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Aiming for safe water for all in Rwanda

Aiming for safe water for all in Rwanda

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Malcolm Brandt, a former water civil engineer and volunteer for WaterAid, told the club about its current campaign to bring safe water, sanitation and hygiene to all those in Rwanda who did not have it. Regrettably one in nine people still do not have access to safe water and sanitation. Starting with birthing centres in 2015 because of the high neonatal deaths WaterAid has been gradually extending its work and now proposes extending it to the provision of safe water and sanitation coupled with training in hygiene to schools so that all children will have access to safe water and sanitation. Only ten per cent of the projects they propose have been started as yet. Apart from improved health to the community and a reduction in the waste of time currently being expended in fetching water from the nearest source, the projects will result in

Ros hopes to swim with Nessie!

Ros hopes to swim with Nessie!

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Intrepid wild swimmer and club member Ros Hardiman hopes to be taking on the challenges of Loch Ness this summer.  She is due to ‘meet the monster’ in an encounter planned for late June / early July. Whilst there is no guarantee of being allowed to swim any part of the great Loch, the Paralympian swimmer will take her chances!  Training continues at Dover, where this photograph was taken. The club fully supports her efforts, and is looking to use the personal challenge to raise awareness of the WaterAid project in Rwanda we are supporting. For instance, the WaterAid project aims to reach 81,900 primary school children, which is about one for every metre around the loch (approximately 72,600m based on its full length and widest point).  The project plans to install rainwater harvesting systems in 41 schools; and a further 11 schools will be

A great volunteering opportunity

A great volunteering opportunity

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A once in a lifetime experience and great volunteering opportunity in South Africa! Enhance your CV and spend six months in Pretoria. A unique opportunity for two young women aged 18 – 25 to volunteer as interns in a six-month placement from January to July 2019, in two schools and at Lerato House, Pretoria, South Africa. The successful candidates will need to contribute £1,500 towards the overall costs, but all accommodation will be provided as well as flights by Soroptimist International of Southern England. The interns will need to cover all medical, insurance and visa costs that are incurred prior to departure. Find out more here: https://sigbi.org/southern-en…/vip-volunteering-in-pretoria/ Closing date for applications 10 July 2018

Relaunch waves fond farewell to 44 years

Relaunch waves fond farewell to 44 years

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Soroptimist International of Gosport, Fareham and District celebrated their final year under that name at their AGM in April. They have relaunched the club under its new punchier name SI Solent East with a brand-new logo. The club reviewed their achievements over the year but longstanding member Rosemary Bell reminded members about the history and achievements of the club over the past 44 years of its existence. The following members were elected to the club’s Executive committee which runs the club in the absence of a president: Stella Astbury, Pam Grosvenor, Rosalinda Hardiman, Ann Pibworth, Carolyne Trew and Christine White. Ann Pibworth was elected Treasurer, and Tracy Gardiner and Audrey Welsh regional representatives.

Helping out at beach clean

Helping out at beach clean

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The Final Straw Solent beach clean. The second speaker at our relaunch party was Bianca Carr from The Final Straw Solent. She recently started a campaign to highlight the growing problems caused by single use and throw away plastics. Her group raises awareness and gets local businesses to stop giving out plastic straws, and she has started to organise regular beach cleans. We joined the latest one today at Eastney beach, to support this good cause and reduce the plastic waste being blown into the sea.  This photo has already appeared on our Facebook page and been shared by The Final Straw Solent on their page, raising awareness of Soroptimists taking action.

Plastic, pirates and a party

Plastic, pirates and a party

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As part of the Club’s effort to develop in challenging times, we decided to change our name from the rather cumbersome SI Gosport, Fareham and District to SI Solent East. We felt that this better reflected the area that we draw our membership from. As is the Soroptimist way  – this means a party! So on the 28th April we gathered at Port House in Port Solent for our event, this was also to publicise our theme of ‘water’. This will form the focus for the Club’s activities for the next few years at least. The UN has defined a number of Sustainable Development Goals and number 6 is Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300   Anyway back to the party – Tracy was our very capable host who managed to keep Ian Limb from Portsmouth Water from talking past

Where our water comes from

Where our water comes from

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On 15 February we hosted Ian Limb from Portsmouth Water who gave us an insight into how the rain that falls from the sky is treated and transported and is there whenever we turn on the tap. Locally every person uses about 168 litres of water per day (compared with 140 litres for the rest of the UK or 125 litres in France). The tap water we have is ‘hard’ water because of the chalk in the area and costs about 55p for 1000 litres, which makes you wonder why we buy so much of it in single use bottles. There three main sources of water for the Portsmouth Water area the River Itchen for the West, Brockhampton Springs in Havant (for most of us) and a borehole for the Denmead area.  The river is classed as ‘dirty’ water as it doesn’t come out of

A helping hand for the homeless

A helping hand for the homeless

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This year the club are supporting Helping Hands Portsmouth, a voluntary organisation which supports the homeless in Portsmouth by providing hot food, hot drinks, warm clothes, sleeping bags and blankets as well as providing outreach work which has included supporting a young woman attending hospital, liaising with solicitors for court hearings, helping improve the literacy of a young man and so much more. The club were able to provide ten sleeping bags, five ‘dignity bags’ for women, blankets and rucksacks to Michelle Brown, Helping Hands Co-ordinator, on a very cold December day. “These will be very much appreciated by the homeless people we will give them to, especially as winter is here.” Some of the volunteers spent a night on the streets themselves. “We would ask that you don’t point the finger of judgement at homeless people but hold out a hand to help them

Sad growth of the need for food banks

Sad growth of the need for food banks

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The club has supported the Basics Bank in Fareham for a number of years so were delighted to welcome Mr Phil Rutt of the bank, an independent charity operating in Gosport and Fareham, to talk about the organisation and the people who need their help to feed themselves and their families. Help is given on the production of a voucher available from a wide variety of sources. The need is sadly growing as a result of austerity. The charity is entirely run by volunteers and grew out of the Night Shelter for the homeless set up by Fareham Churches together in 2003. Donations still come mainly from local churches. After giving a vote of thanks Christine Wilkes presented Mr Rutt with a cheque by way of a donation.

A travel guide…

A travel guide…

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The club enjoyed a talk by Olein Webster, a fellow Soroptimist (from SI Surrey Hills), who is also a travel agent. She took us on a journey of contrasts when she travelled from Delhi to Simla in India on the famous railway which is a World Heritage site. Her photographs highlighted the enormous wealth of some Indians with luxurious hotels and palaces with wonderful scenery to the extreme poverty when some people have to live in makeshift tents next to piles of discarded plastic water bottles and rubbish. Opulent and poor live cheek by jowl in a class ridden society.