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Friendship link with SI Osnabruck

Friendship Link with SI Osnabruck

SI Medway has been linked with SI Osnabruck since 2002.

SI Osnabruck was formed on 20 October 2001 when Julia Search was SI Medway’s Club President and keen to develop our international links. Long term friendships were established and one of those is between Julia and Ilse Heinzen-Dammeier from Osnabruck club.

Julia and Ilse

Julia and Ilse

This is Ilse who was visiting Kent and staying with Julia.

They are both seen here together at Julia’s having been joined by another Medway member, Jane Barnes. They took advantage of the opportunity to catch upon the news of what has been happening for each club in relation to membership, communication and programme action projects and how we can work together and share good practice.

Following an invitation from SI Osnabruck’s President Marie-Luise to visit them this year – work is underway planning SI Medway’s next friendship weekend visit in December that will coincide with the popular Christmas Market season.

22 Soroptimists from 5 clubs came together on Saturday 20 February, (UN Day of Social Justice) for their regular Zoom Friendship Link meeting.  Soroptimists from SI Medway and Maidstone, SI Heswall, SI Le Quesnoy in France, SI Voorburg in The Netherlands, and SI Osnabruck in Germany met to exchange ideas for membership extension and retention, and programme action.  Unfortunately, members of SI Accra could not join us on this occasion, but one of our members is staying in Ghana and joined us representing them.

We will be celebrating our 75th Anniversary on 3 June and marking it by doing activities with a ‘75’ theme.  one of these is Project Hope, which aims to send 75 cards or letters to women in prisons in Kent, Peterborough, and Surrey as they are unable to have visitors at present and are feeling the isolation so much. SI Heswall were keen to join in and SI Voorburg thought there might be an opportunity for them to do something similar in Holland.

We discussed how the clubs were trying to get new members in these difficult times and all agreed that retention of existing members was equally as important.

SI Osnabruck left us with a smile by showing a photograph of one of their new younger members with her newborn child born this week.

Next month on 8 March as Soroptimists we will all be celebrating International Women’s Day and the theme this year is #ChoosetoChallenge and so we were all proud to hold our hand up to show we are in as from challenge comes change.