Dear Friendship links I hope the start of this New Year finds you all in good spirits and good health. We are once again in strictest lockdown but maintaining contact by Zoom meetings. Not just with our local members but also with very interesting and enjoyable Zoom sessions with our Friendship links. Our Christmas meeting was shared with SI Anchorage members who joined us early in the morning as they are nine hours behind the UK. We enjoyed an introductory blether, a quiz and carols. Almost all of us sported a Christmas hat. On our first meeting of the year, we welcomed Aratrika Bhattacharya from SI South Kolkata. She is a very well-informed speaker on aspects of domestic violence and gender inequality. Prue, one of our members, heads up the annual Dundee Women’s Festival. A fantastic week-long event of interesting presentations which will be online this
President Frances had planned to take part in the annual New Year’s Day Dook at Broughty Ferry Beach to raise funds for Tayside Children with Cancer and Leukaemia (TCCL), but as it was cancelled due to Covid, she decided to do her own Mini Dook. Frances was supported, on the day, by her husband Matt and several other Soroptimists and friends. Frances has been completely bowled over by the generosity of so many SI members and many others! So far, she has raised an amazing £1284.00! She is very grateful, as TCCL will be. Well done Frances.
Human Rights Day 10th December 2020 ; SI Dundee Celebrates with SISK—The Soroptimist Club of South Kolkata- Maureen, Dianne and Prue joined members of SISK and pupils, boys and girls from the local school in Calcutta to mark Human Rights Day. Ms Anuradha Kapoor, founder of Swayam in 1995 gave an excellent talk about the witting and unwitting abuse suffered by women in the home, at work and on the street and the steps that her organisation is taking to raise awareness of women’s rights and to give them support through counselling, legal advice, skills training and practical information. Initially there were 3 centres in Calcutta but since Covid lockdown they are receiving calls from across India and beyond. Through their links with other agencies and charities they can point women to help in their local area. SISK with IPER have set up a free
On Tuesday December 15th , SI Dundee Zoomed 4,108 miles to celebrate Christmas with their friendship link, SI Anchorage. The restrictions of the Covid pandemic have brought clubs closer together as Soroptimists have risen to the challenge of keeping in touch across the internet. A fun and informative evening was held, sharing experiences, quizzing, reciting Christmas and covid themed limericks and singing, while sporting an assortment of Christmas gear. Even Santa attended! We looking forward to more meetings with our friendship link clubs across the world. Sheila McLuckie Friendship Officer
Members of SI Dundee made a huge effort to support this Appeal. The thought that some children in the city would wake up on Christmas morning without any gifts to open was enough to make members determined to help. President Frances is swamped by full gift bags donated by members of Soroptimist International Dundee Club with a welcome contribution from Beauty Within, Broughty Ferry. These will be passed to members of Dundee City Council Social Work team for distribution to local children. Frances was aided and abetted in getting into the Christmas spirit by Westie, Breagh!
As part of Sixteen Days of Activism several members of SI Dundee joined a webinar hosted by SI South Kolkata- SISK- entitled “Protection-Womb to Tomb”. SISK organised this event, inviting Soroptimists from around the world, to observe ‘International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women’. Veena Lakhumalani -Social Development Consultant Speakers gave excellent presentations about the difficulties facing the female child in India. The aim of the event was to raise awareness and influence action towards creating a world where ‘the mind is without fear’ for girls and women. This was a very worthwhile event attracting over ninety virtual attendees. —————————————————————————————- At November’s SI Dundee club meeting, members wore orange to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women.
Over the past nine months of the coronavirus pandemic, SI Dundee member Sheila Mcluckie has organised several collections of toiletries for women in desperate need in the Dundee area. Lockdowns and restrictions have led to an increase in women caught up in domestic abuse with many more than usual seeking help. These women, frequently leave their homes with only the clothes they are wearing, so gifts of such toiletries are essential and are gratefully received. The toiletries will be delivered to Women’s Aid, the Salvation Army and Women in Criminal Justice System for distribution. Sheila thanks all members and friends who have so generously contributed.
SID Dundee member and Past Region President Prue, who is the Chair of Dundee Women’s Festival, decided to raise funds for next year’s Festival by taking part in the annual Dundee Kilt Walk. This is the second year Prue has taken part in the fundraising Walk. Due to the Covid pandemic and all the restrictions the Walk couldn’t happen in its usual format. Each participant had to organise their own route. Prue walked the 20 kilometres around Dundee taking approximately four hours and forty minutes, with a coffee stop at Dundee’s V&A en route. Prue raised £1005.31 which will be generously match funded by Sir Tom Hunter. Well done Prue.
Due to the ongoing Covid pandemic it was not possible for the clubs of Scotland North to meet together in person for their AGM and Regional Meeting. However, on Saturday September 19th, Regional President Katie welcomed thirty-three members from across the region through the wonders of Zoom. Several members of SI Dundee attended. Once the business was complete a presentation of the Federation Project-Empowering Girls in Nepal- was given by Philip Holmes the CEO of ChoraChori. This was a most interesting talk by Philip, who explained that due to the pandemic much of the work with the young girls had been suspended. However, he went on to tell us how his charity had come to the aid of families living on the plains in the south of the country. Under normal circumstances the husband, who was the bread winner, would send money home from his
Lockdown did nothing to hamper the fundraising efforts of local Dundee Soroptimists and their friends. In fact, it seemed to spur them on to greater efforts. In April they raised funds for food banks in Dundee and Angus. Hearing a plea from Dundee Women’s Aid for toiletries two of their members accumulated a substantial collection. Friends who responded to this initial request have continued to hand in toiletries to one of the members. As a result, there has been a monthly delivery to Women’s Aid, the Criminal justice and Salvation Army – for men too. It is not unusual for this Soroptimist in her late sixties to find huge packs of disposable nappies on her doorstep! Additionally, members have been sponsored to complete the kiltwalk and another to ‘swim’ 100 breaststrokes daily while swimming pools were shut. These efforts resulted in a considerable sum being