An important part of all Soroptimist clubs is the links that are formed with fellow Soroptimists all over the world. Some of these links are informal, friends met at various conferences and conventions or by visiting another club when on holiday or working. Some of the links are more formal – and these are known as Friendship Links. Clubs pledge to maintain contact and here in the Surrey Hills, we have five Friendship Links. These are (in alphabetical order)
Bombay West, SIGBI. For a number of years, the Club paid the capitation fee or subscription for the members of Bombay West which in turn released more funds to Bombay West to enable them to continue their work.
Bombay West’s recent work over the last year has included 260 food packs given to the caregivers of cancer outpatients at the local cancer hospital; the provision of educational materials to the children of HIV patients; a cervical cancer awareness programme and funding vacinations for 3 girls.
Freiburg, Germany, SI Europe
Traditionally, Clubs visit one another whenever possible and the last visit to SI Freiburg took place in 2013, when members of the SI Surrey Hills visited the Club and city. Members Christine and Olein (shown right) were fortunate enough to experience the legendary hospitality including a typical Geman meal on Friday night and sightseeing on Saturday.
The highlight of the visit was undoubtedly the opportunity to experience the Freiburg Soroptimists’ Second Hand Clothing event raising money for the local Women’s Refuge Centre. Many of the members worked extremely hard to entice members of the public to spend their money on new outfits. It was an all-day event and at the end they had raised an amazing £15,000!
Ribe, Denmark, SI Europe
The Club has also been fortunate to visit our friendship link club in Ribe, Denmark. Ribe is one of our friendship link clubs which help us as Soroptimists forge links over the world. Ribe had invited all of its friendship links, and a good weekend was had by all.
The picture shows member Moira demonstrating international friendship with the aid of a few glasses (which all seem to be empty)!
Vienna 1, Austria, SI Europe.
Zagreb, SI Europe. With effect from 19 March 2009, and inspired by Surrey Hills member Marta, a former member of SI Zagreb, the Club signed a friendship charter with Zagreb Club.
Following that link, we were delighted to visit SI Zagreb. Nine members of SI Surrey Hills attended a meeting of SI Zagreb, at the local University. On Saturday Club members visited the local area and saw some of the work Soroptimists are carrying out before relaxing and enjoying Zagreb on Sunday. The intention is that the two Clubs are able to work together on a joint project.
Below: member Maria attends Zagreb Club meeting.