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SI San Fernando



Soroptimist International of San Fernando was chartered on 23 November 1962 with 18 members.  At present the club has forty-four (44) members, two of whom are founder members.

Our ongoing project is Shangri La Soroptimist Retirement Home, founded in 1970. It is a safe and secure residence where senior citizens can find companionship, serenity and happiness in their later years.


New Executive Team for SI San Fernando for 2023/2024
Congratulations and best wishes to the newly elected Executive team of Soroptimist International San Fernando for the 2023/2024 year.
Back Row (Left to Right):
Terry Amirali Rambharat – Immediate Past President
Cindy Seemungal – Floor Member
Sandra Dieffenthaller – Membership & Organizational Development Officer
Arlene Wilkes – Programme Action Officer
Shiyen Lee Chee – Floor Member
Front Row (Left to Right):
Crystal Rahaman – Secretary & Communications Officer
Lisa Teewarie-Sankar – Vice President & Treasurer
Renata Ramsaywak-Lalla – President
Leigh-Anne Koylass-Shand – President Elect
Jana-Marie Koylass – Floor Member
Best wishes ladies for a wonderful year ahead!

International Day of Peace

To commemorate International Day of Peace SI San Fernando’s Peace Quilts comprised of Peace Patches from across the world, were displayed at Gulf City Mall’s Atrium.

The quilts are comprised of peace patches from Soroptimist Clubs around the world, the squares of fabric, each bearing a unique peace message were stitched together in a zig zag pattern indicating that while the road to peace is not a straight one, we are all united in our desire to achieve peace.

Let us not underestimate the power of individual actions in contributing to a more peaceful world.


We are so proud of our charter members Dorothy Callendar and Elsa Ferguson, who were both conferred Honorary Life Membership by the Soroptimist International National Association of Trinidad and Tobago at its 50th AGM on Saturday, September 9, 2023. These ladies have each served San Fernando for over 60 years.
Also honoured was Ursula de Castro who was conferred Honorary Life Membership and Dr Martha Frederick-Franklin, Fay Nobrega, Norma Inniss, Norma Delmas and Merle Latchman who were conferred Honorary Membership.

Wonderful Birthday Celebrations- …….treasured memories!!!!!

Our Club celebrated in style on Saturday last as our treasured member Pat Manhin reached a milestone birthday- 80 years!! It was a double celebration as we also celebrated Sylvia Maharaj’s special birthday.

We were very honoured to have SI President Maureen Maguire – who was here on a project visit – in attendance!

We truly enjoyed the beautiful decor created by our member Camille and delicious food provided by members. Our in-house DJ Crystal even got our senior members and SI President Maureen to shake a leg – with non other than our nonegenarian Elsa!

This was one party that we will remember for many years to come – a true demonstration of SI San Fernando style!

Supporting the children of the staff of Shangri La.
Our club has made an annual commitment to supporting the hard-working staff of our retirement home, Shangri La, by off-setting the cost of back to school items.
This year we purchased text books for 7 children. The books were distributed by members of SISF at the Home on 9th August 2023.
Women inspiring action, transforming lives

Upcoming events

SI San Fernando

SAVE THE DATE- 1st October 2023.

Wild Safari annual luncheon fundraiser


Soroptimist International Convention in Dublin.
SISF President Renata Ramsaywak Lalla and member Sandra Dieffenthaller represented our Club at the 2023 SI Convention in Dublin.
They traveled with our global “Patches of Peace” quilt which was proudly displayed at the Exhibition Hall and attracted many viewers and positive comments.

SIGBI Day of Action – 15th July, 2023

This year, SIGBI Day of Action coincided with the United Nations World Youth Skills Day.

In an effort to encourage young girls to aquire new skills, Soroptimist International San Fernando had a fun workshop where we taught introductory courses in Nail Design (basic manicure) and Sewing (hand stitching, hemming, sewing on buttons and taking measurements).

The girls enjoyed the day and we were happy to give them the opportunity to learn new skills as well as teach them the value of acquiring these skills as a way of earning income.

Women inspiring action, transforming lives

SI San Fernando partners with SWMCOL

SI San Fernando wishes to thank the Solid Waste Management Company Limited (SWMCOL) for partnering with us in educating the Std 5 students of St Clement’s Vedic Primary School on the importance of recycling plastic waste.

SWMCOL facilitated a tour of their Beverage Container Recycling Facility and also did a very informative and educational video presentation on plastic pollution, the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ principles and Global Warming.

It was a great experience for the kids who are now promoting the green agenda at their school.

Women inspiring action, transforming lives

It is Membership Month &

We are Celebrating!

Congratulations and many thanks to Club member Alice Daniel, for 30 years of dedicated service to SI San Fernando!

Alice was presented with her Long Service Award at our Club’s May Business Meeting.

