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New Term, New Member Jude and ICS Volunteer Alisha

We had a lively meeting on Monday 10 Sep – it was the perfect opportunity for Club Members to catch up after the Summer break.

The first thing we did was to welcome Jude Kenyon as a new Member of our Club – pictured here with Jude in the middle are Club President Linda Shall on the left and Club Membership Officer Amanda Brown on the right – they are all sharing the “hands of Soroptimist friendship” – as Linda said “what a great way to start our ‘new term’!”

Alisha Mirza, a 22 year old marine biology graduate from Welwyn Garden City then spoke to the Club about her forthcoming ICS Project in Tanzania  Alisha has so much energy and enthusiasm and is such an excellent communicator that we know her trip will be a great success. The ICS work with VSO to send volunteers from the UK to work on overseas projects. They have to raise £800 to part-fund the 10 week trip to work on “Rise Income for School” which is part of the mission for a “world without poverty”. While Alisha is there, she told us, she will be staying with a local host family in the rural area where she will be working. She has already undergone training in culture and staying safe and healthy. Alisha understands that food sustainability is a big issue with farming practices not making enough money for families to be able to afford to send their children to school. Many children are going hungry and education is virtually impossible until “empty tummies” filled.

There is already a programme running for “educational management and leadership” which Alisha will continue – it involves getting the parents more involved and community engagement. One example was where boys and girls have been playing football together creating understanding that they can be of equal value if they all work together as a team. The volunteers will help to produce teaching aids locally and sustainability as part of their legacy. The project will be reviewed by use of a survey so that the team and their successors can focus on what is working.

When the volunteers return they also have to create and run an “Action at Home” project to make a difference locally – Alisha hasn’t decided what to do yet and is sure that her ideas will develop while she is in Tanzania.

The Club gave Alisha a donation of £40 and she also made and sold us her delicious home-made cakes which added another £52 to her funds from our generous Members (by the way the cakes were scrumptious!). She has promised to come back with lots of photos to tell us about her experience which we know will be life changing. We can hardly wait!

Linda was able to update us about our annual charity bookstall last Saturday – more on the website we will have a “wash-up” about the event before we decide what we’re doing in 2019…