What We Do
What We Do
Soroptimists use advocacy, action, and awareness raising to increase access to education and leadership for women and girls
Soroptimist International members undertake project work at Club, Region, Federation and International level.
How: through our Programme of Service
It is achieved by a working within designated Programme Focus Goals. Thus we are able to inspire action and work to create opportunities in transforming the lives of women and girls through our global network of members and international partnerships.
The Programme Focus is our blueprint for awareness, advocacy and action.
The Programme Focus Goals for Quadrennium 2007 – 2015
Goal 1: Soroptimist International will improve the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities
Goal 1 is achieved by applying our service work and developing projects through
- Increase access to formal and non-formal learning opportunities
- Improves access to economic empowerment and sustainable opportunities for the employment of women
- Eliminate violence against women and girls and ensure women’s participation in conflict resolution
- Ensure women and girls have food security and access to highest attainable standard of health care
- Address the specific needs of women and girls by improving environmental sustainability, and mitigating effects of climatic change and disasters
Goal 2: Soroptimist international will be a global voice for increasing access to education and leadership for women and girls
Goal 2 is achieved by applying our service work and developing projects through
- Strengthen and increase Soroptimist International’s presence as an advocate at all levels
- Intensify activities and partnerships that raise the international profile and visibility of Soroptimist International
- Ensure that the foundation of Soroptimist International’s global advocacy is local and global project activity
Region / Club Projects
While Soroptimist clubs select their own projects to meet the needs of their local communities, the Region co-ordinates certain projects which involve all Western Australian Soroptimists.
A new Region Project has commenced. It falls within the guidelines of the international Long Term Theme
‘Soroptimists Educate to Lead’
Empowering disadvantaged women through education and leadership
- Through a partnership with the Womens Health and Family Services utilising the services of TAFE we are funding Aboriginal and non Aboriginal women who are disadvantaged to have access to education and leadership programs. In doing so providing opportunities for them to move towards independence. Accessing education and leadership skills in a safe and supportive learning environment as the first step in taking charge of their lives.
A former Region Project: Asthma Education
From 1986 – 2006, Western Australian Soroptimist clubs supported the Asthma Camp which were run by the Asthma Foundation of WA. The camps were ultimately named the “Soroptimist Asthma Camps for Kids”. In 2006 the camps were given a new look and Soroptimist International of Western Australia supported the Asthma Foundation of WA’s Triple “E” Asthma Challenge Day Camps.
Within Western Australia The ‘Stella Giles Award for Excellence’ is awarded every year to a woman for Research, or towards the costs of running a project, which will be of immediate benefit for women or girls. It is often in an area which is either neglected or poorly serviced. Candidates are nominated by clubs and voted on by the Region Committee drawn from representatives of the Western Australia clubs.
The current SI South West Pacific Federation Project 2010 -2014 is located in Papua New Guinea. The Project is known as ‘Birthing in the Pacific’. Its goal is to enhance the training of midwives in Papua New Guinea and improve maternal and infant health and mortality rates.
The death of a child is a tragedy. The World is 10 years into a 15 year action plan known as the Millennium Development Goals. The current SISWP Federation Project – Birthing in the Pacific (BIP) established in 2010, will focus on Goal 5 – Improve Maternal Health. One of the biggest killers of children under five is the failure of neonatal care, partly due to the lack of skilled birth attendants and appropriate maternal advice.
The focus of this project is to upskill and professionally developing midwives as a way of reducing the very high rate of infant and maternal mortality in PNG.
Effect: To increase the knowledge and resources for midwives in Papua New Guinea
Working with relevant partners to support the roll-out of four levels of educational programmes for birth attendants (‘adopt a midwife’)
1. Pacific Emergency Obstetric Care courses for trained clinicians
2. Learning exchange programmes for midwives to Australia and New Zealand
3. Maternal health competency programme for Community Health Workers
4. Literacy and reproductive health education for Village Birth Attendants
Providing appropriate work tools for all participants
Producing SI-branded obstetric wheels for birth attendants throughout the Pacific region
Undertaking audits to help facilities meet international standards
Providing essential upgrades to clinics where feasible (‘adopt a clinic’)
Providing support to PNG Midwives Society
All Clubs throughout the world are carrying out projects that support the Soroptimist International Long Term Theme ‘Soroptimists Educate to Lead’
The recent concluded International Project Project SIerra: a Family and a Future, was based in the war-torn country of Sierra Leone. Soroptimists throughout the world raised funds in excess of £1,000,000 over the life of the four years of the project. This was applied in of support women caring for children in extreme poverty and to provide a caring secure family home for children who are alone or at risk of abandonment.
Education; health care; counselling and help to strengthen family ties; securing safe living conditions; economic support to help families move towards self-sufficiency.
- Children aged 6 to 12 years who live on the streets were helped to return home.
- Very young mothers estranged from their families were empowered to be active community members and where possible reintegrate with their families.
- Families at risk of breakdown due to poverty, illness or death of one or both parents were supported to self-sufficiency. Support to each child and family was individually tailored to meet their needs.