(L-R) Alice Daniel and President-Elect, Leigh-Anne Koylass Shand

Women inspiring action, transforming lives


Our club’s Day of Reflection was a blast

With a ‘wear what you wish’ dress code ,

we saw everything from Pjs and pearls to African wear, scrubs, a tennis outfit and a fishing outfit

In typical SISF style we had great food, fun and activities (competitions with prizes) as we reflected on our likes, our challenges, what we need to change , what we want more of and what we could do better.

The consensus was that we’re doing great but could tweak a few things to make us an even better club

Mothers are the women around you who guide and nurture you. The ones who encourage your dreams, help you pick up the pieces when you falter on your way to those dreams, and believe in you even in the moments when you don’t anymore. They are the women who inspire you!

Happy Mother’s Day to all women who are mothers and those who have taken the role of mothers.

Women inspiring action, transforming lives

SI San Fernando’s Endometriosis Awareness Campaign
SI San Fernando held a 3K Obstacle race today at Skinner Park as part of an   Endometriosis awareness campaign for those who struggle with the “invisible illness”. This was a great success as there was an overwhelming participation.
Several persons proved that they were ENDO strong having completed the entire course which was very challenging and received well deserved medals for their tenacity and resilience.
There were the Challenge trophies for the fastest completion time by a male and female participant and special prizes given to the most senior participant and largest crew in matching outfits.
All in all, it was an explosion of fun and energy.
Winners in the Senior and Junior Categories from SI San Fernando club.


We are extremely impressed by the entries for our National Association’s school art competition ‘Imagine a world without violence against women’

Many of the fantastic pieces submitted to our Club as well as to SI Anaparima were on display at Gulf City Mall.


Today we hosted SITT’s Friendship Day – postponed from October last due to inclement weather. It was well worth the wait!!

The scenic La Vega Estate provided the backdrop to glorious weather and a throw back to the sixties to mark our Club’s 60th anniversary celebrated last year.

With 60’s outfits, music, dancing, games and a 60’s quiz, much excitement was generated as members competed for prizes in teams comprising members of different clubs.

After three years of virtual events it was a pleasure to see each other in person again and all agreed that it was a fantastic event


Friendship Day for Soroptimist Club Members
Host:- SI San Fernando
DATE: 19th March, 2023
Time: to 5 pm
Venue: la Vega Estate, Gran Couva

SI sisters come dress in your 60’s attire.
For a fun filled event and camaraderie.

SI San Fernando’s Membership Officer conducted a training session for New Members

SI San Fernando Membership Officer Sandra Dieffenthaller conducted a training session for new members who joined during COVID lockdown. It was a very informative session that covered a wide range of topics from SI Structure to Club Culture. Programme Action formed a big part of the presentation and elicited much discussion. Apart from the delicious tea, the highlight of the session was the visit to the Hub where the new members were registered on spot and were able to see past PA reports. New member Natalya Rahamatula won a Dublin Conference pin for scoring the highest on the quiz that followed the presentation.

The global advancement of transformative digital technology and increased access to mobile internet connectivity has enhanced humanity’s access to education, healthcare and other critical services.

The digital gender divide, mainly impacting vulnerable women and girls with low education and socioeconomic status must be addressed.

We must ensure that our disadvantaged sisters also benefit equitably from digital and technological innovation.

SISF is committed to:

– creating awareness of the digital divide

– promoting women’s participation in science, technology and ICT

Charter team of SI San Fernando has Development Day for SI Couva

SI San Fernando was happy to have its first face to face Development Day with our baby club Soroptimist International Club of Couva. It was a very productive and inspiring session of learning and sisterhood in the true spirit of Soroptimism. The session was led by the charter team.


SI San Fernando Members at their 19th Annual Fundraising Gold Tournament held at the Pointe-a-Pierre Golf Club on the 26th of February 2023.

SI San Fernando 19th Annual Fundraising Gold Tournament held at the Pointe-a-Pierre Golf Club on the 26th of February 2023.


SITT National Association extends heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and Soroptimist Sisters on the passing of Phyllis Gonsalves on the 20th of December 2022 She was a long-standing member of SI San Fernando who served the club for the last 40 years. May she rest in peace.

"A special smile, a special face
In our hearts, a special place,
Memories are a gift to treasure
Ours of you, will last forever’
Today our Club is saddened by the passing of our dear & wonderful Phyllis Gonsalves.
May holy angels lead you forth to paradise,
And may the martyrs greet your coming home.
May you find welcome there within God’s dwelling-place,
The radiant city, New Jerusalem."

Glitz and Glamour 

A celebration of 60 years

SI San Fernando held their 60th Anniversary celebration on the 3rd of December 2022 at Achievors Banquet Hall.

This was a fabulous and spectacular event which was well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Everyone looked beautiful and glamorous in their various combinations of black and white outfits.

Two of the longest serving persons who were members when the club was chartered 60 years ago, Elsa Ferguson and Dorothy Callender (standing from left to right) each reach receive a bouquet of flowers from the club presented by Mayor of San Fernando, His Worship Junia Regrello.

