Friendship forms an integral part of any SI club. Women from diverse backgrounds come together in kindred spirit 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 affiliation with SIGBI and the various link clubs have given us a strong impetus to keep on doing our projects and activities.
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 world 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 Soroptimist 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.
2020 was a difficult year from the point of travels and meet up with our Friendship Link Clubs, due to the lockdown and curbs on travels.
Our old time friend and regular visitor Dianne Stout from SI Dundee also couldn’t make to to Kolkata.
But thanks to innovations in technology we were able to reach out to most of our FL Clubs by internet and Zoom meetings.
On 23rd July Anuradha Kanjilal,the coordinator of FL was an invitee at the virtual 98th Charter celebration party of SI Los Angeles our Friendship Link Club from the American Federation . The history of the club’s glorious journey was shared through a PPT. Anuradha spoke about the different projects undertaken by SISK. This particular Link with the US club was formed by Dr. Laxmi Parasuram.
The highlight of our Friendship this year was the virtual Charter Day celebration with all our Friendship Link Clubs.
SI South Kolkata has Friendship Link with nine clubs across the three Federations. To celebrate 15th Charter Day on 21st September, SISK were joined by a member from each of the five clubs to speak on SI President’s Appeal Road to Equality
Dr. Sanjukta Bhattacharya one of our members set the ball rolling with her talk on ‘Towards Gender Equality in India’.
Introduced by Anuradha Kanjilal, the FL Officer of SISK –
President Wilkiria Maseda Kiss SI Curitiba Batel, Brazil;
Dr. Naseem Chowdhury, Treasurer SI Dhanmondi, Bangladesh;
President Frances Menter SI Dundee, Scotland;
Charlotte Lerchenmuller SI LosAngeles and
Eileen H Kane SI NewYorkCity from the USA enlightened the Soroptimists on the work taken up by each club.
Earlier SIGBI FRIENDSHIP LINK COORDINATOR Bhaswati Biswas spoke on the role and importance of Friendship Link.
Besides the speakers other members from our Friendship Link Clubs participated in the webinar.
SI New York City, our Friendship Link in the United States celebrated the 100th Birthday of their oldest living member Katherine Mayer on 20th November. A Charter Member of the club, who is now in a nursing home for the elderly.
Anuradha Kanjilal, Friendship Link Coordinator of SI South Kolkata sent her a Birthday Card on behalf of the club. We all wish Katherine Mayer good health and happiness.
Lastly I would like to conclude by saying that this year we have been able to establish new Friendship Links with SI Chennai Downtown and renew and re-establish our link with SI Bangalore. Both these Clubs belong to SIGBI
We have also been able to establish a FL with SI Maseno Kenya, a club which is a member of the new Africa Federation.
SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND (SIGBI)
Soroptimist International Of Dundee
Scottland North, Great Britain
Friendship Link Co-Ordinator – Sheila Mcluckie
Soroptimist International Of Dhanmondi
Friendship Link Co-Ordinator – Farzana Mahmud
Farzana Mahmud, friendship Link Coodinator of SI Club of Dhanmondi, Dhaka attended a joint meeting held by SISK and SI of Calcutta on 6th May 2019. She spoke about her club activities and showed interest in doing work together. Dr. Zakia Sultana Sahid from our friendship link club SI Club of Dhanmondi, Dhaka, Bangladesh who made her maiden appearance at the General Meeting on 30th November 2019. She spoke on their club’s activities. In 19th December 2019 we hosted Dalia Rehman President of SI Dhanmondi Dhaka at the Princeton Club. We had a very lively interaction. Dalia dwelt extensively on the on the prevailing customs and observances of the women in Bangladesh in the present-day context.
Soroptimist International Of Kettering
England, Great Britain
Friendship Link Co-Ordinator – Penny Mosley
Soroptimist International Of Burdwan
West Bengal, India
Friendship Link Co-Ordinator – Lily Chowdhury
Soroptimist International Of Bangalore
Friendship Link Co-Ordinator – Zarreen Babu
Soroptimist International Of Chennai Downtown
Friendship Link Co-Ordinator – Naina Shah
SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL OF AMERICA
Soroptimist International Of Curitiba Batel
Brazil, South America
Friendship Link Co-Ordinator – Leni Nogueira
Soroptimist International Of Los Angeles
Friendship Link Co-Ordinator – Amy Poulos
Soroptimist International Of San Francisco
Sierra Pacific Region, North America
Friendship Link Co-Ordinator – Gail Dekreon
Soroptimist International Of New York
Friendship Link Co-Ordinator – Lynn Strudler
SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL OF SOUTH WEST PACIFIC (SISWP)
Soroptimist International Of St. Helena
Friendship Link Co-Ordinator – Florence Brennan
SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL AFRICAN FEDERATION
Soroptimist International Of Maseno
Friendship Link Co-Ordinator – Jesca Oredo
The following are our projects.
1. Education – we pay school fee to the vulnerable students. This project is supported by Norwegian
sisters, German and Singapore.
This year we have disbursed cheques for school fee worth over US$800,000.
2. We have a fishing boat project for a woman group also supported by our German sisters.
3. We have sanitary project distribution to girls in schools to avoid period shame. This is supported by
our Singapore sisters.
4. We also have food hampers project for the poor also supported by Singapore.