Hello and Welcome to the Soroptimist International Southern England (SISE) website.
My name is Ruth Healey and I am delighted and challenged to be President of SISE for 2015-2016. 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 gets involved with and it’s that diversity that I relish. Each club, region and federation within SI is enabled to plough its own furrow within our global positioning statements allowing every member to have a say in how she can help her community.
Soroptimist International members 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. Have a look at the photos of Glasgow Conference on the main SIGBI website – you can see we enjoyed ourselves!
…..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 ‘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 6 UN centres feeding back our news and the work we do.
So, what about our region? 12 clubs scattered from Reigate, Epsom and Kingston in the north to Bournemouth and Poole in the south west. In addition, we are currently working on setting up a 13th club in Salisbury so if you are in that area and are interested in finding out more then please contact www.sigbi.org/salisbury or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our clubs work on some amazing projects and you can see much of that through this and the clubs’ websites. Projects vary in size but all make a huge impact on those they touch. However, we’re not great at telling the outside world about what we do so the theme of this year is ‘Making Us Visible’. This applies to Soroptimists as well as women as a whole and we will be, during the year, having a range of speakers on the theme of raising the profile of women.
In addition, we are going to get ourselves out in the community helping specifically with the Southampton Half Marathon in April 2016 – we’ll be there in numbers with our big blue badges inviting you to ‘Ask Me Why I’m a Soroptimist’ so please do!
If you are ready for some fun and friendship and helping others, don’t hesitate, come along and find out more by contacting your nearest club using the dedicated forms through this website. We would love to hear from you.