning to matters closer to home, plans for the Llandudno Conference are now at an advanced stage and it promises to be an exciting event with several new features. Please do consider attending – for members in the UK, friends, guests and our sisters in other Federations, registration at the standard rate of £70.00 is still available until 30 September – https://sigbi.org/llandudno2021/register-for-conference/. There have been fewer registrations so far from members in SIGBI’s Countries outside the UK.   From 1 October there will be a late booking fee, so book now and reserve your place!

I look forward to seeing you all there.

In friendship

Cathy