SI Dundee member, Dianne Stout : Report on her November 2014 Visit to Kolkata updating the work of the projects supported by Soroptimists there. (1st April 2014)
- The Children’s Shelter has 25 young girls who have been subject to abuse. They receive care and education and are progressing well. This Project is supported by SI South Kolkata. Money donated by individual members of SI Dundee has been used to provide warm cardigans and shoes; also books in English and Bengali for a start-up library.
- The Free Market School meets in a school between 7.00 and 10.30 prior to the arrival of the mainstream pupils. SI KS members support this project and the money donated by SI Dundee helps to pay for a teacher.
- Dianne attended the Seminars for rural women to mark International Day for the Prevention of Violence against Women. She took this opportunity to talk to them about MDS-modern day slavery- and advised them to be wary of people coming to the villages offering money in exchange for a better life for their children, both boys and girls in the towns. She thinks that there is a growing awareness that this is exploitation. SI Dundee raised money through a quiz towards the cost of these seminars.
- Dianne spoke to the members of SI SK about the MDS Motion and encouraged their members to raise awareness of Human Trafficking for forced labour, the sex industry, forced marriage and domestic servitude. She also addressed the local Rotary Club.
- Dianne retains her interest in the AHEAD Project supported by SISK. This is an educational and training facility for children with learning and physical disabilities.
- Dianne had researched the possibility of introducing ‘Light Solar, Cook Solar’, the International Presidents Appeal, to the local community and discovered that women wanted to cook outside in the evenings when the sun was down. She did bring a small solar panel to show the members which could charge a lamp for 4 hours and also charge a mobile phone. These cost about £12.
- Local people in Dundee and Angus have helped Dianne purchase cows as ‘micro-loans for Indian women / families. Milk will generate income and calves will be handed on to other families.
This information with different covering emails was sent to the Courier, the Forfar group of papers and the Soroptimist News.