It is hard to believe I started my biennium over one year ago, and only a few months later the world was hit by a global pandemic that remains today. I feel that we are becoming accustomed to restrictions associated to this pandemic, and in turn adapting to communicating more online. I believe most of us are waiting for the opportunity to meet face to face, to exchange not only great ideas but hugs as well, as we see it today, this will not happen for quite some time. Therefore, I have just decided to cancel the Congress in Krakow. This was a very difficult decision to take, I am rightfully proud of my city and knowing how welcoming it would be for you all, and the excitement around showcasing our achievements, history, sadly this will not be the case in 2021. This is why we have also decided to again move the Governors’ Meeting to online, as last year, in order to ensure we can continue to move forward as an organisation, especially with the elections of new SIE Board and SIE President.
As a naturally positive person, let’s look on the bright side of life and what we, as SIE, have achieved so far during a challenging 2020; we are meeting regularly with Union and Single Club Presidents, we are attending international meetings, are chartering clubs which are unique opportunities to acquire new members. In these circumstances newly chartered clubs are all “e-clubs”. There has been an organic transformation resulting in no difference between “traditional” and “virtual” given the current circumstances and proving the ability to charter clubs within the requirements of the club constitution.
In addition, we will be taking further advantage of using online platforms for more sessions. I feel that I am in front of a screen all the time, which is the reality, but let’s make the best of it, and use the screen time for the good of the Organisation and integrate it. Once we can meet again, we will have the best of both worlds, that of face to face and virtual, imagine what more we Soroptimists could accomplish.
I would like to also take this opportunity to share with you my major challenge facing me in 2021. It is to help prepare Governors to vote the New Constitution at e-GM in July 2021. I think we can all agree that our Organisation needs it, especially to fit in modern times. Governors must vote it this year in order not to waste further time and energy of so many. If not, the only next opportunity that will allow us to vote will be in four years’ time. I consider it my duty to do as much as possible to deliver it to a vote. But we need to remember, it is the privilege and responsibility of Unions and Governors to exercise their right to vote on the Constitution. The SIE Board and I are simply there only to facilitate the process hence the reason we have set up interactive workshops for Governors and Union Presidents on the New Constitution.
SIE President 2019-2021