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President’s Message 2014-15

President Sheila in Kenya

Welcome to Soroptimist International Dundee

Over the last 80 years in Dundee, Soroptimists have tried to live up to the literal translation of their name, which is ‘striving for the best for women’, not just here in Dundee, but nationally and internationally. In this aim we are supported by a worldwide community of 95,000 women meeting together in 3,000 clubs in 126 countries.

This is a substantial women’s ‘voice’ which is listened to and has an impact on decisions taken regarding the rights of women at United Nations level.

Bearing this in mind my theme for the year is Educate to Empower and we have been proactive in empowering women throughout a number of ventures as part of our Programme Action planning. Over the course of last year we have been involved in raising awareness of Ovarian cancer; promotion of the Purple Teardrop project; advocacy against Female Genital Mutilation practice which resulted in a question being tabled to the Home Secretary; offered informed feedback on Rhoda Grant’s Bill to criminalise the purchase of sex in Scotland; appealed to the Government of Cambodia to accede to the Convention on Cluster munitions; and won an award for our Vice versa Project, amongst a plethora of other activities.

Within the Dundee community there is already considerable support for the President’s Charity this year, which is empowering the children of Limbene Primary schooli n Meru Kenya to have a better educational environment through the provision of permanent classrooms replacing their temporary flood destroyed barely existing ones!

Grove Academy, St Mary’s Primary school, St Stephens’s and West church and St Bride’s are already partners in fundraising. Some of this has resulted in the building of a Kindergarten at St Stephen’s in Meru over the last 3 years. Since I returned from a second visit to assist with officially opening new primary classrooms in BBK Primary, funded by the Moira Stewart Trust, in Kenya in October 2012, combined efforts have resulted in enough funding for a new classroom at Limbene by this summer.

The initial impetus for this Kenyan project was a global school partnership between Grove and Meru High school established in 2008 by Marjorie Kerr, who was PT Geography at Grove at the time. I was fortunate enough to be invited to accompany Marjorie. The partnership has flourished and resulted in a regular exchange of staff and pupils over the last 4 years, which has not only had a huge impact on both secondary schools but also on their wider communities.

Soroptimism is an opportunity to ‘make a difference’; to widen horizons and meet like minded women. If you are interested in giving it a try we would be delighted to give you more information or to offer the opportunity to attend one of our meetings, where we have a meal and a chat before moving on to hear an interesting speaker or having a discussion.

Please contact me on if you are interested.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.


President Sheila Mcluckie