Club Activities (Programme Action)
CELEBRATING 90 PLUS YEARS OF SERVICE TO OUR COMMUNITY
Welcome to SI Edinburgh’s news of our activities.
As members of Soroptimist International our work is focused on supporting women and girls in any way we can from local to international. At SI Edinburgh we also experience the warmth of international friendship and enjoy social activities.
This year we have chosen to support the Soroptimist 3STrust fund, the Soroptimist International GBI Emergency Relief Fund. We have supported Mary’s Meals with filled backpacks and raised funds for 500 Miles, another local charity. Christmas gifts are being donated to our local Women’s Refuge.
Supporting Scottish Parliament Measures for Climate Change
MSP Claudia Beamish talked about her work at the Scottish Parliament on the new Bill which will be discussed at the beginning of April outlining measures in Scotland to combat climate change. Club members were joined by several interns from UN House Scotland, who earlier this year held an event on Climate Justice. A lively discussion took place with members, suggestions were offered for simple future proofing measures which could mitigate the impact of climate change in Scotland.
Soroptimists Fighting Cancer
Soroptimists are active in supporting a wide range of cancer charities, especially related to Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer.
CSW63 Social Protection Systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls
SI Edinburgh hosted a preparation conference at Edinburgh University in partnership with the Scottish Women’s Convention and UN House, Scotland. This resulted in the development of an oral statement which was submitted to the Commission and was read by member Pat Black in one of the main sessions. SI Edinburgh member Dorothea Christiana read an oral statement on behalf of Widows for Peace through Democracy. Both members spoke at events held during the two weeks of the Commission and supported other NGOs during the negotiations for the Agreed Conclusions. A post CSW63 Conference was held on 4 April 2019 at Edinburgh University. Everyone agreed to take away individual action to support the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agreed Conclusions.
16 Days of Activism to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls
SI Edinburgh are joining with thousands of other Soroptimists around the world to Say NO to Violence Against Women and Girls. They are proud to wear their bright orange badges to tell everyone that there has to be a better way forward than conflict and violence.
United Nations celebrated
At a recent Service for the United Nations (UN) at St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh, three U N House Scotland interns gave readings.
Katie McLean (in the centre) read the Preamble to the Charter of the UN, whilst the verses read by Matthew Mungai and Claire LeBlanc addressed the subject of the sermon – water, resources, life and hope which are all embodied in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
UN House Scotland is a shared facility with representation from UN agencies, civil society organisations and charities, working to support UN values; It is the only civil society UN House in the world!
Walking to support Maggie’s
SI Edinburgh member Christine Craig (on the right) and SI Dunfermline member Estelle Holligan completed the Edinburgh Maggie’s Culture Crawl, which raised funds for Maggie’s Centres which are warm and welcoming places built alongside NHS hospitals that provide the emotional, practical and social support that people with cancer and their family and friends need.
The Culture Crawl was an evening 10 mile walk, visiting venues including St Mary’s Cathedral, the Scottish Poetry Library and Dynamic Earth.
Christine worked at the Western General Hospital when the first Maggie’s Centre was planned and built.
Estelle is a GP of 28 years experience working in Dunfermline and has seen first hand the difference that Maggie’s makes to patients and relatives and that is why she walks for Maggie’s.
Members of Soroptimist International of Edinburgh have taken part in sorting and filling shoe boxes for the Blythswood Appeal for a number of years. This year again, we managed to obtain some order out of the chaos of masses of gifts, some for the shoe boxes and some for other charities associated with Blythswood at Craigmillar Park Church Edinburgh in November. Many of the filled Shoe Boxes are heading to Eastern Europe (Romania) where they will bring a smile to the faces of many families (who have very little) at Christmas.
Support for Widows
Defending endangered species can be dangerous and costs lives. Club members heard about the work of a local Scottish charity, Renew, which supports the widows and orphans of Park Rangers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo through their local charity Park Rangers Widows and Orphans project. When a Park Ranger is killed by rebels or poachers the lives of his wife and family members changes immediately. Renew SCIO supports women by arranging for them to become financially independent through developing small businesses such as sewing and tailoring, as well as enabling children to continue going to school.
www.prwop.org gives more information about their work in DRC.
Edinburgh is famous for its International Festivals held every summer. 2017 was a great year of celebrating 70 years of the Festivals so this year SI Edinburgh joined in partnership with the electric voice theatre, the Scottish National Library, Napier University and many others to support Scottish Superwomen of Science. The productions looked at ” the links that exist between women scientists both in history and the present day through a parallel exposure to women composers and artists”. A special website has been created which recognises women of science and music who have often been forgotten or hidden in shadows. Take a look at superwomenofscience.co.uk for more information.
SI Edinburgh members helped at a recent Sight Village which is an expo of services and products for blind and visually impaired people, by enabling visitors to access displays including phones with helpful features such as big buttons and quick dial contacts, audio description services, and accessible computer software. As the guiding was one to one we escorted a small number of people but felt that we made a difference. Thanks to members for guiding and for helping with prior publicity for the event. We wore the yellow sashes which identified us as Soroptimists, and raised our profile; indeed several stall holders remembered us from last year.
SI Edinburgh were delighted to be able to support a school in a rural village in the north of Nigeria. The school has been supported by SI Abuja, who have provided a clean water well, toilets and now a new classroom. This has been with the help of a substantial donation from SI Edinburgh.
The photo shows some of the school children dancing with members of SI Abuja.
As part of our service to the community we are supporting a small local charity called Kids Love Clothes found at
The charity takes good quality clothes for 0-6yr olds and packages them specially for those women who need support at a vulnerable time in their lives. Some members helped sort and size the many donations which have been received. Almost 100 small hand knitted baby clothes have been donated to SI Edinburgh from KLC so these are now being worn by very needy children in orphanages in Nigeria and Zimbabwe where Soroptimists are also working.
We have worked hard to support Scottish charity Mary’s Meals over several years. One of our members, Morag, has enlisted the assistance of residents of Caiystane Court and they regularly send donations of bags of textiles as well as knitted blankets. Over recent years we have also donated 17 filled back packs to assist children attending schools.
SI Edinburgh member, The Reverend Clephane Hume recently took part in the celebration in London at St Paul’s cathedral to mark the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women in the Church of England.
SI Edinburgh is proud to be a founder signatory to the Lord Provost’s Peace Initiative which was launched on 2nd March 2012. The Lord Provost, George Grubb, intends this to build on the strong base which exists in Edinburgh. A competition is being launched for primary school children to design a logo and a booklet will be published later in the year.
Scottish Love in Action works with children in India. For more information about this charity click here http://www.sla-india.org/ We have collected so far 1,400 unwanted keyrings to send to the children for their keys for their own personal security boxes.