I cannot believe just how much has happened since my last blog, time truly does not stand still.
Visit to Asia
You will be aware that President Cathy and I spent February visiting clubs and members across the Asia Cluster. It was a visit which will stay with me for a very long time. Not only were we treated to amazing hospitality but we were able to see the wonderfully impactful and diverse projects undertaken by Soroptimists in Nepal, Bangladesh and India– I hope that you caught up with our adventures through our blogs and posts. One point I will make though is this – following the earthquake in Nepal the first people able to get aid and assistance on the ground were SI Kathmandu (I know that Clubs were able to get financial support across to our sister Soroptimists there).
Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 67
March was the time of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York. I attended along with 5 SIGBI members and several members joined remotely from various locations. This was a packed 2 weeks with truly inspiring presentations and discussions. Some events, especially the SI events, are still available to look at online. It was also a time to catch up and exchange ideas with Soroptimists from other Federations which proved to be extremely useful and interesting.
- Statement by UN Women at the close of CSW67;
- Agreed Conclusions;
- UNWeb Tv Video showing closing statement. (If you forward to 2:40 on the time line you can listen to the chair and all the statements. It takes about 90 mins).
The Agreed Conclusions can now be used to ensure our Governments adhere to what was agreed.
International Women’s Day
March was also the time for International Women’s Day. I have seen the exemplary and diverse activities which took place across the country. This took place whilst I was at CSW in New York so, as you can imagine, there was a great deal of sharing which went on there.
Work of the Programme Team
I mentioned in my February blog that the Federation Programme Team had split into groups to cover the following issues:
- Project planning
- Federation Conference Committee planning
Several meetings have been held and work (particularly around training is almost complete). Fuller details will be available shortly as some of these will be Webinars and will be open to everybody.
I also mentioned that the 5 Assistant Programme Directors (APDs) and the United Kingdom Programme Action Committee (UKPAC) Chair were working together to support the three clusters. We are already seeing important communications and actions from this; for example the APDs are invited to attend UKPAC zoom meetings and on 25 March Meenakshi Ray (APD Peace) attended the meeting as a full participant. This was very well received on all sides and is setting the scene for future cross-Federation co-operation as it is agreed that we can all learn from each other.
Federation Programme Action Committee (FPAC) Meeting
A date for your diary: The Federation Programme Action Committee (FPAC) which is normally held the day before Conference will now be held by Zoom or as a Webinar on the Saturday before (Saturday 28 October) – so keep an eye out for booking details.
Here are some actions for you:
- Register for the Hub (and encourage members who haven’t done so to please do so – remember you could win a prize by just logging on)
- Note the date for the FPAC in October (28th)
- Apply for your visa, if you need one, for the Federation Conference in November (full details are available) – https://sigbi.org/london2023/visa-information/
- Report all of the wonderful activities you are undertaking to the Hub.
As always, my virtual door is always open (as are the doors for the UKPAC Chair and the 5 APDs). We have received many questions and requests which I, and they, are always ready to answer.
SIGBI Programme Director