BAGUIO CITY – The Soroptimist International assures continuation in their advocacy on women rights and women empowerment in Baguio City and the rest of the Cordillera Administrative Region(CAR) in 2017 and beyond.
Soroptimist International of Northern Central Luzon District (SI NCLD) Program Director Myrna Winsted said that they will continue to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.
Winsted explained that Soroptimist is an international volunteer organization for women who use their collective power to provide women and girls with the resources and opportunities they need to reach their full potential and live their dreams.
The name Soroptimist was coined from the Latin ‘soror’ meaning sister, and ‘optima’ meaning best. Soroptimist is perhaps best interpreted as ‘best for women’. “Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best,” she added.
She said the organization is particularly concerned with providing women and girls access to education as this is the most effective path to self-determination.
The Soroptimist International of Northern Central Luzon District is composed of five chartered clubs namely SI of Baguio, SI of Pines City, SI Faith of Itogon, SI of Cordillera and SI of Igorots. SI NCLD is currently headed by District Director Chona A. Nerez, who was the former president of SI of Cordillera.
The clubs, Winsted said, are very vocal in their fight to help stop violence against women. She explained that to increase awareness, the clubs observe the 25th of each month pursuant to the United Nations Program, the “Violence against Women Day.”
Among its programs, the SI NCLD is actively promoting the “Orange the World” campaign by giving away orange whistles and orange bookmarks that list all the police stations in Baguio.
To realize the spirit of the Adopt-a-School Program Law (RA 8525), Soroptimist clubs introduce projects that would be instrumental in addressing the resource needs of the schools as well as providing students with programs that enhance the quality of the students’ learning.
In addition, the Adopt-a-Barangay Program serves as a stage for Soroptimist clubs to manage their impact projects. Established in 1981, this project has contributed to the impetus for Soroptimist growth in the Philippines through service to women and girls in the barangay. A sound working relationship with local officials and barangay women fosters cooperation, facilitates logistic arrangements and ensures the success of projects benefitting women and girls in the community. Projects focusing on basic education, women’s health and family spacing, and livelihood projects are at the heart of this program.
Likewise, the Adopt- a PNP WCPD is an example of a strong GO-NGO partnership towards addressing the plight of women and children who are victims of abuse and violence. This program upholds not only the dignity of the women victims of abuse and violence, but also helps policewomen obtain the appropriate tools to carry out their jobs.
According to its members, being a Soroptimist is very rewarding and fulfilling. The various activities are fun and exciting, from the fundraising events to the club projects like Teen Dating and Early Pregnancy, AVID Readers Club, Tree Planting, Live Your Dream, Dream It Be It and medical missions. With their latest program on “Water Is Wealth For Women,” their efforts will not go unrecognized.
But it is not just all work for the Soroptimist; they also have club collaboration activities or district-wide activities that foster camaraderie among their clubs.
Early this month, the Soroptimists from all the five clubs that make up SI NCLD joined the SIPR Choir Competition which was held in Manila where it awarded the 1st prize for excellent performance. /JDP/RMC PIA-CAR#