Archive for 'General'

SI DAF joins Twitter

Our website first came online in 2007, and now SI DAF has joined Twitter as @SoroptimistDAF, or find us using #Soroptimist. If you have suggestions on trends or accounts we should be following, reach out and let us know!

May 2 2014 under General

CSW: Opening Remarks

I had the absolute pleasure of attending the UN Celebrations for International Women’s Day in the North Lawn Building, Conference Room 2. I add that Conference Room 4 (overflow via telecast) was also full.

The morning consisted of remarks from the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, the Ambassador of France, and the Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, who made the following statement of power with a positive visualization:

“My message today is:

We cannot move backwards, we must keep moving forward. It is what we owe to millions of women fighting for their rights around the world. There can be no peace, no progress, no equality without women’s full and equal rights and participation.

And there can be no gender equality without women’s realization. Women’s realization of their full reproductive rights, their right to sexual and reproductive health, are essential to the empowerment of women and to gender equality.

I am pleased to announce that 50 governments and the European Commission have committed to take concrete action to end violence against girls and women… Together we must keep the promise so women and girls can, one day, in this century, live free of fear and violence.”

While not named explicitly in her speech, Canada is listed amongst that 50. A full list is available online: http://saynotoviolence.org/commit. More information about the UNITE campaign can be found online: http://endviolence.un.org/ however I was unable to find a copy of the video that was shown online.

The panel that followed was on the elderly and widowed; indigenous women; women living with HIV/AIDS, and immigrant women, followed by remarks on women with disabilities. It was an excellent discussion to draw attention to those groups who are often neglected in deliberations because they are not in the mainstream/normal category.

March 9 2013 under General

International Day of the Girl

The United Nations has declared October 11, 2012 as the world’s first International Day of the Girl Child.

Canada led the call in 2009 for an International Day of the Girl. After two years of petitions and advocacy, Plan Canada raised awareness about the particular challenges that girls face and to take action and the House of Commons unanimously supported a motion to have Canada lead this international campaign. On October 11, 2011, Minister Ambrose calls upon member states to support the proclamation of an International Day of the Girl during an address to the United Nations’ Third Committee on Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs. The resolution was formally adopted by the UN General Assembly.

Canadians are celebrating the first International Day of the Girl today, October 11, 2012. Girls will be recognized as powerful agents of change and as leaders of today and tomorrow, and girl-specific issues will be highlighted.

Find out more on the Government of Canada website, or visit Plan Canada’s Because I’m A Girl campaign:
http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/dates/idg-jif/index-eng.html
http://www.becauseiamagirl.ca

October 11 2012 under General

Free Hugs in Simcoe

Our 80th Soroptimist International of the Americas, Eastern Canada Region, Regional Spring Conference was opened this morning with an inspirational video. It is a joyful and uplifting experience to watch. I recommend you take a few minutes:

In July 2011, volunteers and community partners in both Simcoe and Brantford Ontario Canada joined forces to host several FREE HUGS celebrations!

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May 5 2012 under General

Lifetime Achievement Award and OBA Nominees

On February 25th, the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce honoured Soroptimist International of Dundas~Ancaster~Flamborough (SIDAF) at their Outstanding Business Achievement (OBA) Awards Gala in several ways. SIDAF member Sandy Gray and her husband Steve (recently retired as owners of Weeks Home Hardware in Waterdown) were recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award, two other SIDAF members were nominated for OBA awards (Maria Demkowich of JDJ Trailers and Shirley Eden, President of SIDAF), and SIDAF itself was recognized with a special Community Recognition Award.

Sandy Gray and Steve, along with Sandy’s brother Dave Smith, bought Weeks Home Hardware from their parents George & June Smith in January 1987. According to Arend Kersten, Executive Director of the FCC, “Over the past 24 years, Weeks Home Hardware has helped define the very soul of our incredible ‘community of communities’ with outstanding generosity and community involvement.” When asked why she chose to become a member of Soroptimist International and SIDAF in addition to all of her other interests, Sandy credited her passionate desire to help others through both her business and personal connections, especially women facing barriers to achieving their goals.


This photo was taken at the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Awards (OBA) Gala, from left to right: SIDAF members Nancy Davidson, Shirley McCoy, Janet Barnard, Sandy Gray (winner, Lifetime Achievement Award), Pauline Hardcastle, Shirley Eden (OBA Nominee) and Maria Demkowich (OBA Nominee). Thank you also to the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce for featuring our club in the Bottom Line, March 2012.

Soroptimist International of Dundas~Ancaster~Flamborough is proud of Sandy, Maria and Shirley, and grateful to the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce for their Community Recognition Award.

March 31 2012 under General, Programs of Service, SI-DAF Members

International Women’s Day

March 8, celebrates International Women’s Day. The UN Theme will be prominent at this year’s Caucus on the Status of Women: Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty. The Canadian federal agency, Status of Women, is closely aligned in its theme by highlighting some of the issues that we still face as a country: Strong Women, Strong Canada – Women in Rural, Remote and Northern Communities: Key to Canada’s Economic Prosperity:

In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on member states to proclaim a day for women’s rights and international peace. Following the United Nations’ lead, Canada chose March 8 as International Women’s Day.

