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Programme Action: We call our voluntary work “Programme Action”. Programme Action is the reason for being a Soroptimist. It reflects the Vision and the Mission of Soroptimist International. Soroptimists undertake project work at Club, Region, Federation and International level.

Every Soroptimist member belongs to a Club, through which they can take part in organised Programme Activities, including practical help for local causes, lobbying governments for change and increase their awareness of International issues.

SIGBI Programme Director’s Blog March 2019

Combatting Cyber Crime

We have heard much about the benefits of social media and, increasingly, of the harms. There have been links between the suicides of young people and bullying, stalking, harassment, criticisms of body images/shapes, solicitation and grooming for sexual exploitation. Add to this self-harm and we are faced with an urgent need to provide help to those adversely affected, with the young being especially vulnerable.

President Sue’s theme of ‘Think on it’ assumes greater relevance and her ask for all clubs to hold at least one event which promotes wellbeing[1] is particularly relevant. This applies to club member’s wellbeing as well as those we seek to help.

Assistant Programme Director for Violence and Conflict Resolution, Nisha Ghosh, has written an article[2] of experiences in India and the work of SI Bangalore. She also references the work of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime[3] where there is much information on this and other areas of concern, such as the drugs trade and trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. All these issues are of concern to us and other people with whom we work – e.g. the 6’O’ group[4] in the UK with organisations with international arms and those who have co-signed SI’s submission to CSW63[5]. Can we develop partnership working (SDG 17, Partnerships for the Goals – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development) to improve understanding of these issues and develop appropriate and targeted responses?

WHO published its Mental Health Atlas in June 2018 and, sadly, the UK is not included, but others in our federation are[6]. Would these profiles be a helpful place to start in your country? This would also help to implement SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing – Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages).

As we move forward through this Federation year we need to use dates such as:

  1. Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May) with its theme of “Body Image – how we see ourselves and how that makes us feel”; highly relevant to the concerns surrounding cyber crime;
  2. World Mental Health Awareness Day (10 October) to develop our response to President Sue’s theme.

The Mental Health Toolkit is a good place to start[1] or follow the examples of other clubs listed on our web site as well as those on the database, together with other listed resources.

During the Federation reporting year 2018/2019 (1 August to 31 July annually), so far, there have been 42 reports on mental health from clubs ranging from India, across the UK and Republic of Ireland to the Caribbean. I look forward to hearing of more projects concentrating on President Sue’s theme during the rest of this year so please do remember to add your activities to the database. This is the only way we can prove to the UN and the Charity Commission what we do and to report more widely on the range and success of your projects.


UK Programme Action (lWebsite)