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Best Practice Awards 2022

1,712 projects by SIGBI Clubs were reported in 2021-2022. These have been narrowed down to just five worthy winners by the Programme Team. Below is information about the projects.

Partnerships – SI San Fernando – Partnering to develop digital learners

SI San Fernando partnered with RSC (Restore a Sense of I Can) and CSOD (Caribbean School of Data) to improve the digital skills of eleven young ladies. The ladies participated in a 5-course programme over a 12-week period. The courses were all self-contained but inter-related and accessed online.

Club members mentored the participants and provided moral support as they progressed through the programme which was mainly self-directed, allowing participants to work at their own pace. Mentors reported regularly to RSC on the progress of their mentees.

All participants successfully completed the 5 week programme.

Peace – SI St Albans and District – Oranging the World (well, Hertfordshire really) to shine a light on Gender Based Violence

Building on the Club’s success in 2020 when they encouraged the iconic St Albans Museum and Gallery to light up orange during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, the members wanted to get many more buildings lit up in 2021. They approached businesses, schools, councils and individuals to get involved and find ways of turning orange. The Museum supported them again and allowed them to hold a launch tea there, our local radio station interviewed them about it and they gained significant publicity.

The members were hugely heartened by the number of organisations that embraced the appeal. including Herts County Council, a local secondary school, local businesses and pubs, shops and offices. They had support from individual local councillors and dignitaries, and from the Board of the Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline who turned themselves Orange. All of this was captured in a video, which has been put on YouTube.

Planet – SI South Kolkata – Mangrove Plantation

As part of SIGBI’s Tree Planting Project (#planttreesforabrilliantfuture) to commemorate 100 years of Soroptimist International, SI South Kolkata has regenerated a Mangrove Plantation in Sunderbans. SIGBI Clubs and individuals have supported the project with donations.

25,112 mangrove saplings were planted. As the mangroves grow taller and sturdier, they will provide a wall of protection against cyclonic waves which wreak havoc along the coastal delta region. Mangroves build soil with silt deposits in the spaces among their entangled roots, store carbon, prevent erosion, provide biodiversity and habitat to marine animals like crab and shrimp which in turn creates food security. In addition to all this, mangroves have provided the marginalised coastal communities with livelihood and income generation. The local women in Self Help Groups have participated in the regeneration of their region, earning to provide two square meals and send their children to school.

Prosperity – Grange over Sands – Fair Trade walk for chocolate making workshop for girls in Ghana

Three Club members walked with Joanna Pollard, Chair of Fairtrade National Campaigner Committee, on two legs of her 92 mile Fair Trade Way walk, which was to raise funds for chocolate making workshops for girls in Ghana. Other members provided hospitality and fundraised by making or purchasing chocolate treats.

Joanna was walking the Fair Trade Way from Garstang to Keswick. The funds raised would provide equipment and staff training for the workshops. They would be delivered by local Ghanaians in schools and would educate the girls about chocolate making using the cocoa produced on their family farms. This would help keep the girls in school and empower them to develop a career and enable them to reach their full potential.

Seventy five pounds were raised directly by Club members and others donated on the crowdfunding site. Our support for Joanna both with accommodation , transport, picnics, friendship and supper were greatly appreciated. Fundraising will continue until the £3,000 target has been reached.

People – Runcorn, Frodsham and District – Mastectomy Breast Care Cushions

The Club has been doing this project for 8 years. This year, to commemorate 100 years of Soroptimist International, they made an amazing 100 mastectomy cushions, enabling women post breast cancer surgery, to have comfort and protection.

The work is done in partnership with 2 local hospitals – Countess of Chester and Runcorn Breast Care Unit, by supplying them with the cushions.

A local social enterprise organisation “Sew Halton” has happily assisted us in making the cushions – “Sew Halton’ enables women, lacking in confidence and with isolation issues to learn sewing skills, the women feel empowered by contributing to this worthwhile project, and gain confidence and social skills.

The Head Nurse at Countess of Chester Hospital said, “The women who receive the cushions have really appreciated women supporting each other, as well as finding them practical and comfortable“.

Congratulations to all our 2022 Best Practice Award Winners.

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