International projects –
Meru Women’s Garden Project in Kenya
We support our current Federation project – The Meru Garden initiative. This is to enable women in Kenya to learn good gardening / agricultural skills so that they can produce vegetables to sell at market in order to support their families. We have made a donation to this each year.
We support our Regional project – Toilet Twinning. This is about funding building toilets in different areas of the world to ensure that vulnerable women and girls have safe and hygienic facilities.. These are built by a team of engineers who ensure each one is properly sited away from water courses and supplied with clean water for hand washing.. Families are given support and education to ensure they understand hygiene issues.
Just £60 will build a latrine toilet and we have funded 7 in different countries so far. We have a potty and goldfish bowl (part of our display shown in the picture) and we encourage everyone to put their small change there as they pass. “PLease spend a penny” has proved to be a popular and fun initiative.
Jewsons donated a toilet, and we use this as a ‘throne’ in our summer extravaganza fund raising at the Fishguard Carnival!
www.toilettwinning.org for more information
Lend with Care
Our club has also chosen to support ‘Lend With Care’ – a Care International initiative to help families in deprived areas to become entrepreneurs. Those interested and with a good, viable business idea, are given support. They are promoted on the charity’s website, and we can choose who to lend to. When the business succeeds, they pay the loan back! We have been running this for several years now.
Our first enrepreneur, Martha, wanted to start a brick-making business in order to feed and clothe her children, and send them to school – in full school uniform!
- £500 invested to date – rolls over annually;
- £100 loan made it possible to buy a sewing machine and fabric to get started.
- 96 loans made to individuals;
- 368 entrepreneurs supported so far;
- 1763 family members benefited.
National / International issues
Being a member of Soroptimists International gives us a voice for change. We have United Nations status and can influence decisions. Through the sigbi website we can choose to support petitions and clubs and individuals may write to Members of Parliament when there are issues where collectively, we may ‘Make a Difference.’ This was most recently effective when emotional abuse was made illegal as part of the revised recent domestic violence legislation.
Modern Day Slavery and Trafficking is also an issue we raise awareness about. Recently, a number of Soroptimists from our West Wales Region, travelled together to Cardiff, to join many others outside the Senedd to make our feelings heard at a large demonstration.
Locally, we distributed a small information card placing it around our area where it would be likely to be seen. We were delighted that Stena Sealink agreed to put copies both on their ships and in the ferry terminals. We also publicise the advice that anyone being held or coerced against their will should slip a teaspoon or similar in their pocket as this would be picked up by customs and give them an opportunity to ask for help.