Newcomers to Soroptimism can be baffled by the information they receive about the organisation. To try to help ‘outsiders’ understand who we are and what we do, we asked our members to answer some simple questions – here is a sample of their replies:
How would you describe the Kenilworth club?
‘A thriving and friendly club, working on service projects both locally and internationally.’
‘Friendly, professional, supportive and outward looking.’
‘Friendly, welcoming, open to new ideas.’
‘A lively and vibrant group of women keen to make a difference in the world.’
What opportunities has Soroptimism given you?
‘Opportunities to share knowledge, resources and perspectives across a wide range of professions.’
‘Soroptimism has given me the opportunity to meet interesting people locally, in the UK and overseas, increased my awareness of national and international issues, the opportunity to be involved in issues through networking with like-minded women around the world, the opportunity to use my skills and abilities to benefit others in a focused way.’
‘To be able to help in a small way others in need, understand issues particularly affecting women here and all over the world.’
‘A chance to meet like minded people and to share goals.’
Has it changed your life in any way – if so, how?
‘It has made me appreciate there are like-minded professionals within a wide range of commercial, industrial or academic fields.’
‘It has enriched it and widened my horizons.’
‘I am more outward going socially and enjoy the caring side of the club and feel I can make a difference.’
How has it changed your views?
‘It has demonstrated there are personal development / career change opportunities available to everyone at any stage of their career.’
‘We live in a comfortable bubble in this country, Soroptimism has shown me there are many other cultures with little regard for women who are desperate for outside help. There are also issues in this country, such as trafficking, that we need to address.’
‘I have much more background information and that usually comes from the people personally involved in projects.’
What do you think we achieve (club/UK/international) with our Programme Action?
‘We provide hope to people within communities locally, and overseas, by sharing empathy and enduring practical improvements, rather than just solving problems in a short term way with a cheque.’
‘Programme Action achieves economies of scale (if this is the right phrase) – by everyone contributing a little whether in terms of skills, time or money we are able to effect change some wonderful international outcomes.’
‘As a a world wide organisation we have a greater impact.’
In your opinion, what is the best thing we have done in Programme Action in the last year and why?
‘Over the last year we have progressed with projects locally, regionally and internationally, which ensures we don’t lose sight of the World context of the issues being addressed.’
‘Support of the Women’s Refuge, recognising that women of all backgrounds and abilities find themselves in need of this support – we are not exempt just because we are professional women; – by working with established organisations we are able to achieve more.’
What is the best thing about being a Soroptimist?
‘Fun and friendship, with the certain knowledge the combined skills and determination of 80,000 Soroptimists world-wide can be combined to overcome the challenges we set ourselves.’
‘The fun and friendship and the sharing of ideas that make a difference however small.’
‘Working together with friends.’
Any other comments?
‘Membership provides a rare opportunity to share experiences and skills with professionals from across the generations.’
‘Joining the Soroptimists has made me get off my backside and actually do something to help.’