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Dear Soroptimists,

 

When taking over the honourable post of SIE President, my intention was to change the format of Governors’ Meetings. Life brought fulfillment of my plans, although I wasn’t that radical! Just about the only good thing about COVID-19 is that people are not surprised most of the activities moved into virtual space.

 

This led to having our first-ever Governors’ Meeting online with the participation of Governors and SIE Board members, but next time we will open it for a broader Soroptimist audience. The online meeting went well and efficient.  The voting itself was done on a separate platform, generally participants were satisfied and all necessary decisions were made. In the autumn, there will be another vote to confirm the nominations of the SI Director and SIE Communications Officer.

 

I’m convinced that meeting online, and voting online is to be a part of our future. Voting online is convenient, saves a lot of time, and reduces costs. Of course, an online meeting cannot replace the necessary face to face meetings, when the situation permits, to allow us to inspire, integrate, brainstorm, and share good ideas and practices.

 

We need to use the opportunity to meet online more often and effectively. I know that not all clubs can or use this format of doing Soroptimist business, or socializing. Yet, we should motivate clubs to get used to virtual meetings. For sure they can be convinced, but some just need a little help with methodology.

 

Soroptimist International had its Annual General Meeting on July 29th 2020. With 300 participants enlisted as silent observers, it was the largest audience ever!

 

Furthermore, Soroptimist International African Federation (SIAF), represented by SIAF President Connie Mutuhnu and officially approved by the SI, took part in the SI AGM. I welcome, again, the 5th Federation.  Celebrations will take place when we will be able to travel, whenever that will be, so in the meantime let’s watch them on their website and support them when there is a need.

 

Our discussion about e-Clubs reminds me of books. There could be one with a medieval scribe, some books were handwritten on parchment and illuminated. Today, we have paper books, audiobooks, e-books, etc. But my point is, in all these forms, it is still a book!  So a club is a club, and a meeting is a meeting.  A form is secondary to the merit. Yet, I am sure we can all agree that only online meetings are not enough to create and maintain an e-Club.

 

I am also pleased to share that a new Juvenilia Club will be chartered this September in Austria.

 

I’m sure many of you are enjoying the well-deserved holidays, so take your time to rest and gather new strength for the new Soroptimist year.

 

Yours,

Anna Wszelaczyńska

SIE President 2019 – 2021

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