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INDIA at the SIGBI Liverpool Conference 2018


It was indeed a great opportunity and experience to visit Liveroool in connection with the 84th Federation Conference of Soroptimist International of Great Britain & Ireland from the 25th to the 27th of October, 2018. I am thankful to all my sisters of our Organization for helping me achieve this. On arrival at theconference, I was given a Yellow ribbon as identification of a first-time attender of the conference. I was amazed & moved by the warmth with which everyone greeted me.

On the morning of 25th October, I was invited to tea with Judith – Director of Membership. This particular meeting was a privilege reserved only for the Memorial Grant awardees chosen from the world over – Candice & myself. This meeting was also attended by Janice Carrick – Federation Councillor for NW England & Isle of Man. On the same morning, I was also nominated to attend the FPAC meeting as a silent observer. The speakers discussed various aspects of women’s empowerment with special emphasis on the 5 P’s – People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace & Partnership.

Conference – Attending the conference was an experience by itself where projects from different countries were presented. Nisha Ghosh, APD, presented a montage from our club on “violence & conflict resolution”. The talk was highly appreciated. SI Madurai spoke about their project on Purification of water; the idea of involving school children in the project was highly appreciated.“Meru women’s garden” project update was presented by Jodie Gibson. The update was very interesting and the project was for a worthy cause.“Empowering girls from Nepal” project by SI Bridgend was voted as the next Federation Project (for the next four years).On Saturday evening, the Change of Insignia ceremony was held including “installation of Federation Management Board for 2018-19”.

Ceremonies & Entertainment – On the 25th, an opening ceremony was organised wherein Tricia Coll, the Conference Chairman welcomed all the delegates & this event was attended by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Christine Banks.

The opening ceremony also included a wonderful Parade of flags of the countries & territories where the Federation has a presence. It was inspiring to see Nisha Ghosh holding the Indian flag high in this parade.The conference was declared open by President Susan Biggs.The Brothers of Swing from Lancashire enthralled the audience with their performance.On 27th evening, the delegates were entertained by a performance by “Slidin About”, a quartet of talented trombone players.

The conference came to a close after a vote of thanks by Sue Williams (Federation President) & Susan Biggs (Immediate Past President).

Hospitality – My report would be incomplete if I do not mention about the excellent hospitality extended by the organising committee starting from application stage to the culmination of the conference in Liverpool; I was all along guided by our Soroptimist sisters in making this dream of mine come true – both in India & abroad. I would like to specially mention the names of Sally & Gina whose assistance had been immense.

It was truly a great opportunity to meet member sisters from all over the world, including the Federation officers – Susan Biggs (Federation President) & Tricia Coll (Conference Chairman). They all took keen interest on a first time attendee like me & gave their valuable time to interact with me.

The experience & opportunity to exchange information has been wonderful and it will help me with ideas in future projects.

– Kumkum Bhattacharya