Jill Delgado and Joan Payne, both members of SI Cardiff and Trustees of the Soroptimist Members’ Educational Trust, gave a presentation on the charity Jill founded in 1997 to encourage girls in the Cape Verde Islands to stay on for, and then complete, their secondary education.Jill explained that the Trust had financially supported a total of 68 girls and that SI Bridgend had been immensely supportive sponsoring 7 girls. In addition, individual Club members (Carys Brown, Rayner Rees and Joyce Chatterton, who is also a Trustee) have sponsored a further 4 girls which meant that Bridgend Soroptimists have hugely assisted 11 girls to achieve their potential.
The girls we support are all from the island of Sao Vicente and the funding has enabled them to remain in secondary school, subject to them passing their exams. Without this support, the girls would have to leave school and would have had menial jobs, often ad hoc hours and with very low wages. The money we provide is given to the girls who spend it on books, equipment and uniform, as well as bus passes to enable them to get to school. All those sponsored by us have completed their education and now have higher paid jobs which means they are contributing significantly to their family income.
Bridgend members recalled the letters we received from the girls we sponsored giving us news of their achievements and aspirations. Jill reminded us that the first of our girls was Jocelyn, who although she took a year out of school when she fell pregnant, returned to school, graduated and went on to university. During the year that she was not in school, Jocelyn asked if SI Bridgend would transfer their sponsorship to her sister, Daisy. This we did and Daisy went on to university after graduating from school and now has a very responsible job.
Flavia, another of the girls sponsored by Bridgend Soroptimists, was a very high flier in school and keen to become an engineer. She graduated in 2015, went on to university and has achieved her dream of becoming an engineer – one of the first female engineers in Cape Verde.
The two girls we currently sponsor are equally well positioned. Marcia who has had to cope with particularly difficult home circumstances is due to graduate later this year and Elaine who is very keen to continue her education is due to graduate in 2025. We look forward to hearing of their achievements in due course.
Jill is currently looking for new Trustees to join the charity to ensure that the work they do is able to continue.
In her vote of thanks to Jill and Joan, Andrea expressed our delight in hearing about the success of the girls in Cape Verde and in knowing that our small sponsorship was providing them with opportunities they would not otherwise have. The project is an excellent example of the Soroptimist 3 Es – Educate, Empower, Enable – in action.
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