HUMAN RIGHTS/STATUS OF WOMEN:
We have been partnering with the YWCA of St. Catharines with hands-on projects and financial assistance.
We offer financial support to Hannah House Maternity Home, Niagara Region’s only maternity home sheltering and supporting mothers, 21 years and under. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a secure, nurturing environment for the purpose of empowering adolescent mothers as self-sufficient individuals, parents and citizens.
On the weekend before International Women's Day 2011, members of the club travelled to Niagara Falls as part of the Soroptimist Saturday of Service to paint the walls of two rooms at Hannah House.
Pictured here after the completion of the job, covered in spots of paint, but happy for a job well done are: Janet, Carolyn, Joan, Marg, Pat, Billie and Jean. A special thanks to our Mr. Soroptimist, Ray Thombs for "climbing the walls" and patching holes!
Throughout the year, members of our club visit a housing unit that is part of West Niagara Second Stage Housing, where we clean, paint and re-stock the cupboards for a mother and her children, who are coming out of a women's shelter. This unit is where she can live for up to a year while she receives counseling and gains the skills required to make her way independently in the world
Pictured from left to right are members Brenda Vanderlinden, Kathie Grosul, Deb McGhee,
Debbie Senft, Program Co-ordinator for Second Stage Housing, and member Carolyn Thombs.
Members participated in cleaning and stocking a transitional home for a woman and her two children who are taking up residency in our community after spending time in a shelter. The cupboards are stocked with food and gift cards are left for other grocery or sundry items. The Mom and her children stay in this safe house provided by West Niagara Second Stage Housing for up to a year while she receives counseling and training for her future independence.
Shown in order from left to right is Marg Scott, Dian Kuzyk our President Elect, Deborah McGhee and new member Laila Zvejniek.French & Director Teresa Calligaro.
We also supply Comfort Kits for sexual and domestic assault victims at three of our local hospitals – St. Catharines General Hospital, McMaster Medical Centre, Hamilton and Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital, Burlington. Each Comfort Kit contains toiletries, tissue, a Guardian Angel Pin and Teddy Bear. We want to make them feel that they are not alone. If required, we also supply a change of clothing. Our club has received a number of ‘Making a Difference for Women’ grants over the years, totaling $13,000 US, which have been used, along with our own funds, to supply the Comfort Kits.
It was our second year in helping to supply Birthing Kits for the Committee of the Joy and Hope of Haiti. The Birthing Kits were sent to hospitals and medical clinics in Haiti. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 1 in every 17 women die each year from complications due to childbirth in Haiti. For every 100,000 births, between 500 and 1000 will result in death, putting Haiti as having one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Factors attributing to this high rate have been linked to inadequate access to health care facilities, high birth rates, early age pregnancy, malaria, tuberculosis and lack of skilled birth attendants. It is estimated that 60 percent of all deliveries are unattended in Haiti. Unsafe delivery procedures caused by using unclean instruments have resulted in high rates of infection after birth for both the mother and the child. On average, mothers have eight children or more and in many cases, when a mother passes away as a consequence of improper maternal care, she leaves the rest of the family without any support. A "Birthing Kit" includes: 1 clean razor blade; 2 pieces of string; gauze pads; a birthing mat (1 piece of computer paper); disposable gloves; soap; and a belly band (made out of new white bed sheets, cut into strips). It costs $0.25 to make a kit. These "birthing kits" are making a big difference in infant mortality rate. In this picture several members of our club are busy assembling the kits knowing that they are making life for a Haitian mother safer, easier & just a little bit better. All in all - a fun night and a great feeling knowing we're making a difference!
We provide financial support to the Soroptimist International Quadrennial Sierra Leone Project. This is a four year partnership with Hope and Homes for Children which aims to raise over $2,000,000 US to transform the lives of the most alienated and marginalized children and families.
The 2007-2008 President’s Appeal for Obstetric Fistula. This is a degrading situation for women who are often ostracized. The cost for the surgical repair is $300 US.