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PROGRAM ACTION - IT'S THE HEART OF WHAT WE DO



As we prepare to celebrate 100 years of Soroptimist International, ROI, our bright past is illuminating our plans for the future.   In this country, our 16 Clubs work in partnership with our communities to enhance the lives of women and girls.

Being a Soroptimist is a way of life, using our influence in all walks of life to empower women to achieve their full potential.  Through our local Clubs, our National Executive and  the Soroptimist International Voice at the United Nations we are working to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.

PA reports to SIGBI from ROI and all other member countries may be accessed  by linking (here) and using your membership number >>

Read Mary Courtney's report >>



SI CASTLEBAR

The 2020-2021 term of the Castlebar Soroptimist International executive was delayed until November due to the restrictions and uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the AGM  the out-going President Monica Joyce handed over the reins to Ann Caulfield and everyone got comfortable with our new virtual meetings.

The new year got off to a busy start with a busy schedule of projects planned for the new term.

In the midst of what was a difficult, restrictive and lonely 2020 for many, Castlebar SI President Ann Caulfield initiated as her first project of her term a monthly ‘Hello Day’. Kicking off in December each current member of the club made a call, sent a text message or called to the door of another member, or former member, to check-in on them, to ensure that they were taking care of themselves and that they remembered that they will always be part of the Castlebar SI community.

The first ‘Hello Day’  coincided with our annual Mass of Remembrance for all our passed members and small care packages; including a note from our President, face mask, small bottle of sanitiser and a Kit-kat, were gifted as a reminder to all that in order to take care of our loved ones and the community in this uncertain time, we first have to ensure that we take care of ourselves.

Through this initiative Club members were encouraging past members to  ‘have a break, have a Kit-kat’.

Our second ‘Hello Day’ took place on February 1st to mark St. Brigid’s Day and will continue on a monthly basis to keep the community connected.


SI BALLINASLOE & DISTRICT

Challenges and celebrations are part of Soroptimists’ journey in SI Ballinasloe

4th Jan 2021


Our social diary had to be managed very carefully during the pandemic restrictions. We postponed our 25th anniversary tree planting, and the Gala Charity Concert l was cancelled.

The special birthday of a founder member Bernadette Rothwell could not pass without a celebration. The allowed number of members were hosted by Maire Hughes at her home in Annabeg before moving to Level 5 lockdown, for a memorable afternoon tea party. The birthday girl was collected in style and arrived to a fanfare of bubbly, balloons, and lovely home baking. Memory lane was visited and enjoyed anew.

We are delighted that our environmental protection project has been given Climate Ambassador status by An Taisce. It is a good start to the new year. Our Programme Action officer Maura Joyce is organizing a bench seat for the graveyard in memory of our deceased members. Their contribution to our club and their friendship is not forgotten.
Our partnership with the National Women’s’ Council has enabled us to progress our advocacy for rural women particularly in relation to public transport and effective broadband.

The Soroptimists national public speaking competition for secondary school girls was successfully managed once again by Kathleen Croffy. This is part of our commitment to the development of leadership in girls.

Our bursary to support girls starting 3rd level education has been greatly appreciated by recipients in Ard Scoil Mhuire.We would love to hear from women interested in progressing opportunities for girls in their chosen area. New members are welcome. Please contact us siballinasloe21@gmail.com

Marie Connolly
President.
Soroptimist International Ballinasloe & District
siballinasloe21@gmail.com


Coffee during Covid 19

SI MULLINGAR & DISTRICT

Greetings from SI Mullingar & District as we continue living with COVID-19. In March as restrictions commenced we were floating high and looking forward to closing off a great year.  In the previous 3 months we had enjoyed a Wine Tasting & Buffet social evening, a very well support Christmas charity fund raising lunch, a most enjoyable celebration evening for International Women’s Day, enrolled a new member and presented over €8,000 to nine different charities at our March meeting. We were ready for our AGM.

