If I could sum up the past two years in two words they would be ‘unusual biennium’.
Our digital transformation was an opportunity, as never before, to connect, gather and make an impact as Soroptimists do, all while being online. There is no going back to our old ‘normal ways’. Now we look forward to a future that embraces both connections virtually and in person.
We celebrated the theme ‘From Usual to Digital, an Unusual Biennium’ at the closing of the biennium – and a very appropriate theme it was. Regrettably, we had to cancel the Congress, however our virtual commemoration meant that we had the chance to bring together many more sisters than normal to celebrate our Centennial together.
It was wonderful to congratulate all the winners and runners up of the Best Practice Awards. There are too many achievements to mention each one, though I wanted to make a special mention of Bettina Scholl-Sabatini, winner of the Centenary Award, for her outstanding commitment and contribution to the lives of women. Talking through the biennium, it was wonderful to remember and recognise everything we have accomplished over these last two years. It was a special moment to also recognise the work of the Board and headquarters and to thank them for their dedication and work.
Continuity and consistency help enhance the impact of our activities within education and eliminating violence against women. As such, ‘We Stand up for Women’, the motto of Renata Trottmann Probst’s biennium, and my biennium, will continue as a motto into the biennium of our next President, Carolien Demey.
This unusual biennium will be remembered as one where we all stepped up and showed our ability to adapt and adopt new technologies. Of course, it was not the biennium any of us had hoped for, with the pandemic adding another layer of difficulty to the lives of the women we are working to support and so many important events having to be cancelled. I believe now, even more than ever before, that we Soroptimists are strong in the face of whatever comes our way – be that completely new ways of working, connecting, new courses of actions or methods.
If we truly embrace change, our beautiful diversity, and live our soroptimist values, our true power will come from uplifting not only the women and girls we help around the world, but ourselves as well.
Thank you for all your support and encouragement.
SIE President 2019-2021
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