This summer was hot. Very hot, to some extent unbearably so. And in contrast, this winter is expected to be very cold, even INSIDE, with high energy prices meaning it might not be a warm cosy one. On top of which, it looks like inflation and recession are knocking at our doors. The effects of these events will be felt by our members and the women and girls we fight for.
Covid, as a pandemic, was indiscriminate in picking its victims. Government health rules were universally implemented for all citizens, highly affecting our meeting habits. We had to accelerate finding digital ways to stay connected and united. Our increased remote connectivity was an advantage when war broke out in Europe, and we saw Soroptimist solidarity as never before.
An economic crisis, combined with an energy crisis has already seen many small businesses getting into trouble and close – something which we are all seeing more and more. That nice bakery on the corner is closing as skyrocketing energy prices add to the increased price of wheat, making profit a thing of the past for this warm bakery selling bread. Street lightning is being turned off much earlier, and public premises have been closed due to energy costs. Every day we see the impact of the increased cost of living, which will not only lead to increased poverty but also to a higher level of individualism and seclusion, which are complex threats to deal with.
It is important that we Soroptimist are aware of these issues so that we may combat them. And combat them we shall.
For over 100 years our members have called one another ‘sisters’. However, you may define sisterhood, we see the reality of the word in our organisation as caring for each other. This foundation makes us the best organisation to prevent our members from becoming isolated.
We are an unstoppable force, driven by our shared objectives to educate, enable and empower; joined by our foundation of friendship; and strengthened by our sense of community. When everything and everyone is turning towards distant, cold individualism, this warm Soroptimist community feeling is key to what we stand for and how we stand together.
So more than ever, let’s leave no one out in the cold.
We can do it, we must do it, and we will do it.
SIE President 2021-2023
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