Some members of SI Kirkcaldy met up with Darlene Jamieson and Lia Ashbrook from Canada during the summer. Darlene was on her way from Canada to Dublin for the SI Convention in July. Darlene was involved in the Youth Justice System, and her husband was a school principal, which lead to them living overseas for a time. Darlene had a break from Soroptimism for a few years, and when she returned, she changed clubs, as the one she joined SI of Surrey/Delta was struggling a bit and needed some assistance. She is pro-actively seeking members for her club, and having some success.
Darlene is the friendship chair for SI of the Americas Western Canada region which covers British Columbia to Manitoba, and has 15 clubs with about 300 members. She enjoys using the Chat line set up by SI and is involved with the Dream Projects, which are education projects designed to empower girls and women.
Left to right: Annette and visitor Lia
Lia was visiting Scotland on holiday as she has a friend who lives here. She had heard that Darlene had arranged to meet with SI Kirkcaldy so asked if she could too. Lia lives in Victoria, a one and a half hour ferry ride away from Vancouver, British Columbia. She has two daughters and a two year old grandson, and she is now retired.
Lia has been a Soroptimist since 2018, first joining the SI of the Langleys and then moving over to the SI of Victoria Westshore club in 2021. She has just joined the Board as the treasurer. The club has nine awards, three for the Live Your Dream programme, three for the Give Her Wings programmes (young ladies coming out of the foster care system) and three for the Kwetlak programme (young indigenous ladies). They also run Anney’s Closet which is a storage facility with gently used donated household items which they provide to women fleeing unfortunate situations. These are the main programmes for the club.