Every four years Soroptimist International holds an International Convention, the hosting of which rotates around the five Federations. The convention held in Dublin was the 22nd International Convention and was hosted by SIGBI. (Soroptimist International of Great Britain & Ireland). The last one was in Malaysia and in 2027, the next one will be in Alaska, hosted by SIA. (Soroptimist International of America)
Nine members from the St Austell & District club travelled to Ireland to take part in this international experience. The Convention is a key event in the Soroptimist calendar and provides an opportunity for members to come together to exchange ideas, share experiences and knowledge, and reflect on achievements and challenges.
The Convention started with a moving ‘Flag Ceremony and Roll Call’ where all of the countries involved were introduced. There were some excellent keynote speakers who stimulated and inspired us. In addition, there were workshops provided by each Federation and over 90 posters produced by Soroptimists across the world to showcase successful projects based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were displayed in the exhibition area in The Forum.
There were plenty of opportunities to mix and meet up with other Soroptimists, especially the Friendship Evening and the Gala Dinner and Ceili. We also took the time to explore some of the sights of Dublin, which included a theatre trip to ‘Riverdance’.
Mary Robinson reminded us that we actually have universal values accepted by every government in the world and yet they are not being implemented. She made it clear that women leaders must step up and lead as never before!
Suba Umathevan talked about her journey towards Inclusive Leadership and Gender Equality.
Sean Wensley gave an interesting presentation on Securing Well-being for Animals, People and Planet that had at least one person in our group considering her dietary choices!
Mr Ma Ying-Jeou the former President of the Republic of China talked about the role of women in his life and in Taiwan.
Jim Gamble gave a powerful presentation on the dangers of technology but reminded us that it is the behaviours of people that actually make technology dangerous.
Nicole Ameline gave a presentation entitled ‘Stand up for Human Rights’ and stated that the promotion of women’s rights will enhance our progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Felisa Tibbitts talked about the importance of Human Rights Education across the world.
Renata Dwan lead a dynamic session on Women, Peace and Cyber Security Securing our Future.
Representation at the United Nations
Prominent Soroptimists explained how they advocate for us at the UN.
Between our club members we covered all of the Federation Workshops. These included: Ancestry, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Life on Land, Climate Action and Cervical Cancer Elimination.
Sue Williams (Chair of the SI Foundation Committee) and Maureen Maguire (SI President 2022-23) explained about the new charitable trust expands our ability to fund projects and initiatives that align with our Mission. With a focus on education, poverty prevention and human rights we strive to foster positive change and create a more inclusive world.
Soroptimist International President Elect 2022- 2023, Siew Yong Gnanalingam from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia gave a short video presentation about her campaign for the future. Soroptimist International members expressed their sincere condolences to PE Siew Yong and her family for the recent loss of her husband; our thoughts and prayers are with her at this saddest of times.
Known for her passionate support for women and girls, and dedication to climate change and environmental challenges PE Siew Yong’s global voluntary work was always supported by her husband, who was also known for his generous philanthropy. PE Siew Yong chaired the 21st Soroptimist International Convention held in Kuala Lumpur in 2019 and was sadly missed in Dublin.
A few more photos from our time in Dublin