Sat | Nov 28, 2020

Two Jamaicans named to Soroptimist International Federation

Published:Tuesday | October 27, 2020 | 11:26 AM
Dr Ellen Campbell Grizzle (left) and Sonia Black have been selected to represent Jamaica to Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI)

Two members of the Soroptimist Club have been selected to represent Jamaica to Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI), a global volunteer movement which operates in some 124 countries to educate, empower and enable opportunities for women and girls in order to transform their lives.

President of Soroptimist International Jamaica, Gaynor Downer, has named Sonia Black as the incoming representative to SIGBI’s Programme Action Committee. Dr Ellen Campbell Grizzle has been named the new Jamaican counsellor.

Grizzle and Davis will lead the Jamaican delegation to the 2020 Belfast Conference, which will take place October 30-31. 

The conference, under the theme 'We Stand Up For Women',  will focus on measures to ensure that people have access to essential services and can equally enjoy the rights and privileges of civil society, efforts to combat climate change, and actions to repair the ravages of the COVID-19.

In acknowledging the appointment, Black she said it was a privilege to be chosen as a representative.

“It is through our targeted projects that Soroptimists worldwide seek to make progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.

For her part, Campbell Grizzle maintains that her new position provides an ideal opportunity to represent the unique ways in which Jamaican Soroptimists frame issues that impact women and girls. 

“From 1962, under the guidance of our first president, Edna Manley, we have been reinventing ourselves as women and citizens to ensure that our contribution is valuable and authentically philanthropic. This is the secret sauce of our longevity and relevance,” she said.

SIGBI has 7000 members in 320 clubs in 29 countries. The federation is part of Soroptimist International (SI), a global volunteer movement with a network of around 72,000 club members in 121 countries. 

SI advocates for human rights and gender equality within eight United Nations centres that ensure that the voices of women and girls are heard. In keeping with global goals, Jamaica Soroptimists work on grassroots projects that help women and girls achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations and have an equal voice in the communities in which they live. 

The five Jamaican clubs have joined the national climate change initiative and will plant 100 trees across Jamaica, as well as completing several other projects that benefit women and girls. 

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