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Past Federation Projects

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Fiji Training Centre Endowment Fund

The Endowment Fund was established in 1969 to provide scholarships for women from South Pacific Islands and other developing countries to enable them to attend courses at the South Pacific Commission's Community Education Training Centre (CETC) in Suva, Fiji.

The CETC provides women from South Pacific Island countries with training in home economics, leadership and group dynamics directly related to social and economic conditions in their own countries. At the conclusion of the training, the students return home, usually to jobs with governments or other authorities in which their training can be put to good use.

In 1979, the CETC was adopted as one of the two international projects for 1979-1983. Balances in and contributions to the Endowment fund were diverted to the International Project.

In 1989 it was decided that the Federation would cease to support the CETC as a Federation Project, but that individual Clubs would continue to support the Centre if desired.

In 1991 the bank account was closed and the balance transferred to the Training Centre in Fiji.

1978 - 1980  Federation Inauguration Project

To commemorate the inauguration of the Federation in March 1978 a Special Fund was commenced with the aim of demonstrating SWP Soroptimists concern for service and their desire to contribute to international understanding.

The Fund was financed by voluntary contributions of AUD$2 per member and the appeal for funds was concluded at the end of 1980.

The Fund was used to provide current school books, exercise books and good story books to schools in Pacific Island countries where there were no Soroptimist Clubs. The books were identified by a name plate inside the cover indicating that they were gifts from the Federation.

With the assistance of the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal New Zealand Air Force, books were distributed to Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands, the Cook Islands and Niue.

1992 - 1996 Alzheimer's Research

Alzheimer's Disease was adopted as the Federation Project. The Soroptimist Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Dementia Research was granted to Dr Dino LoGiudice, a Consultant Physician in Geriatric Medicine, who carried out research into the carers of people with Alzheimer's Disease.

On completion of our agreement with the National Health and Medical Research Council, it was agreed that the extra funds and interest raised thereon be donated to an Alzheimer Association. As it was considered undesirable to select an association in a particular country or state, it was then agreed that the remaining money be used for publications which could be distributed throughout the Federation. Remaining funds were used to create a web site providing information and support to carers of Alzheimer sufferers.

1998 – 2000 Balloons for Life 

This project aimed to send volunteer medical teams to areas within the Federation to train health workers in the villages in the use of gastric feeding balloons and to purchase buckets of balloons plus sterilizing tablets. A subcommittee was set up in Perth to co-ordinate and dispatch the systems to areas where doctors had trained local people in the use of the balloon.

Funds from the project continued to be expended in the following biennium.

2000 - 2002 Libraries for Street Children in Indonesia

This project aimed to set up libraries in areas of Indonesia where there are a large number of street children. The libraries would be able to be accessed by the children enabling them to have access to books and magazines to assist with reading, writing, and literacy skills.

2002 – 2006 Halt Family Violence Support Programmes in Papua New Guinea 

Halt Family Violence is a Community Project which aims to curb the extent of family violence adversely affecting women and children in Lae, Papua New Guinea. In collaboration with local Non-Government Organisations, Service clubs, Community Development Agencies and the Angau Memorial General Hospital, a comprehensive range of support programmes is now available to victims as well as the initiation of an outreach Counselling Training Programme for the Province.

2006 – 2010  Hands Across Borders -  Education and Health Services in Sampovloun

Hands Across Borders involves partnerships with community, government and other Non- Government Organisations in projects that will change the lives of women and their families in the Sampovloun community, through the provision of better education and health services. The project will be conducted in 4 phases.

  • Phase 1:      Deliver 50% of basic supplies – water filtration system, books, shoes, toilet blocks, medicine and hospital supplies, paint school classrooms and create a cleanup campaign at the school.
  • Phase 2:      Establish clinics and educational programmes
  • Phase 3:      Deliver equipment and supplies. Support existing programmes.
  • Phase 4:         Enable women to establish income-generating projects.

At the 2008 Chiang Mai Conference it was decided that this project be continued for another biennium.

2010 – 2016  Birthing in the Pacific - Training of Midwives in Papua New Guinea 

This project focuses on Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 – Improve Maternal Health. This MDG (5) target aims to ensure that at least 90% of births worldwide will be attended by skilled health personnel by 2015. The BIP project will endeavour to Minimise /reduce the risk of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality by improving maternity skills of midwives and training village birthing attendants in PNG. The project will be located in Papua New Guinea (PNG) initially focusing on hospitals and clinic s at Port Moresby, Lae and Ramu and outlying Aid Posts. Basic essential equipment will also be provided. The project, proposed by SI Business on Collins, was developed from an initial midwives’ training course in Port Moresb y Hospital, sponsored by SIBOC. A special BIP logo was designed by Alana Street and a graphic artist in Melbourne as a generous donation to SI Business on Collins, SISWP and SI.

In 2011 and 2012, BIP was selected by SI President Alice Wells as her International President’s Appeal.

At the 2012 Greymouth Conference it was decided that this project be continued for another biennium.

At the 2014 Kuching Conference President Carolyn Hudson announced that this project would continue for another biennium.  Work for this biennium would be to support the Village Birth Attendant training programmes in Lae and Ramu,and to provide scholarships to assist attendance at the PNG Midwifery Society Symposium 23-25 November 2015, and to provide a CHW Upskilling Course in Kavieng in late January 2016, including five Scholarships for Midwifery training in 2016 at Goroka University PGK 

2016 - 2020  Sanctuary: Shelter for Women in Fiji

At the 2016 Sydney Conference it was agreed to support this project which will fund the building of houses to provide shelters for women and children who are victims of violence and natural disasters

  • A safe home
  • A place to heal
  • A place to rebuild lives, be upskilled and empowered

The rate of violence against women and girls in Fiji is amongst the very highest in the world and shortages of shelters for victims of domestic violence mean women and children are often taken back to their own homes, where the offenders can re-offend.

Fiji is also very prone to natural disasters, in particular flooding and cyclones. Both the risk of domestic violence and the incidence of sexual violence and exploitation increase in the aftermath of a disaster, largely due to the inability to provide protection for women and children during a disaster and compounded by the additional pressures on families.

At the 2018 Melbourne Conference President Anusha Santhirasthipam announced that this project would continue for another biennium         

It was agreed that this be extended as the Federation Project during the 2020-2022 Biennium until such time as this project concludes and that clubs be invited to propose a new project by 1 December 2020 for implementation on the conclusion of ‘Sanctuary: Shelter for Women’.       

2021 - 2022  Brilliant Futures Fund

It was agreed that a Brilliant Futures Fund be established as a SISWP Federation ongoing scholarship fund. 

This Project provide a funding source for up to $10,000 AUD.  Clubs will be invited to submit an existing project or a new project for consideration for each round of funding.  As of 2022 3 rounds of funding have been supplied to clubs. 

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Soroptimist International is a global movement of women, with members belonging to more than 3,000 clubs in 126 countries/territories, spread over 5 Federations