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Opening Doors to a Bright Future – The Heshima Project

Soroptimist International President’s Appeals

Every two years, on Human Rights Day (December 10) the incoming President of Soroptimist International selects a project that provides direct assistance to women in extreme need. This appeal is called the SI President’s Appeal (also International President’s Appeal), and is supported by Clubs in all five Federations.

SI Woking & District donated £125 to the appeal in December 2021

2021-23 – Soroptimist International President’s Appeal ‘Opening Doors to a Bright Future’

SI President Maureen Maguire’s appeal “Opening Doors to a Bright Future” has education at its heart. It aims to:

  • Provide access to education in all its forms for disadvantaged and marginalised women and girls.
  • Provide education to women and girls in a safe, friendly, and stimulating environment where there is equality of opportunity and support for all.
  • Develop mentoring programmes that encourage confidence, self-esteem and increase the participation of women and girls in society and in decision-making.
  • Increase access to information, educational resources, and services, to empower women and girls to make informed life-choices.

There will be projects in each of the five Soroptimist International Federations,

The first project will be in Cambodia and will give girls aged 10 to 15 years the access to education they vitally need.  It will also empower women to develop self-confidence through mentoring programmes.

You can read further information on the appeal here


2019-21 – The Road to Equality

The aim of this campaign is to bring real change and eliminate FGM for good. Soroptimist International worked with the highly influential Global Media Campaign  (GMC) to End FGM.  Together, they created The Road to Equality campaign to support the Soroptimist Six.  They chose six determined women activists who worked to put an end to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in their countries.

In Africa, Global Media Campaign worked with local activists to mobilise people in their communities.  The six women helped communities to get funds to support their work to end FGM and violence against women and girls.  GMC used its academies to train and empower FGM advocates.  After training in the use of the latest technologies, the advocates were more effective at increasing awareness of how FGM destroys lives. GMC also held national events for survivors, activists, leaders, and journalists to raise further awareness about the harmful effects of FGM.

What do Woking Soroptimists do for the International President’s campaigns?

We donated a total of £335 to the 2019-2021 ‘Road to Equality’ campaign.

EdUKaid and the Heshima Project

What is EdUKaid?

EdUKaid is a charity based in Salisbury, UK.  It works in Mtwara in south-east Tanzania, close to the border with Mozambique. The charity aims to offer education to children in order to break the cycle of poverty.  It meets 7 of the UN Sustainable Development goals.

Where does EdUKaid  work?

EdUKaid works in rural Tanzania. In that area, nearly 50% of the children leave school before the age of 10.  Some classes have 120 to 160 children in them!   Early Years education does not have enough resources.  Parents often keep children with special needs/disabilities at home.  Fewer than 1 in a hundred girls complete their education.

What does EdUKaid do?

EdUKaid builds, repairs and maintains schools.  Local people do all the work required.  20 schools benefit from the charity’s help: as well as education, there is also a food programme and rainwater harvesting.  EdUKaid pays for 15 teachers to work in the schools, which use Montessori methods.  A Disability Education programme was introduced in January 2019.

The Heshima Project

The Heshima project aims to tackle gender inequality in Mtwara.  Under this project, a ‘Dignity Champion’ is introduced into each school, so that the girls have someone sympathetic to talk to.  EdUKaid has established Girls’, and incorporated washrooms into the schools.  There is a women’s community enterprise which makes re-usable sanitary pads.  The Dignity Champions do not just talk to the girls, they talk to the boys and the parents as well in order to create greater understanding of the girls’ needs.  During the next 2 years, EdUKaid aims to help 3,000 girls in 15 schools, at a cost of £20 per year per girl.  Supporting a school club costs £300 per year.

How does SI Woking help the Heshima project?

We think this is a great project and that it will improve the lives of many girls.

We know that the last year has been very tough in Tanzania because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Like all charities, EdUKaid has seen a downturn in donations   So Woking Soroptimists were very pleased to be able to give £280 to the Heshima project in June 2020.

Teresa Wells of EdUKaid said “The money donated by SI Woking will fund Mwenge Girls’ Club for a whole year which is fantastic. Our updates through the year show you the incredible impact you are helping us achieve”.










Find out what else we’ve been up to lately on our Club News page.

Find out more about EdUKaid at