Our engagement with sister clubs in several regions of the globe has been most heart- warming and exhilarating. I might go on to say that it is this aspect of Soroptimism that has brought us closer to the ideas and innovations in the rest of the word and enthused us to participate in our mission to make a difference through our projects and other activities. Our members have enjoyed visiting our sister soroptimists in different parts of the world and we have heartily welcomed our friends from abroad whenever they liked to visit us in our city of joy.
We have continued to maintain at least seven link clubs over these years and were pleased to send and receive messages and exchange news and views. Our very first link club started right on our charter day when four member from SI/ Kettering in U.K. arrived to attend our charter night. SI/ Kettering has been our friend, guide and help all through these years. Another link club originated when Dianne Stout from SI/Dundee came to Kolkata on her way to Kalimpong . Since I was the President of SI/ Calcutta at that time she had contacted me and when our new club was charted in South Kolkata, SI/ Dundee was pleased to be our link. Soroptimist Dianne has since paid annual visit to Kolkata and helped us to organise several programs for local women and children. We also started a link with SI/Helena in Australia and thus made our connection with another Federation. Next came SI/America when our links with New York City, Los Angeles , San Francisco and Santa Barbra took shape. These associations became strong and fruitful through our meetings during Federation conferences, members’ visits and exchange of newsletters. Recently we have also made a link with our neighbour, SI/ Bangladesh and another in far-off South America.
Another a very interesting and enlightening channel that introduced us to soroptimism in the rest of the world was the soroptimist grants of friendship. This is indeed a cherished practice among soroptimist clubs in particular regions to invite members of clubs from different Federations to spend three weeks with them. For this there is a process of application and selection and if one succeeds to get this grant of friendship it turns out to be an excellent means of spreading friendship and understanding among the clubs. I had been fortunate to be selected and invited to visit five different regions on such Friendship grants and the regions I have visited on this grant are New Zealand south, Canada , Camino Real region in south California , Rocky Mountain region in the North and Turkey. I have also been able to join a tour of Iceland under the auspices of the clubs in Reyjavik, Iceland. Such visits have educational and cultural benefits that add to the idea of a global vision enshrined in Soroptimist mission statement.
We do have a record of joint projects with SI/ Kettering, SI/ Dundee and SI/ Helena. But since the distances are too long and our local needs too many and hard to communicate in clear terms we now only have some financial support that help our local girls who work on embroidery and art items.
Our affiliation with SIGBI and the various link clubs have given us a strong impetus to keep on doing our projects and activities.
OUR FRIENDSHIP LINKS
Friendship forms an integral part of any SI club. Women from diverse backgrounds come together in kindred spirt with an identical aim – to improve the lives of women. This friendship is taken to a higher level by setting up links with SI clubs throughout the globe, bringing together women from disparate cultures and trying to identify their common concerns and goals, working together and establishing warm friendships.
Ever since our club SI South Kolkata was charted in 2006, we have formed Friendship Links with several SI Clubs from around the world. There has been a healthy interaction with these Clubs at regular intervals
Our strongest link has been with the SI Dundee and we have been much benefitted from the regular visits by Dianne Stout and her husband. A number of projects have been implemented in partnership with SI Dundee and IPER
Our newest Friendship Link has been with SI Dhanmondi Bangladesh. SISK also maintains Friendship Links with the following Clubs
SI New York City
SI Curitiba Batel
SI San Francisco
SI los Angeles
SI ST. Helena
Si Santa Barbabal
OUR CONNECTIONS WITH SIGBI
Past President Bhaswati Biswas, currently is the Friendship Link Coordinator (2018-2020)
YOU CAN CONNECT US
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