The SI President’s Appeal – picture this…

A blog by Di Lockwood

“It rained here at the weekend and I listened to it run into my tanks and rush down the gutters to the local creek, knowing that the water would end up in reservoirs or go through wetlands to filter before entering the ocean. I worked in the garden, became dirty and thought nothing of having a shower and making myself a drink and then washing dishes. Earlier in the week a supply pipe had broken at the end of my street and water was turned off or several hours as repairs were made. Within one hour each affected house had been delivered by the water supply department, 10 litres of clean drinking water.

I take for granted my ability to flush the toilet, the supply of safe water to my home and the fact that clean and sanitary facilities are available at my grandchildren’s schools and where my family works. For me, clean water and managed sanitation services are my right and are always accessible.

Unhappily, this is not the case for many of our sisters around the world. The woman whose children are ill from polluted water, the woman or girl walking long distances to fetch water, often at risk of sexual or physical assault, the girl who misses school one week every month, or the subsistence farmer struggling to water a much needed crop: all these are denied a basic human right, access to clean water.

While there is no doubt that progress has  been made both in access to water and sanitation and in the protection of fresh water sources, it is still true that in some countries, and particularly in rural areas, high water stress levels indicate a scarcity of water in the future. We are aware also that in these situations women and children suffer most and that the ability to achieve gender equality is at risk in education, employment, food production and supply and nutrition. We cannot rest when such need exists and it is on these issues that this biennium’s SI President’s Appeal ‘Women, Water & Leadership’ is focused.

Using a twin approach which concerns itself not only with the supply of clean water but also with educating and empowering women to work in this area and with  providing the opportunity to develop their leadership potential, the President’s Appeal addresses multiple Sustainable Development Goals. Over two years it will develop at least five projects that will give hope and opportunity to our sisters who strive for themselves and their families, often against seemingly overwhelming odds.

Yes, there are figures we can cite about numbers and dollars but all we really need to do is to picture ourselves and our families in this situation. How desperately we would work to keep them healthy and how elated we might feel to give our daughters a chance at employment and leadership. So, speak to your club about the project, think of our sisters around the world, use the resources available and consider how your members can contribute. Give generously. This is truly a chance to transform lives!”

Visit the members area of the SI website to read more about the SI President’s Appeal 2017-2019 ‘Women, Water & Leadership’. (LINK)

For further information on the Appeal, please email the Chair of the International President’s Appeal Hafdís Karlsdóttir:

by Di Lockwood, Programme Director, Soroptimist International of South West Pacific.


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