Six months on and life has been very different for all our members. Between us we have experienced what has hit our population at large - closing businesses, health challenges, unemployment, cocooning, missing family, change of jobs, long exhausting working hours, restricted travel, cancelled holidays, learning coping skills and in all of that on reflection it is clear that the fundamental of Soroptimists “Best of Sisters” and Friendship at our core still keeps us united as a club. Great credit is due to our secretary Anne Melly who kept in touch with us week on week. Restriction to 2 km and cocooning was probably the toughest time but in one way or another, members helped each other while respecting people’s privacy and the way they wanted to cope. 

Members left shopping on door steps, sat on walls and chatted to others who were cocooning, IPads were were setup for the ever important church services for some, greeting cards were exchanged with bouquets of flowers sent to those who had to cope with non COVID health challenges. Rhubarb tarts, banana breads, lemon cakes were all exchanged while legs were walked off dogs and still COVID kgs appeared.  What about the hair - was always on the list – length, colour, home trimming and when will we get an appointment!

As members we were no more than a telephone call away from each other. We knew we had someone we could call on and a solution would be found. Small group garden coffees took off as soon as freedom was granted. And then the announcement for face masks to be used. In the beginning these were not so readily available so one of our Soroptimists stepped up to the need and took the good work of her sisters making face masks and made them available to any member who wanted them. All you had to do was send an e-mail of request and she delivered to your door  the beautiful face masks at no charge – generosity at its best. (Read the full blog >>)


SI DUBLIN

This year’s VHI Women’s Mini Marathon couldn’t go ahead, but that didn’t stop the Dublin Soroptimist members doing their individual 10kms in aid of Teach Tearmainn Women’s Refuge and support services - serving women with or without children who are or have been in an abusive relationship and a magnificent €1500 was raised.

After having held 3 Zoom monthly meetings we are hoping to get together in early July in Birgit Schmidt's garden to have a "socially distanced" Afternoon Tea (for our own mental health support!!)

In March 2020 we held our Curry Night in aid of Chora Chori and raised €390.
(Read the full blog >>)


SI WEXFORD

2020 started on a high note with our annual Nollaig na mBan lunch. We were delighted to welcome our sisters from our friendship link in Colchester to join us for the weekend. Over 230 women attended the lunch which is primarily a celebration for the women of Wexford but the raffle on the day together with a small profit from the lunch managed to raise €8,500 for ‘ Ard Aoibhinn’ a local service for local young people with additional needs.

Our local mayor and also the chef on the day, both great singers, entertained us royally and had us singing and dancing around the tables.
(Read the full blog >>)


SI BANDON 06/05/2020

Each year the national public speaking competition enjoys the support of the Bandon and District schools
. This year, brought great joy to Soroptimists in Bandon as the local finalist in the competition went on to win the regional final and was due to compete in the national finals before the pandemic intervened. Well done Caitlin Canavan O’ Driscoll. The soroptimists enjoy the competition because it prepares girls to play a prominent part in public life.

President Miriam Murphy continues to motivate members and leads by example at conferences to challenge effectively when the occasion requires it.  Hosting a cultural evening recently, she recited “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple…” Kathleen O’Driscoll, recited “The Scaffolding” by Seamus Heaney. The club’s monthly meetings have moved to Saturday at lunchtime on a trial basis, to see if its preferential to evening meetings.(Read the full blog >>)

PROGRAMME ACTION – It’s what we ‘do’

Programme Action for 2021

Working smart during lock down to share resources remotely. Our keys current activities are

  • Building friendships
  • Advocacy under a banner of “Standing up for Women”
  • Partnerships
  • Environmental protection
  • Development of leadership skills through national public speaking competition.
  • Participating in Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland (SIGBI) federation meetings and conferences
  • Contributing to UN Women delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’S)

Read the full details of PROGRAMME ACTION 2021 >>

 

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CLUB NEWS
 
 
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Wexford Soroptimist roadsign.