SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) recently held its 34th Annual General Meeting via Zoom, and the following persons were elected to serve for the year 2021-2022.
President – Ikarmola La Borde Vice President – Donnette O’Neal Secretary – Josie-Ann Small Treasurer – Christine Da Silva Programme Action Chair – Shannon Durrant Samuel Development Officer – Lavina Gunn Membership Officer – Keisha Fraser IPP – René M. Baptiste/ SICN Representative.
The organisation said in a release that it had a very active year despite the limitations induced by the COVID 19 pandemic and the eruptions of La Soufriere.
President Ikarmola’s report revealed that the club was able to host the award-winning program “Girls-onfire” during the summer of 2020 by adopting it for the Guadeloupe Home for Girls in Marriaqua; donating library books to the Sion Hill Primary School library to mark Literacy Day in September; donated masks to van drivers and fisher-folk at the Kingstown Fish Market; hosted a fund raiser- ‘Taste of Christmas’ at the Farmer’s Market; made the annual Christmas presentation to the female ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital; love boxes to several homes for the elderly; hosted the annual Christmas parties at the Glebe Day Nursery and at the Helping Hands Centre at Montrose. Care packages were delivered to the female inmates at the prisons; ( the Education Project there had to be put on hold), and gift vouchers provided for secondary school students from disadvantaged areas for school uniforms and books to meet needs for the school year (2020-2021).
During the period November- December the comfort station at Heritage Square was refurbished with support from BRAGSA.
This facility is the only one of its kind which was built by Soroptimist in 1991.
The Club engaged with its Caribbean sister clubs through the SICN – Soroptimist International Caribbean Network. Those activities centred around establishing anti- human trafficking banners at airports in the Caribbean and lobbying
CARICOM for its consultative status and observer status at various Caribbean/ CARICOM fora in keeping with the Civil Society Charter of CARICOM.
This year will mark 100 years since the inception of Soroptimism and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The club has received international recognition through the distinguished service of Soroptimist Annelle Thomas who was named by the Federation among its outstanding members over the 100 years of its standing, celebrating her for making a difference in the lives of women and girls.
The club lost two active members – Nina Maloney and Zeitha Hadaway, but initiated six new members in May, 2021. They are: La Fleur Quammie; Sabrina Murphy-Bascombe; Andrea Gaymes-Mohess; Avyeng Murphy; Kimberley Cambridge and Samantha Browne-Cordice.
Following the eruption of La Soufriere, Soroptimist International of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been busy rendering assistance at shelters; delivering disaster relief supplies donated by sister Soroptimists in the Caribbean, the UK, Germany, France, Martinique and Guadeloupe; friends of Soroptimists in the UK and elsewhere; Freewinds cruise ship; local Soroptimists and British Airways to families in private homes, shelters, other organisations such as the SVG Netball Association, Helping Hand Centre, and families.