Each year at this time, Canadians celebrate progress toward equality for women and their full participation, reflect on the challenges and barriers that remain, and consider future steps to achieving equality for all women, in all aspects of their lives.

(Reference March 8, 2012: http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/dates/iwd-jif/index-eng.html)

In celebration of this day, Soroptimist International of the Americas announced and congratulates all the participants of the Soroptimist Live Your Dream Art Contest, and to those winners! View them online:

http://www.soroptimist.org/LiveYourDream/art_contest/winners.html

March 8 2012 under General, SI News

Outstanding Business Achievement Awards

On February 25th, the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce honoured Soroptimist International of Dundas~Ancaster~Flamborough (SIDAF) at their Outstanding Business Achievement (OBA) Awards Gala in several ways.  SIDAF member Sandy Gray and her husband Steve (recently retired as owners of Weeks Home Hardware in Waterdown) were recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award, two other SIDAF members were nominated for OBA awards (Maria Demkowich of JDJ Trailers and Shirley Eden, President of SIDAF), and SIDAF itself was recognized with a special Community Recognition Award.

Sandy Gray and Steve, along with Sandy’s brother Dave Smith, bought Weeks Home Hardware from their parents George & June Smith in January 1987. According to Arend Kersten, Executive Director of the FCC, “Over the past 24 years, Weeks Home Hardware has helped define the very soul of our incredible ‘community of communities’ with outstanding generosity and community involvement.” When asked why she chose to become a member of Soroptimist International and SIDAF in addition to all of her other interests, Sandy credited her passionate desire to help others through both her business and personal connections, especially women facing barriers to achieving their goals.


Photo taken at the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Awards (OBA) Gala, from left to right:  SIDAF members Nancy Davidson, Shirley McCoy, Janet Barnard, Sandy Gray (winner, Lifetime Achievement Award), Pauline Hardcastle, Shirley Eden (OBA Nominee) and Maria Demkowich (OBA Nominee).

Soroptimist International of Dundas~Ancaster~Flamborough (SIDAF) is a volunteer organization of business and professional women.  A Soroptimist believes that by joining with other women and engaging in awareness, advocacy and action in the service of her community and society, she can make the world a better place for humankind. With almost 90,000 members in over 125 countries and territories, it is the world’s largest classified service organization for executive and professional women. Our website is www.soroptimistdaf.ca

Soroptimist International of Dundas~Ancaster~Flamborough is proud of Sandy, Maria and Shirley, and grateful to the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce for their Community Recognition Award.

March 3 2012 under General

Pathways and Barriers

McMaster has partnered with the St. Joseph Immigrant Women’s Centre to display the Pathways and Barriers Photovoice Project. In this project, Somali peer support workers share their experiences with immigration and settlement through photographs. The exhibition is displayed in the President’s Corridor, 2nd floor of Gilmour Hall, McMaster University and will be there for the month of March, 2012.

For more information about Pathways and Barriers, funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Spectator published a story in October 2011 »

March 2 2012 under General

I believe she’s amazing

Kim MacGregor organized this flash mob of 200 dancers to launch the I Believe She’s Amazing movement in honor of her friend Erika Heller who passed away from colon cancer on May 28th, 2009, just two weeks shy of her one-year wedding anniversary. Erika was only 31 yrs. old. This is her living legacy. The choreographers and dancers pulled this together in just one-6 hr rehearsal the day before the shoot.

The song is I Believe by Yolanda Adams, from the soundtrack to the movie Honey starring Jessica Alba. To share your story of an amazing woman, Kim welcomes you to comment on the I Believe She’s Amazing blog »

August 16 2011 under General

Mentoring Young Women

The keynote speaker at the Eastern Conference Region Spring Conference came to share with us an opportunity to mentor young women. Susan Gilbey from SI Westminster in California returned to her home town of Montreal to share with our Region the concepts and process to start an S Club for High School Girls or Sigma Societies for College age women.

These charters are different because there is no need to report to SIA nor dues. Instead, it is considered a service project (program focus reports). Events should be funded by the SIA Club as the sponsor and align with the SIA-overview of programs. Some ideas are: Teen-Dating & Violence as a keynote theme, Self Esteem/Self Defense, Career Day workshop with the English & Career Councillors, Leadership skills, and teaching mentorship by connecting to Girl Guides (Brownies or Sparks).

It is critical to build safety and professionalism through mentoring, particularly in parliamentary procedure and committee decorum. Being a member of the club can be tied to their Ontario requirement of 40 hours of service. There are some critical concepts to keep in mind when starting one of these venture clubs:

  • Be Flexible with Expectations & Requirements (i.e. faculty advisor)
  • Promote Civic Engagement, Activism, Community Involvement & Participation
  • Develop Leadership Skills and Compassion
  • Adapt to Local, Specific Situation (i.e. inclusion of boys in a charter to introduce them to women/gender issues)

The outcomes for sponsoring clubs, and the benefits for SI in general are:

  • Source for Violet Richardson, Women’s Opportunity and Ruby Award nominees
  • Increased public visibility and potential source of new members for your club
  • Assistance with/increase in programs
  • Diversity and fresh ideas
  • Promotes volunteerism

For more information about these Venture clubs, contact your club President to get a copy of Susan’s resource guide.

July 10 2011 under General