It is possibly the understatement of the year that ‘we are living in challenging times’. And yet we have more coming our way.


In the face of these difficulties, we can be proud of what we have already achieved. We saw an overwhelming wave of solidarity for Women in War Zones from all levels: SI, Federation, Union and clubs. Providing support for clubs actively working to help during this devastating migration, be it in the war zone itself or the refugee zone.


We can be proud of this strength and of ‘Sorores ad optimum’ (always doing ‘the best for women’)

We can be proud of gaining recognition from the Council of Europe.

We can be proud of the Organization for Security and Co-operation (OCSE) giving us the floor in their meetings.


While we can be proud of what we have done, it isn’t over yet at all.


Besides the immediate effect of this war, we are beginning to face secondary repercussions, such as rising energy and food prices, and soaring inflation in Europe – both of which are increasingly affecting the lives of our members and the women we stand up for.


In response, households, businesses, and organisations are cutting costs. However, there is only one smart way to react and guarantee survival: by adapting, by making certain shifts to more sustainable living, by investing in the future…


On the SIE level we are conscious of the need to be agile and adapt. More than just survive, we want to develop further and get futurised. To cultivate this, we have set up our own Growth Academy (I do look forward to seeing everyone who has registered to take part in June). We are investing in people and, as a volunteer organisation, we are each primarily investing with our time and energy.


More than ever let’s INVEST in our network

Let’s INVEST in our platforms

Let’s INVEST in developing membership

Let’s INVEST in our strategic Education goal

Let’s INVEST in what makes women stronger

Let’s INVEST in empowering

Let’s INVEST in our European strength

Let’s INVEST in long-term projects

Let’s INVEST in being the most inspirational and attractive organisation, called Soroptimist International


An economic crisis is coming and with it the threat of poverty. Many Women’s ambitions were destroyed by the pandemic and violence increased – let’s stand up strong to prevent an economic crisis from pushing women back even more in their ambition to develop a better life.


As Soroptimists, we need to move away from giving charity long-term and towards enabling and empowering women to have the tools to live their own futures without the need for charity.


We have already proved how strong we are when we stand up together, let’s take the next step by rethinking, rebuilding and reinventing.


Thank you, Soroptimists!


Yours sincerely,


Carolien Demey

SIE President 2021-2023