Registration for Soroptimist’s 41st biennial convention is now open! Click here to get everything you need to plan an incredible trip. Register online now »
Gear up for the experience of a lifetime. Laugh and learn with Soroptimists from around the world. Explore the wondrous “city by the bay,” which is full of rich culture and amazing sights. Check out this video to witness the fun you don’t want to miss!
SIA is also accepting advertisements and/or greetings for the 41st Biennial Convention program. Due to limited space, ads/greetings will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. All ads/greeting order forms must be received, along with payment, at headquarters by March 15, 2010. Contact SIA-HQ for more information on pricing, file sizes, etc.
Ballots for 2010-2012 Board of Directors members were counted at headquarters on January 8. Congratulations to Masako Sakashita, SI/ Miyazaki, Japan; Euisook Choi, SI/ Ulsan, Korea; Connie Desko, SI/Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Joan Merritt, SI/ Willimantic, Connecticut; and Carene Davis-Stitt, SI/ Eugene, Oregon. These members will assume their new leadership positions on September 1, and will serve in that position through August 31, 2012.
In two electoral areas, no candidate received a majority of the votes cast, and those electoral areas are currently re-balloting. The full results are online »
You may recall from last year (Feb 2009) when Alison Sutherland, Quadrennial Project Liaison, recounted the memories and experiences of those who recently attended the first project tour »
This morning, our SIA President, Cathy Standiford, is off to Sierra Leone for the next Study Tour. Here is an excerpt from her blog as she contemplates what to expect and how best to pack. We wish her safe travels and a memorable experience and look forward to her stories when she gets back in February (she’s not taking a laptop):
I know that the hotel accommodations will be nice, but spartan by some of our western standards. I’m bringing a hair dryer, but may not be able to use it if the power is out.I’m bringing my bathing suit because all of the hotels we will stay at have a pool, and if the water pressure in the shower or bath is low, the pool may be the best way to wash off some of the dust of the day. I’m bringing (of course) my camera, a small journal, and plenty of pens to write with.
Margaret Cook, the Assistant International Programme Director and one of the other participants on our tour, recently sent us a great video clip that will give you a taste. It was recently filmed by Alastair Humphreys, the son of a Soroptimist from Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland. Alastair has been on a “round the world bike ride” to benefit Hope and Homes for Children, our partner in Sierra Leone. This video explains what he saw–and what I am likely to see too. Watch it, then think of me, riding along those dusty roads!
What is a Quadrenniel Project?
Every four years Soroptimist International launches a major international project in partnership with a charity, NGO or United Nations agency. Each project is designed to be self-sustaining by the end of SI’s four-year commitment. Soroptimist members around the world join forces to give active support to the chosen project and in doing so, have improved the lives of many thousands of women and children across the globe.
Each Federation takes it in turns to propose an international project: our current project was initiated by Soroptimist International of Great Britain & Ireland (2007-2011). Project SIerra: a Family and a Future, was launched at Convention in July 2007. The project supports women caring for children in extreme poverty and provides a caring, secure family home for children who are alone or at risk of abandonment. The project location is Sierra Leone, West Africa. Our project partner is Hope and Homes for Children.
Judi Partridge, member to SI-DAF, has registered to run for Flamborough Ward 15 Councillor. We know her best as a founding member to establish the new Flamborough Women’s Resource Centre (FWRC); providing counselling and legal services to help teens and women of all ages including those in the urban and rural areas of Flamborough who are dealing with family crisis.
For those who were not able to watch the show, below is a link to the Jane Velez-Mitchell “Issues” program that aired on HLN Thursday with SIA President Cathy as a panelist. Jane is the 2010 Ruby Award recipient of Soroptimist International SW Washington and Soroptimist International Vancouver, Washington in the Northwestern Region. This was fabulous publicity for Soroptimist. President Cathy was outstanding and I loved her closing comments.
Click on the link below or copy it into your browser (approx 14 min clip):
This was a “special investigation” show which is placed on CNN and cnn.com/jane (not all shows are uploaded). As we understand it, CNN and the producers at “Issues” weigh the topic and the number of downloads on deciding future programming on those particular subject matters. The more of us that download and watch that clip the better – so let’s spread the news!!!
Soroptimist International of the Americas joins the world community in expressing shock and concern about the situation in Haiti. The devastation caused by the earthquake—in an already extremely poor country—is horrific. Tens of thousands of people are dead, and more than 1/3 of Haiti’s citizens are now homeless.
Because Haiti is part of Soroptimist’s European federation, Soroptimist International of the Americas has made a donation of $10,000 to Soroptimist International of Europe to support immediate disaster relief efforts for women and girls.
SIA knows from experience that women and girls will be disproportionately vulnerable to the effects because of existing gender inequalities that are magnified during and following any disaster. To that end, Soroptimist International of the Americas maintains a Disaster Recovery Fund to provide for projects ensuring that women and girls have the support and resources necessary to rebuild their lives and their communities. Concerned Soroptimists and other individuals are urged to contribute to the Disaster Recovery Fund to replenish the initial donation and to fund future projects to help women and girls in Haiti recover from this disaster. For more information, please read Soroptimist International of the Americas’ white paper: “Reaching Out to Women When Disaster Strikes.”
Donations can be sent to Soroptimist International of the Americas headquarters, earmarked “disaster recovery.” Members may contribute securely online ». Look for the “disaster recovery” donation line, and indicate “Haiti Disaster Recovery” in the notes section.
Executive Director, Leigh Wintz, was quoted (with a picture) in the The New York Times on January 4th about international event planning:
“Leigh Wintz, executive director of Soroptimist International of the Americas, a women’s organization, has managed to cope with the dollar’s fluctuations by expanding her skills far beyond those of a typical meeting planner, becoming a foreign currency trader. Ms. Wintz says she buys futures contracts for pounds, euros and other currencies up to several months before meetings in overseas destinations. She watches exchange rates daily and keeps track of seasonal patterns in currency movements. When the exchange rate drops to what she considers a good deal, she makes her move.
“A good time to buy for pounds sterling is usually early spring,” she said. Last year, when the price of a pound dropped to roughly $1.40 (it is now about $1.62), she bought a contract. “I made money on that deal. That’s the game you play.”
Ms. Wintz said she sometimes even paid a hotel or other service provider earlier than necessary to take advantage of a favorable exchange rate.” Read the full article »
December 2009 saw SI-DAF donating $600 of gifts to the Wesley Christmas Store in Hamilton.
The ‘Store’ is set up over the Christmas period for those members of our community who are not fortunate enough financially to be able to buy gifts for their loved ones. The ‘Store’ is made up of two sections, one for gifts and one for food and is managed, in the main, by volunteers, many of whom come back year after year to help make sure everything runs smoothly and that the ’customers’, young and old, male and female, are given a warm welcome.