Dear Soroptimist friends,
The first year of my biennium is fast drawing to a close. It has been an enormous pleasure visiting so many countries in our Federation and participating in numerous Soroptimist events from the Nordic Days in the north to the SIFAF Conference in the south!
I am extremely grateful to the SIE Board for all their support and hard work. The same goes for the dedicated team at SIE HQ under the leadership of Meltem Zourdos. It pleases me to see the fruitful cooperation as different officers and SIE HQ staff collaborate on various projects. One look at the long list of their accomplishments in these first 12 months makes me incredibly proud!
First Vice President Carolien Demey has researched virtual membership and virtual unions and explained the benefits for our organisation. This is an ambitious project, but I believe it is essential to secure SIE’s future!
The webinars introduced by VP Elizabeth Otieno Nyadwe and her team have been extremely well attended. The next webinar provided useful tips on how to organise advocacy activities around the 16 Days of Activism against gender violence. Already in 2017 we saw creative and successful awareness-raising activities throughout the Federation to Orange the World, and I am happy to see the efforts to expand these actions in the spirit of Standing Up for Women!
With the support of Elena Savu, VP Verena von Tresclow-Bronke and the SIE Mentoring Task Force have developed a comprehensive and extremely practical handbook on mentoring, which is now available to Soroptimists on the SIE website.
Programme Director Ingeborg Dietz has worked untiringly to re-introduce project matching in the Federation. Thanks to New Media expert Erica Sollberger we now have a useful and attractive website to inform and facilitate matching.
New Recruitment Manual
Extension Committee Chair Gerda Rosiers has produced a new recruitment manual which will be invaluable to extension work at club level.
Revised SIE Constitutions and By-Laws
Several Board Members have teamed up to deliver a revised and shortened SIE Constitution and By-Laws. This project has been in the making for a long time, and I am very pleased that we will soon be able to present a new draft.
The Comms team has launched the HTML Link news bulletin which offers short and topical information on a monthly basis. If you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you to subscribe to this online publication. The new animated video, which premiered at the GM, is a perfect way to show who we are and what we do. And in the coming weeks the long-awaited Branding toolbox will be distributed, which I hope will make its way to all levels of the organisation.
Getting to know such a diversity of Soroptimists is one of the high points of my presidency. I have been overwhelmed and gratified by your enthusiasm for the biennium theme,
We Stand Up for Women!
The various initiatives inspired by this theme underline the commitment Soroptmists make to improve the lives of women and girls. Your passion motivates the Board to continue with all our efforts to strengthen and modernise our Federation for the future!
Renata Trottmann Probst
SIE President 2017-2019