My name is Ruth Dodd and I am delighted to face the challenge as President of Soroptimist International Midland East Region for 2017-2018. Soroptimist International is a wonderful organization and playing a small part as one of its leaders is a great honour.
Soroptimist International (SI) is a truly international organisation with clubs in over 130 countries around the world. The diversity represented by its members is a reflection of the great variety of projects that SI is involved in and it’s that diversity that I relish. Each club, region and federation in SI is enabled to plough its own furrow working within our global positioning statements and allowing every member to have a say in how she can help her community.
Soroptimists mix the serious work of programme action (lobbying, raising awareness, community service) with the fun of working in a team with other like-minded, inspirational women all focussed on helping women and girls worldwide….
…..but we work hard too. In the last two years SI has raised nearly £3m and helped well over a quarter of a million women and girls worldwide, helping them to realise their aspirations, grow in their own communities and in turn to help others.
SI’s strapline is a ‘Global Voice for Women’ and the organisation is definitely that. We have General Consultative Status at the UN (one of only 11 NGO’s focussing on women who have that accreditation) and we have volunteers permanently based at each of the six UN centres feeding back news about the work we do. So, what about our region? We have 12 clubs from Buxton and The Dukeries in the north to Kettering in the south. I hope to visit them all during my year as Region President. All our clubs work on some amazing projects and you can see much of that through this and the clubs’ own websites. Projects vary in size but all make a huge impact on those they touch.
My theme for the year is “Transforming the lives of women and girls” and the region meetings will reflect this theme.