Latest newsflash from Mweheki Women’s Group in Uganda – Grace is pictured here proudly showing her goat with its little kid. She is taking good care of both animals and the responsibility has given her a new lease of life. She said, it is her first time owning something tangible. Such a little step we took, but it has huge benefits.
33 woolly squares ready to be sent off to the South African charity “Knit a Square” where they will be made up into blankets and distributed to Aids orphans. Out thanks to Julia, Di, Philippa and Katherine. Good knitting ladies!
Twelve little dresses ready to be sent off to Dress a Girl Around the World UK where they will be distributed to little girls who never have the chance to experience a new dress just for themselves. And these come with pockets – to store their little valuables! Who doesn’t love a pocket?
We’ve had good news from Uganda. Our goat project with the Meheki Women’s Group has produced results in that one little billy goat has been born and three other donated goats are pregnant. So pleased that the project is going so well and the women will soon get a return for their hard work caring for them.
At our November meeting members brought in gifts and toiletries which would be distributed to women in our local refuge – Athena.
We are sorry to announce the death of one of our oldest and long-serving members – Glenys Davies. Glenys joined the club in 1976 after being nagged by her sister and has been an enthusiastic and positive member every since. She held a number of officer roles and was President twice.She loyally attended regional and national conferences until very recently and was a fount of information about Soroptimist practice and the history of the club. She had a wide circle of Soroptimist friends from around the world and her positive outlook and infectious laugh endeared her to all. She will be greatly missed. Glenys died on 5 November 2017.
Julia presenting Maggie, our newest member with her name badge at our latest club meeting. We all join in welcoming Maggie to the Club and wish her all the best!
Rita has just returned from a visit to Uganda where she distributed clothes, linen and towels in a village where all the women have escaped domestic violence. Her daughter Martha captures Kirabo and Sheila trying on their new dresses. Happiness is a new dress
The main purpose of of Rita’s visit to the Mweheki Women’s Group was to distribute the 8 goats purchased from funds raised by SI Lewisham. The women were taught how care for the goats and any surplus kids would be distributed to other women in the group so gradually all the women would benefit from the income raised by selling the milk and meat allowing them to support their children and become financially independent.
We are sorry to announce the death of one of our oldest and longest serving members of our club. Jean died on 7 Sept after a short illness in hospital.She was 92. She had been a member of S.I. Lewisham and South East London since 1985 and had filled most officer roles over those years, including that of President in 1986 and 1994. She was a dedicated supporter of the organisation and only stopped going to the Annual Conference two years ago. She quietly and modestly supported and mentored individuals and gave generously to club initiatives. Her own special events were quiz nights which she organised at Stannard Court – challenging questions leavened by food and drink supplied by club members. We shall miss her ready smile, her encouragement and her dedication and our thoughts go out to her family and many friends.
A proportion of our members are from Sierra Leone originally so the awful floods and mudslide in Freetown shocked us all and we wanted to help as best we could. We elected to send money to Girl Child Network Sierra Leone and to S.I. Freetown who had impressive short and long term objectives to support their local population and were already on the ground. Our thoughts are with everybody affected by the disaster there as well as those by floods in India, Pakistan and the USA.
Twelve little dresses ready to be sent off to Dress a Girls Around the World UK – a charity that distributes dresses to little girls who live in poverty and never have any hope of getting a new dress to wear.
The Lewisham Club took a stall at the Brockley Hilly Fields Summer Fair on 24 June to promote the club and raise money for Athena, our local women’s refuge. we had a Lucky Dip for Children and distributed leaflets and answered questions about the organisation. We raised over £50 during the afternoon and hopefully recruited a few new members. Becca was our most glamorous stall holder.
Jen Simpson, President of the London Chilterns Region, attended our AGM in April and we took advantage of her presence to ask her to present the latest solar lanterns bought from our charity funds for presentation to the Harford School for Girls in Moyamba, Sierra Leone. Representing the school are two ex pupils Celia and Mahawa who are also members of the club. In a previous year, we sent over solar lanterns to the school and they found them useful for studying in the evening when the power failed, so they asked for more, so that more pupils could benefit. We were happy to oblige.
This is Glenys checking out her latest award – a certificate from London Chilterns Region for 40 years of exceptional service and commitment to Soroptimism and SI Lewisham and South East London. Glenys has always been a very active member (she has stories to prove it) and still follows the club’s activities with a keen interest. We congratulate Glenys on this award and thank her for her support and dedication to the club.
It’s finally here! Our 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Clarendon Hotel on Sunday 31 July 2016 for lunch. Over 30 people joined us to eat and drink, to remember friends who couldn’t be with us, win a large selection of raffle prizes and exchange news with Presidents, past members, friends and relations and congratulate the Club on its success. SIGBI President Margaret made a lovely speech and was thanked by the Regional President Pam. Thank you to the planning team for a lovely event and a huge thank you to all our supporters – we raised over £100 for the Meru Women’s project. Hurrah for Lewisham Soroptimists!
