February 5, 2010

The year 2009/2010 in review



The year 2009/2010 was an eventful one for Soroptimist International of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SISVG).

In January 2009, the club celebrated Soroptimist Caribbean Day by attending Church Service at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Calliaqua, after which members joined in a fellowship breakfast in recognition of the day on which the first club in the Caribbean, SI Port of Spain, was chartered on January 16, 1956. Members also celebrated this day on Sunday, January 17, 2010, by worshipping at the St. George’s Cathedral and sharing in a brunch after the service.{{more}}

The annual fund raising Valentine Luncheon took place in February 2009, and in 2010 this event will be held on February 14 at the Paradise Beach Hotel.

Preparation for the Annual General Meeting in April as well as other work commitments to the Caribbean Network and the Federation were successfully accomplished.

Our programme of Service also continues as the club strives to cover the six programme areas of the organization by working on the several service projects that we undertake.

EDUCATION: We continue to assist girls with scholarships to attend secondary school and also to give other assistance when requested to do so. The Glebe Preschool in Barrouallie is one of our partnership projects with Government and the Community This is our first ongoing project since the charter of the club in 1987.

HEALTH: Monetary donations were given to persons seeking medical attention overseas, including a kidney patient and a young boy who has serious medical complications.

The female surgical ward at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, which the club has adopted, receives visits and gifts from time to time, and especially at Christmas time.

The Helping Hands Centre at New Montrose is one of our major projects. Through ongoing funds from SISVG, the school is able to function effectively.

The club has representation on the House of Hope Society. It also supports and participates in the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign which is run by the SVG Medical Association.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: is another area in which work is carried out. SISVG has furnished a room at the Marguerite Shanaughr Night Shelter for the homeless run by the Ladies of Charity, Roman Catholic Church, and the club members visit and take gifts and furnishings to assist in this worthy cause. Members visited in January 2010 and took gifts of clothing and other household articles.

The club contributes to the bus fare for students to travel to Kingstown to attend the Career Fair and Exhibition sponsored by the SVG Medical Association.

A workshop/camp for teenagers was held during the Easter vacation. Students were drawn from secondary schools throughout the nation and it was greatly appreciated by the young people who attended.

ENVIRONMENT: The ongoing operation of the COMFORT STATION in Kingstown is our attempt to provide sanitary conditions for our people and to assist with the social and environmental welfare of our nation as well as providing employment for persons.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE STATUS OF WOMEN: The club participates in seminars and workshops dealing with these issues and work in partnership with the department of Gender Affairs during activities to mark International Women’s Day. Soroptimist International has representation at all headquarters of the United Nations and are involved in making statements and working on such issues. For example, the Beijing Platform for Action 1995 and ensuing platforms and forums dealing with “ Violence Against Women, Human Trafficking, Women Refugees, among others.Visit the Soroptimist site for more information at www.soroptimistinternational.org

INTERNATIONAL GOODWILL AND UNDERSTANDING: We seek to meet the needs of women and children in times of disaster and conflict. International Day of Peace is observed in different ways.

Our annual tea for older persons continues during the first Saturday in October each year. It is an attempt to ensure that many of our older and shut-in citizens are able to come out and socialize and meet with friends they have not seen for a long time. This is an event that we, too, as Soroptimists look forward to.

Our most recent work in this area is giving assistance to the victims of the horrendous earthquake in Haiti. Our club has packed two barrels of non-perishable food stuff, including baby formula and clothing, and these have been lodged with NEMO for shipment.

Members of the club will be visiting the Mental Health Centre to donate clothing and toiletries on Saturday 30th January, 2010, to the patients there who suffered loss during the recent fire.

In December 2009 SISVG hosted Christmas parties for the children at the Helping Hands Centre and the Glebe Pre-School, and visited and took gifts for the patients at the female surgical ward at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

SISVG is under the Federation of Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland ( SIGBI ), and you can view the work of this Federation at http://soroptimist-gbi.co.uk