November was certainly a month in our calendar for us to remember so many things.
As always, we joined the service Clubs in Kenilworth to remember those, who in the words of the Kohima Epitaph ‘For your tomorrow we gave our todays’. This year, we also had cause to remember those affected by the war in Ukraine.
With our Friendship links
We’ve carried on with regular Zoom meetings with our Friendship links, Remscheid and Arnhem Ooost. It’s a great way to see our Sisters from across the water and hear their news. It’s interesting to hear their perspective on the Ukrainian situation as of course, their countries have taken in more refugees than the UK. Some of our sisters are hosting women and children, and they too are struggling with bureaucracy, plus not expecting to still be hosting 8 months on.
Working with SI Krakow
Our Sisters in SI Krakow set up a Zoom session to give us the news and update all of us from around the world who have sent financial support to them to help their Ukranian Refugee situation. They started by providing for the immediate needs to people arriving at bus stations and railways. And families that had walked for days to get to the Polish border. However now they have had to move to supporting the refugees for much longer than anticipated.
- 6.5 million Ukrainian people fled to Poland – 3 million are still there
- 50% are under 18 years old
- The rest are mainly women including pregnant mums
- Few of the women have work skills that are useful for life in Poland
- Few of the women are fluent in Polish.
SI Krakow shared videos with us of the children playing, singing and having fun learning circus skills. For those of us watching it was in many ways heart-warming to see the children being happy. But heart rending to see the pictures that the children had drawn, with many using red and black to depict horrific the scenes.
The pdf link here has more stories as to what SI Krakow have achieved, please do take a moment to read it. letter of thanks Kenilworth
You can also see photos of the women and children they’ve supported on this link to their Facebook page. Don’t worry, Google translate works brilliantly.
Remembering at our International Night meeting
Medics to Medics
There is a saying ‘if you want something doing, ask a busy woman’. Well that certainly applies to one of the main founders of Medics to Medics, Kenilworth para-medical Kate Wilson-Mursell. This amazing woman has helped set up an organisation to take much needed medical supplies to para medics in Ukraine. What started off as a one-off trip is now regular mission. And sadly, even if the war in Ukraine ended tomorrow, their work will still be needed for years to come. Kate spoke in very matter of fact terms about her experiences, and what her team on the ground their face on a day-to-day basis.
Kate has created a network of ordinary people doing ordinary things.
We admire her courage, conviction and especially her energy. She definitely epitomes the ethos of Soroptimism.
If you feel that could contribute the work of Medics to Medics, please do check out their Facebook page. And remember the plight of people in Ukraine. We managed to raise £227 with a raffle, and Julie P donated another 20 euros she had brought back from holiday!
Remembering the success of the Tombola earlier this year, President Elect Amanda and her trusty team organised a tombola at the Christmas Lighting up in the old part of Kenilworth. Thanks to donations from Soroptimists, friends and local business raised the magnificent sum of £445. Amanda truly is the Queen of the Tombola!
Town Toilet Twinning Update
Tis the season to be ‘twinning’ tra-la-la-la, la-la-la-lah. Well, there was no other theme possible for our contribution to the annual Kenilworth Christmas Tree Festival! It certainly made for a topic of conversation with the many visitors. Of course we didn’t win but that’s not the point of being a Soroptimist. It’s to raise awareness about issues that affect women and children. If you’re still looking for a present for that ‘hard to buy for’ person do join our revo-loo-tion and bag a bog by going onto this website. Toilet Twinning – Flushing away poverty, one toilet at a time. If you sponsor two is that a BOGOFF?!!!
And last but not least
Hello to new members – Jan, Jane and Angela
And Au Revoir, but not goodby
To our wonderful Sister Barbara. Barbara has been an inspiration to many of us in Club. She and daughter Helen are moving to be nearer her son. Barbara, as ever, has already approached the local surgery there to offer her classes in relaxation, breathing and pain relief management. And she hasn’t even moved yet! Marvelous Marion worked her magic and made a beautiful card for us to sign. There were also a couple of presents for her to remember Kenilworth by.
You can enjoy more photos from our International Night on the theme of Ukraine here