The object of Soroptimism is to enhance the lives of Women and Girls worldwide and help them reach their true potential. We aim to Educate, Enable and Empower women and girls globally. We achieve this via the work we do in our Programme Action.
Obviously, this past year has been a very difficult one for everyone, but despite the restrictions that have been in place SI Kidderminster & District has continued with our Programme work. The work we do is underpinned by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
A number of members participated in planting centenary trees in the Nature Reserve near the Stourport Sports ground and others planted trees in their own gardens or grounds. In total we planted around 200 trees, and thanks to Janice, we have entered these on the SI Centenary Tree Map. This is work we undertake to protect our local environment and help mitigate climate change. We have been challenged by Soroptimist International to plant trees in our Centenary Year, replicating the work done by the first Soroptimist Club in America when they saved Redwood trees from being felled.
We have maintained our commitment to the Environment, signed petitions on Bees, pesticides, some turned our lights off during Earth Hour, we have planted trees, constructed ponds, cut down on the use of our cars (that was easy during lockdown!!) thought about our water consumption…………..let’s continue!
Members did extra work at the Foodbank to ensure it kept running throughout the pandemic, others sewed like crazy making PPE, outfits for Hoima, face masks for friends and families.
We have still donated supper money, fines and raffle money to the coffers which has enabled us to support our local charities such as Nightstop, Homestart and others further afield such as Humanity & Inclusion. Also, donating dressing gowns to all the ladies in the Women’s Refuge along with dozens of toys for the children staying there and at Homestart. Laptops to two schools and our fantastic virtual Wine Tasting for Tarango. Thanks to Rachel for all her work in getting these events off the ground.
Hopefully, we will have a long -term project established with Tarango.
FUN & FRIENDSHIP TOO
Important as it is, we are not all about money. Chris Holloway gave us a wonderful experience when she held a virtual Wellbeing day for us, so relaxing it was super. We continued with our Water Walks as long as we could and thankfully have one planned for later this month, now we can meet as a group of six, and we set up our Book Club which has been meeting and we are on our 4th book. Everyone is welcome whether you have read the book or not, come along and hear what people thought of it anyway!
We had a very interesting and though provoking talk by Jasmit Phull on Arranged Marriage. For me it still left many questions un-answered and I am sure, generated many thoughts for those who attended.
Early in lockdown we held a socially distanced cream tea event thanks to the “culinary skills and delivery service” of the PA Team. We raised £200 for Shared Lives and brought a little sunshine into our locked down lives. Little did we know we would still be needing this sunshine in 2021!
Our Soroptimister, Barry, kept us in suspense with his Story Telling for a Winter Evening and our friends in SI Stourbridge and our Regional President enjoyed participating in this event. We raised £213 for the International President’s Appeal, The Road to Equality
That is a bit of a whistle top tour of the past year.
So, where do we go from here?
- Tarango, this is a project supporting Women & Girls in Bangladesh and also helping to mitigate climate change in the region.
- The Environment
- Local charities
- National & International Charities
All Soroptimist clubs are encouraged to submit programme forms as evidence of the work undertaken. We have submitted many programme reports this year and have further reports waiting to be accepted onto the database. There has been an increase in the number pf petitions signed and lobbying undertaken by members. This is good news, as everyone, whatever their situation, can help with the work of Soroptimism and influence government policy on many issues. So, let’s continue with this even when we are back to normality. We still have work to do, but now a huge pat on the back for all we have done under difficult circumstances!