Challenge. Celebrate. Change. New International Programme Director Hilary Ratcliffe reports back from Convention

Montreal
Convention
: Challenge;
Celebrate; Change.

That is what going to an international convention is all about and that
is exactly what the recent international convention in Montréal delivered.

 

Pictured: Hilary (second from left) with Soroptimist sisters from around the world at Convention

Challenge

It was superbly organised and set us many challenges.  Not least among these were the provided by the keynote speakers. Taking
just a few “sound bites”:

Adrienne Clarkson urges us to try and create real societies-we don’t
have to like everyone but we ALL have the right to live and that involves compromise,
consensus and discussion. Good precepts for our Soroptimist world where we will
not all agree but we can work together.

Kirsty Duncan urged us to take those chances, work hard and if you get
dispirited then take time to look back and see how far you have actually come.

Quoting from Maud Barlow “Fighting for justice is like taking a bath-you
do it every day or you stink”

Celebrate

Meeting old friends and making new ones-this is what convention is about.
Sitting next to members from all over the world and getting their input into
what we do. This was most easily realised in the excellent workshops. We had
representatives from as far afield as India, Kenya, Scotland; expertise about
working together on Violence against women and trafficking; a caucus at the Commission
on the Status of Women; a workshop run in Japanese and I could go on.  A real
feast of experience and expertise. But also seeing all our members in their
national dress, many from the host country Canada in their red and white and at
the friendship evening being hugged by Mounties and told stories about how the
bear lost his tail. What fun!!

Change

Moving forward-that is what it is all about so we did. New programme
goals and objectives
; a new December 10th appeal- Birthing in the
Pacific; the launch of the Global impact report. If all this doesn’t convince
us all that we have a real impact through the work that we do, then I don’t
know what will!

We can, and must, shout from the roof tops about what we are achieving. Improving
the lives of women and girls through our theme Educate to lead.

Hilary Ratcliffe

SI Programme Director

 

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