It happened when driving a long road home that seemed so endless that I thought I wouldn’t make it to the end.  My daughter, sitting next to me, quoted the much-cherished Roald Dahl “Lukewarm is no good”. She followed the author’s wisdom up with her own advice “You don’t quit when you are almost there, mama.” Since that day, I have loved this quote and have often used it.


I see the efforts Soroptimists are making all over Europe. I also notice that, at a certain moment, you may question whether it is worth everything you are giving up to reach the goals set. Sometimes doubting whether these ambitious goals can be reached at all, questioning whether your effort is appreciated and recognised. I want to inspire you to keep going with Roald Dahl’s quote and by telling you how much you have helped me.


In this first year of my biennium, I have given speeches in four languages, in nine different countries, been in panel discussions, and applauded high-ranked keynote speakers on stage in countries where Soroptimist is present. All of which was inspiring and boosting. However, my renewed inspiration and enthusiasm was certainly not down to what happened on the podium alone. It was Soroptimist members in the audience, at informal afterwork exchanges, that gave me that punch of energy.  And for this I am extremely appreciative!


“When you make others enthusiastic about your undertaking, go all the way. Don’t stop midway, you owe it to those who joined you in your endeavour and you owe it to yourself.”


Don’t slow down, but rather speed up. Your passionate enthusiasm is contagious, and it is often all you and others need to go on.


Never forget that Soroptimist International is an organisation with ‘a global voice for women’, and as we are many voices (over 30’000 across Europe alone), we are louder, and better heard. When we stand together and exude enthusiasm we are heard even better; we are more visible; and in turn, increase the visibility of our organisation.


Let the magic of the multiplicator effect work! And if you doubt whether you will manage to drive the road to your destination, ask your co-pilot to take over the wheel so you may reach your goal together. And from lukewarm alone, together you will achieve white hot, passionate drive to advocate for the rights of women and girls.


Many thanks to all the Soroptimists I met this year who fuelled me all the way to the end of 2022 and beyond!


Yours sincerely,


Carolien Demey

SIE President 2021-2023



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