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Visit to SIE Congress in Berlin

Earlier this month Bronwen travelled to Berlin to join 1800 of our sister Soroptimists from across the globe at the 20th Congress of Soroptimist International of Europe (SIE). SIE is a federation of 35,000 members in 1230 clubs in 58 countries. The theme for the Congress was “Visions of Paradise” – Soroptimists Go for Water and Food.

The programme was run in a similar way to our annual SIGBI conference with keynote speakers and workshops during the day, and a chance to socialise in the evenings.The highlights of the speaker programme included an inspiring presentation by Dr Auma Obama on her foundation Saati Kuu. Empowering young people in Kenya to use their own resources to shape their futures and allow them to be self-sufficient.

The second day focused on food waste and the latest research into sustainable farming. Have you heard of the tomato fish? A new innovation in fish farming, where hydroponically grown tomatoes are grown in conjunction with a fish farm. The tomatoes use the waste from the fish as fertiliser and purify the water.

For many the highlight of each day was when Frau Hopker invited us all to sing along. A talented musician she had carefully chosen a selection of songs we all knew to sing along to. The songs all had relevance to soroptimism, and as she encouraged us to join, the sound of 1500 women from across Europe singing together was moving and powerful.

I managed to meet up with members of our friendship link clubs SI Remscheid and SI Arnhem Oost.I spent a lovely time with our friends at the conference, sightseeing and sharing ideas for our clubs futures. They send their best wishes to everyone at SI Kenilworth and look forward to travelling to see us in April 2014.