Many thanks to all who supported this milestone and memorable event.


We stand in support of ending violence against women.

SI San Fernando, with the support and assistance of San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello, lit the San Fernando City Hall in orange, joining with others worldwide in recognizing the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and as a representation of a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls.

#stopviolenceagainstwomen #respectwomen #orangetotheworld #sisanfernando

We’re 60!!!

Our Charter Anniversary was celebrated yesterday in fine style, with those of us who have earned the luxury of having lunch at a restaurant in the middle of a workday enjoying each other’s company Soong’s Great Wall Restaurant , and those of us looking forward to our golden years meeting up for after-work drinks at 519 Trinidad

Our President attended both events!!! A lovely time was had by all

Next stop – Our Gala Dinner & Dance on 03.12.22 where we’ll all celebrate this wonderful milestone in the company of our friends & family

SI San Fernando received Best Practice Award- Partnership at SIGBI Conference 2022

Congratulations to SI San Fernando who received the Best Practice Award (BPA) in the category of Partnership at the SI Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) Conference 2022. This is the third consecutive time that they have won the annual BPA Award and it coincides with their 60th anniversary celebrations. This is indeed a proud moment.

Sandra Dieffenthaller and Renata Ramsaywak-Lalla receive the award at the conference.

Patches of Peace” Patchwork sheet in celebration of SI San Fernando 60th Anniversary

On November 23rd, 2022, Soroptimist International of San Fernando will be celebrating their 60th anniversary of charter.

Their theme is ‘Celebrating the Past, Pursuing a Peaceful Future for Women and Girls’.

They invited Soroptimist clubs around the world to join them in celebrating this milestone by contributing squares of fabric to their commemorative ‘Patches of Peace’ patchwork sheet.

Sandra Dieffenthaller and Renata Ramsaywak-Lalla collected Patches of Peace” from some of the delegates to the SI Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) conference which commenced today.

The sheet of patches will be displayed at their Anniversary Dinner & Dance on the 3rd of December, 2022.

to SI San Fernando who were awarded the SI Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) Best Practice Award (BPA) in the category of Partnership for the year 2022. This is the third consecutive year that they have won the BPA award and it coincides with their 60th anniversary celebrations. Indeed, a very proud moment.

SI San Fernando partnered with RSC (Restore a Sense of
I Can) and CSOD (Caribbean School Of Data) to improve the digital skills of eleven young ladies. The ladies participated in a 5-course programme over a 3 month period. The courses were all self-contained but inter-related and accessed online.

Club members mentored the participants and provided moral support as they progressed through the programme which was mainly self-directed, allowing participants to work at their own pace.

Mentors reported regularly to RSC on the progress of their mentees.

All participants successfully completed the programme and submitted all assignments in a timely way. Technical assistance was provided by RSC

Recent Activities:

SITT National Association – 49th AGM

A great turnout from SI San Fernando!

Soroptimist International National Association of Trinidad and Tobago held its 49th Annual General Meeting on Saturday, September 17th, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at Sky View Lounge, San Fernando.

It was a glorious return to an in-person meeting since our last AGM in 2019. All clubs were represented—SI Anaparima, SI Chaguanas, SI Couva, SI Esperance, SI Newtown, SI Port of Spain, and
SI San Fernando. Despite a bit of inclement weather, it was a great turnout of members.


International Women’s Day 2022

The ladies of SI San Fernando stand with the people of Ukraine on International Women’s Day. #BreakTheBias #IWD2022

International Women’s Day 2022

In commemoration of International Women’s Day 2022, each of the seven Soroptimist International clubs of Trinidad and Tobago produced a video addressing:

A Mother’s work is REAL. Mothering through the Pandemic.

Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias can’t exist isn’t enough.

#BreakTheBias #IWD2022

In celebration of SI’s Centenary, on Sunday, July 25, 2021, SITT published a 24-page newspaper supplement with the Guardian Newspaper, Trinidad.
Here’s our full-page editorial…

To read the entire supplement, click on the link below to access our FlipBook:


In commemoration of International Women’s Day 2021, all six Soroptimist International Clubs of Trinidad and Tobago united to produce a series of videos featuring prominent local women who choose to challenge gender bias and inequality.

These women hail from different backgrounds and each shared their journey and determination to forge a gender-equal world.

We present Shiyen Lee Chee.   #ChooseToChallenge


We continue to make a difference in the lives of women and girls through programmes that educate, empower and enable. 

Recent ones include:

Health Outreach in Outlying Areas
Endometriosis Educational Seminars for Girls
Life Skills Parenting Workshops for Autistic Children
Finding Your Purpose/Passion Seminar for Girls
Assistance to disabled university student

In order to achieve our programme work, two main annual fundraisers are held – a golf tournament and a luncheon. San Fernando Soroptimists keep the ‘fun’ in fund-raising, and enjoy celebrating significant milestones with members of our own, and other clubs.

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