A blog by Soroptimist Jan-Pieter Verhoef
Every child can borrow and read one book per week, take it home and have the opportunity to bring the joy of literacy home to the family. Official guests from Local, County and National government joined the celebrations, held at the beautiful Tamarind Tree Hotel. The day started with the official Constitutive Assembly where all members were introduced. The forty new Soroptimists are of all ages and from a variety of professions including, administrators, teachers, nurses and lawyers, women in business and public health, and women in Agribusiness, doctors, fashion designers and more! The new club has attracted youth professionals below 35 years of age, with the youngest being 24 years old. Notably, one of the young Soroptimists, Ms. Gloria Minage is an educationist/teacher and author, who has published work for grades 1-3. During the club building process, everyone was made aware of the workings of the organisation, from club level through to Soroptimist International.
The Charter Ceremony took place later that afternoon in the presence of numerous guests. The Charter was presented by Anna Wszelaczynska, the Soroptimist International of Europe President, with Soroptimist International President, Mariet Verhoef-Cohen also in attendance. All new members received their Soroptimist pin from President Anna. This was a wonderful event and singing and dancing took place throughout the ceremony. Kenyans cannot sit still when there is music, I found out!
The Charter Dinner was something else! All new members were dressed in white and many beautifully dressed guests could be admired. There were several official speakers, with SI President Mariet giving her address, together with the representative of Rotary International, and with Her Excellency, Agrina Mussa, High Commissioner and Permanent Representative of the Malawi Mission to the United Nations Environment Programme and UN-HABITAT. H.E. Mussa became a Soroptimist on the spot! There were beautiful presents for the guests and I myself received a Kenya-red polo shirt.
The dinner was perfect – local food, various grilled dishes, and tasteful vegetables. Kenya cuisine at its best. However, the best part was still to come: Dancing is something else in Africa. Everyone seemed tireless and the music was fantastic. It went on and on. I learned some new moves, but the next day I paid the price, stiffness all over. But it was worth it. The new club has arrived into the world with a BANG. Finally a great thank you to Mary Muia. Not only has she worked tirelessly during the last years in grooming the new club and its members as the godmother, but together with Walter, they have also constructed the bookcases for the My Book Buddy project.