by Karen Cromer Johnson, SI Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
“I love to go to International Soroptimist Conventions. I went to my first one in 2003 in Sydney, Australia and have been hooked ever since. I remember seeing women with these large, beautiful gold chains of office. I thought they must be some important International Soroptimist officer but I found out they were Presidents of Soroptimist clubs just like me, but in the UK many clubs have a chain of office. Then we started talking and found out that we were all volunteering with women’s shelters and working on campaigns to end domestic violence. I remember speakers in Sydney explaining the history and plight of the aboriginal people there and thinking how it was similar to native American people in the USA.
Even though we were oceans apart, we were all Soroptimist sisters working to improve the lives of women and girls.
Since that Australian convention, I have traveled to Scotland, Canada, Turkey and will be going to Malasia. I learn so much history, economics, political issues, plight of women, in each of these countries and more importantly, I am inspired by the activities that Soroptimists worldwide are doing to improve the lives of women and girls. I have made friends with Soroptimist all over the world who I continue to communicate with through Facebook. I can’t wait to see them again and make new friends in Kuala Lumpur.
Fran Ingram, SI Suburban Chicago, SI Midwestern Region, SIA
“I attend the Soroptimist International Conventions because it is always so interesting to visit with other Soroptimist to learn what their clubs and Federation focus is.
We are more alike than different generally. I especially enjoy and make a point of sitting with people from different countries at meals, functions, and during breaks to chat about their projects and programmes.
Top Tip! Be sure to bring business cards with you to Convention.
I have followed up with other Soroptimists about programme or projects of interest, and I have frequently added them to my Facebook account, to continue sharing.
I enjoy travel and arrange my schedule to do about a week of sightseeing which I would probably not do unless I was attending an SI or Federation function. Even when I attend my own district or region meeting, I schedule a day of sightseeing just to learn more about the area”.
If you have attended an SI Convention- and would like to tell us YOUR STORY – what you loved/learned – email us with the subject #SoropsOnTour
If you are planning on coming to Kuala Lumpur- Send us an article about what you are LOOKING FORWARD TO! – email us with the subject #SoropsOnTour email@example.com
A final challenge- if this is something you can’t do- but- you/ or your club wants to help make it possible for someone to go – “invest in them” to have this experience. I had a sponsor for my first Convention- and still bring back my stories 32 years later! Hope to see you all in Kuala Lumpur!”
Register at https://siconventionkl2019.org/registration/
View all KL stories at https://www.soroptimistinternational.org/tag/kl-convention/