"Empower Today-Enable Tomorrow" was the theme of the 84th Federation Conference of Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland held at Arena and Convention Centre, Liverpool.
Article by SISWP President Anusha Santhirasthipam
It was a marvellous opportunity for me to network and make new connections, listen to inspirational speakers and celebrate wonderful Programme Action projects.
My special presentation to 1,300 delegates was well-received. I talked about climate change and increased frequency of natural disasters. I drew attention and invited support for our Federation Project Sanctuary Shelter and the President's Special Appeal: Soroptimist Maker Indonesia Tsunami & Earthquakes.
I revealed the highlights of SI Convention 2019 Kuala Lumpur and garnered massive interest and emphasised the urgency to get delegates to register before Early Bird offer ends for individuals and groups.
There were awesome speakers with heartfelt stories of courage, hope and triumph over adversities, such as Emily Rose Yates who overcame her disabilities to become a world renown advocate for global travel, access and inclusion for people with disabilities; Terry Waite, CBE who is a former hostage, writer and humanitarian who is President of charity Y Care International; Dr. Ann-Marie Wilson who founded 28 Too Many, an anti-FGM charity working across 28 countries in Africa to end female genital mutilation that has affected over 140 million girls and women worldwide; Ellie Bird Lenawarungu, a police officer who pioneered programmes in Rwanda, Uganda, Egypt and Kenya to tackle sexual and gender based violence and the role of women in peace support; Dr Helen Pankhurst, who is a women's rights activist and senior advisor to CARE International who talked about the legacy of the Suffragettes and what remains to be done for women today.
It was also amazing to watch and listen to unique programme presentations by various clubs that were shortlisted for awards in various categories. Full coverage and photos are available on SIGBI Website and social media