Celia, Di and Katherine standing by ready to serve at our stand on Hilly Fields Summer Fayre 18 June 2016. The Lucky Dip was a great success and we made £40. We also distributed leaflets and information about our club and Soroptimists.
Our two newest recruits – Becca and Kate being presented with their badges by our oldest member Jean. A very warm welcome to you both – we are delighted you decided to join us!
Some of our happy quizzers who helped us raise over £250 last night to support the Mweheki Women’s project in Uganda. We want to buy them goats next year so that they can become more sustainably economically self sufficient. At £50 a goat, that’s five more goats for our little herd. Well done everybody and thank you!
The first of our Craft and Social Gatherings this year with the objective of creating objects to sell on our stall at the Hilly Fields Summer Fayre in June. A small turn out but some lovely objects emerged and cake was consumed.
SIGBI have informed us that they have selected this image to be entered into the competition run by NCVO – the theme being “connections”. This is Rita distributing dresses to little girls in the Mweheki Women’s Group in Uganda – as you can see- the dresses were well received along with the solar lanterns. Fingers crossed that we win the competition, but even if we don’t – it’s a winner in our eyes!
We ran another of our popular quiz nights at Standard Court on 24 November raising £43 from selling raffle tickets and £250 at the door. The money will go towards the See Solar, Cook Solar funds to buy solar lanterns for the Harford School in Sierra Leone and the women’s village in Uganda. Thanks to Jean for the questions and to the doughty Club members who prepared the refreshments. A great time was had by all our visitors who seemed reluctant to go home!
Five more toiletry bags delivered to Eaves Charity for distribution to their clients all of whom have suffered sexual or domestic violence and leave homes with nothing. Eaves supports them in finding accommodation and helps to restore their confidence and independence.
NEWS – we are very sorry to hear that news that Eaves Charity were forced to close their services on 31 October 2015 and will no longer be operating. This is tragic news for women and girls in our area who are subject to violence and seeking support and accommodation.
Rita has just got back from her annual trip to Uganda and this time took with her four solar lanterns bought by the club from funds raised over the year and some dresses make by members. You can see the pleasure these gifts brought to the recipients in the Mweheki Women’s group. Great to have evidence of our work being appreciated.
Two photos sent from the girl’s school in Moyamba, Sierra Leone, of the solar lanterns in use in the boarding school. It’s so rewarding to see evidence of the results of our fundraising activities. Well done S.I. Lewisham!
Julia and Celia ready to go for the Brockley Society Midsummer Fayre on Hilly Fields on 20 June 2015. We raised £81.50 selling handcrafted goods and handed out lots of leaflets about our club and Soroptimism. Our grateful thanks to Celia, Julia, Di and Katherine for donating items to sell.
At the June club meeting, Celia presented Rita with four solar lanterns which will be taken to the Mweheki Women’s village in Western Uganda where all the women have been affected by domestic violence. The lights will enable them to work in the evenings and for their children to study for school.
Another of our popular quiz nights was held at Stannard Court in Catford on Tuesday 19 May with over 20 guest turning up to tackle the quizzes and enjoy the refreshments and drinks provided by the club members. Money raised from ticks was over £229 and the raffle prizes raised £31. Our particular thanks go to S.I. Beckenham members who are always loyal supporters of this event.
A collection of solar lanterns destined for the Mweheki project in Uganda and the Harford Girls School on Moyamba, Sierra Leone to support girls studying in the evening and improving their lives.
Eight bags of lovely toiletries ready to go to Eaves4Women to support their clients who have all been made homeless through domestic violence, escaping prostitution or trafficking. Our grateful thanks to our generous members.
Rebecca reaches an important milestone this week and the event was celebrated with cake and a card. A very happy 80th Birthday to you Rebecca!
Rita holding up knitted garments and blankets ready to go to Zimbabwe. Our grateful thanks to all our friends and members who have contributed these lovely things
Pauline Panter and Rita Beaumont kindly visited our club for the January meeting braving bad weather and a long journey. They spoke about their roles and joint Presidents for the London Chilterns Region and encouraged us to participate in regional activities. They were also kind to praise us for our programme action. Here they are with Celia – an active member of the PA team.
Our December Club meeting saw a talk from an inspirational speaker – Alison Butcher from Agents of Change who singlehandedly has rescued orphans and adults from a range of institutions round Podriga in Romania and battled against bureaucracy to set up an expanding day centre to provide respite and mental stimulation for a community largely ignored and forgotten. She somehow raises over £100,000 a year to keep it going and has devoted her life to these lost souls. The woman is a saint!
25 Nov we held another of our very popular quiz nights at Stannard Court, providing a range of stimulating quizzes, attractive wine and cheese refreshments rewarded by prizes for the winning team and a raffle to finish off. A great time was had by all and we raised over £240.
Helen Ong from Care International UK came to talk about the “Walk in Her Shoes” project; a project that provides water resources for communities and supports girls being able to attend school rather than trek miles to fetch water each day for their families, thus giving them the possibility of a future and independence.
to help our friends SI Strand Norway to celebrate their 30th Anniversary.
Grateful thanks to our generous club members!