MEETING SOROPTIMISTS ACROSS THE WORLD
SIGBI President Jackie Mosedale reports
The SI Europe Governors’ Meeting, Ghent, Belgium
GLOBAL CO-OPERATION Increasingly we all appreciate the need for
closer co-operation and working between the Federations, it is essential to ensure a positive and progressive future for international Soroptimism. The invitations and opportunity to attend the Soroptimist International of Europe (SIE) Governors’ meeting and the Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA) Convention, were, in my view, a positive step in building relationships, a clearer understanding of how other Federations operate and an opportunity to share best practice. On 2nd July I travelled via Eurostar to
Brussels and onward to Ghent. Checking into the hotel, it was great to see familiar faces, including SIGBI’s Ann Dawson, SI Chair of Extension.
A Civic welcome in the Town Hall,
followed by a friendship dinner, with a buzz of Soroptimist discussion and energy throughout, set the scene for the full agenda for Saturday’s meetings.
the way in which our two Federations will continue to work together towards the further development of Soroptimism within the African Continent.
circulate and meet many members from SIA and learn about their clubs and their Soroptimist activity. This was greatly aided by my Steward who clearly knew many more people than I did. I was delighted to meet a member Connie Desko, who, whilst living in the UK was President of my Club, and who encouraged me to be nominated for Region President. Connie has been elected as a SIA Director. This reception was followed by a friendship
dinner at which Presidents from the three visiting Federations were invited to address the delegates.
SIE President Eliane with Marie-Claire Bloes SIE and SIA have developed a working
partnership to assist African Clubs with their project work. The two smaller Federations of South West Pacific and SIGBI were invited to join them in the future. I did wonder how this may impact on the planned International Long Term Project (LTP). This is where again; informal discussions over dinner are helpful. I was able to discuss this concern with President Eliane who assured me that this co-operative working with SIA should not in anyway have a negative impact on the LTP. The Governors’ meetings planned for Sunday was for Federation members only. I therefore took the opportunity to take a brief walk around this very historic and beautiful city before taking my train back to Brussels and then on to home.
Serious business at the SIE Governors’ meeting
GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS 170 Soroptimists gathered at a conference
facility and business began. I appreciated the warm welcome by President Eliane and the opportunity to bring greetings from SIGBI. The day’s business was efficiently chaired
and, as experienced in SIGBI, much sharing of viewpoints, debate and discussion and of course, voting for change or no change. Lunch breaks make for good networking
opportunities and discussion on the morning’s business and our hopes for the future development of international Soroptimism. There was also the opportunity to discuss
20 SEPTEMBER 2010 Soroptimist News
ONWARDS TO SAN FRANSCISCO 24 hours later I was off again to fly to
San Francisco, to attend the Convention of Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA). A trouble free flight, a wonderful greeting
at the airport and on to the conference hotel. Kate Moore was to join me later, so I joined International President Hanne, to take a tour of San Francisco, prior to registering at Convention.
The Programme was full, with orientation
and briefing and training sessions for SIA members. Fundraising; training for Region Chairs; Public Awareness; Membership and Programme were arranged at breakfast sessions. A reception was a great opportunity to
CELEBRATION & INSPIRATION Business commenced the following morning
with a call to order. The Federation business was much the same in the nature of its content as at our own General Meeting, but the processes and procedures though different, were nonetheless, very efficiently conducted. It was interesting to see the use of voting pads being used for the first time by SIA, an idea taken back from a SIGBI General Meeting. Guest speaker Victor Malarek, an
investigative journalist and author of the book ‘The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It’, followed. His presentation was hard hitting, asserting that it is men who fuel the demand for purchased sex. He spoke of the tragic lives of women and girls sold for the sex trade and ensnared in it.
A return to Federation business. To Resolutions and reports from Officers, committee chairs and the announcements of the winners of the ‘Celebrating Success Awards’, prior to the Women’s Opportunity Awards Luncheon. A choice of workshops was arranged for
the afternoon; I attended the ‘Inspirational Leadership’ workshop. The evening was free for us to enjoy as we wish, but a great opportunity to further international friendship. Friday morning after being called to order and hearing the thought for the day, and items of business, delegates and members were addressed by IP Hanne. Her message was inspirational as she reported on global Programme delivered by Soroptimists that really does improve the lives of women and girls.
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