The Wave – Soroptimists support the SI President’s Appeal 2017-2019

In an event organised by SI Club Zottegem, Zuid-Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium, SI President Mariet Verhoef-Cohen joined one hundred people from the Belgium Union, where she was presented with a cheque for 5000 euro – a substantial donation towards the SI President’s Appeal.  SI Club Zottegem Zuid-Oost-Vlaanderen actively supports and runs projects in its neighbourhood as well those further afield. Each year the club organises activities for children and young people at ‘t Roborstje, a support home focused on special youth care located in rural Roborst; organising visits to a local alpaca farm, apple picking, and additionally funding the distribution of food to local people in need.

Prior to the event SI President Mariet Verhoef-Cohen was interviewed by local press, and speaking at the event, SI President Mariet showcased the work of Soroptimist International, explaining the role of the President, the importance of international connections, and the advocacy work taking place at the United Nations – our Global Voice to the outside world. Presenting information and activities taking place on the SI President’s Appeal ‘Women, Water & Leadership’,  Mariet discussed projects including ‘WeWash’, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.

SI Club Zottegem is passionate about supporting the SI President’s Appeal, admiring the work of the ‘Women, Water & leadership’ Programme, and the conviction of SI President, Mariet Verhoef-Cohen. To celebrate the Club’s 30th anniversary it was decided that they would raise funds for the Appeal. A club member and her family who are textile designers, got to work on an exclusive design created to unite the membership and support the Appeal, in particular the ‘WeWash’ project in Bulgaria, a project they were specifically drawn to, and are also very keen to visit.

A unique scarf was created – 100% made in Belgium, in blue wool and gold viscose, inspired by the famous Great Wave off Kanagawa, a wood block print by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai from around 1832. ‘The Wave scarf’ captures the power of nature, and the challenges faced by so many, also signifying the continuous engagement of members. The club was delighted with the results and the selling of the beautiful scarves raised a staggering 5000 euro for the Appeal!

Mariet says: “It was a wonderful event, and such a delight to meet members of SI Club Zottegem, the members of a new club in Beringen to be inaugurated in May 2020, and all the Soroptimists from the Union of Belgium. Such a passionate group of women who work so hard and have shown such support for the 2017-2019 Appeal. The scarves are stunning, so it is no surprise to me that they were able to raise 5000 euro – this donation will make a real difference to the development of the Appeal projects, particularly ‘WeWash’ Bulgaria, and I and the women in the community are sincerely grateful for their support”.  


  1. Vera Meersman 3 years ago 21st June 2019

    It was a great honour to have our Soroptimist International President Mariet Verhoef visiting our club, to be inspired by the projects that empower women and girls and to be able by our donation, to make a real difference to the ‘WeWash’-project in Bulgaria.
    We cant’t wait to visit these projects next year !

    Vera Meersman
    President Soroptimist Zottegem Zuid-Oost-Vlaanderen 2017-2019

  2. Candace F. Crocker 3 years ago 24th June 2019

    Hello to you who care and do great work.
    I am a citizen of Thunder Bay, Ontario and often enjoy the friendship gardens you esyablished in Chapples park.
    I have inquired with city departments be left with no answer to my question that is: who is the culture and person responsible for the old, carved stone, ancient castle in the friendship garden ? It is well protected with a steel fence but it has no plaque to provide any information. I am very curious about this as it is very old and beautifully done.
    I can send a picture if you like.
    Thank you for your attention.


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