The founder President of the first Soroptimist Club, Violet Richardson Ward, (Oaklands, California, 1921) considered the involvement in public affairs to be great service. The first project was saving the great redwood trees from being unmercifully lumbered. In England, the Bristol Venture Club, formed in 1921 appointed a service committee to befriend motherless girls. When the two organisations merged in 1930, Soroptimist International adopted constitutional objects which were to form the framework for service. The peak of achievement was the granting of Category 1 status with ECOSOC during the 1983-87 Quadrennium. Emphasis was placed on reporting the work of every member throughout the world and in 1987, the ‘Programme Focus’ was introduced.

Programme implements the objects of Soroptimist International and it is through Programme that Soroptimists provide service to others in a variety of ways through Awareness, Advocacy, and Action. It is through Programme Action that Soroptimist International provides service to others and encourages its members to be an active influence for positive change in society at local, national and international levels. Programme areas cover:

  • Economic and Social Development
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Human rights/Status of Women
  • International Goodwill and Understanding

Every year the Clubs fund-raise for their project.
Every two years a National Project is chosen and run by the National Association for 2 years.
Every four years an International Project is chosen at the International Conference.

Choosing A Project

  • Interest – local idea, current/prospective members ideas
  • Utilises club expertise, involvement
  • Based on sound evidence of need – by those seeking help.
  • Contributes to current Programme Focus
  • Idea from SI Database of projects from PFRF, Information from Federation Advisers, or PA Officers
  • Idea from Link club – joint project
  • Makes effective use of partner opportunities
  • Involves different action – lobbying, fundraising, service

History of PA

  • 1921 California: Birth of SI
  • Local service in communities
  • United Nations – SI accredited in 1952 to UNESC as an NGO
  • Consultative status with UN
    Economic and Social Council in 1983-87 quadrennium
  • 1987 Programme Focus and The Form introduced
  • “Where we stand” statements continue to be produced
  • Focus reviewed every quadrennium at SI

The National Project ‘Fundraising for the Special Olympics 2003’ was awarded the International Good Practice Award 2003 at the Federation Conference, Belfast, Oct. 2003 for Exceptional Service as a Global Voice for Women in the Programme Area of International Goodwill and Understanding.

The National Project 2008-9 is raising funds to buy much needed physiotherapy equipment for the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dun Laoire, in particular the Children’s Unit. The Hospital held a Reception for Soroptimists on the 24th Jan 2009 to say thank you. Pictured at the Reception were:- L to R President of Bray Soroptimists Annette Hynes, Soroptimists Ireland President, Kay Brophy, Physiotherapy Manager at the NRH Vivienne Moffitt, National Project Chair Denise Holland, Chief Executive of the NRH Derek Greene and Bray Soroptimist Mary Doyle.

Soroptimist International North Kildare Projects

Programme Area Projects
Health Alzheimers Respite National Project Lunch in the K Club, 17 Oct 2004. (National Project)
Health & Education Environment St. Raphael’s Special School, Celbridge, Co. Kildare. Garden (flora and fauna) Centre for the training of the special children in horticulture and small animal care. The first three presidents of the club raised funds for this project. This centre was opened by President McAleese in 1999.
Health & Education Fundraising for the local Riding for the Disabled Group at St. Raphael’s Special School, Celbridge.
Health & Education Saplings School for Special Children, Kill. KARE
Health St. Brigid’s Hospice, the Curragh, Co. Kildare. The Club has raised funds towards this new Hospice with up-todate facilities for patients and their families.
Health Fundraising for the Oncology Unit, National Maternity Hospital, Holles St. Dublin.
Health Caring for the Carers. The Club runs a Caring for the Carers service. National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dun Laoghaire, National Project.
Health Meals on Wheels. The club runs a Meals on Wheels service.
Health Special Needs. Special Olympics.
Health Teach Tearnann Womens Refuge Project, Merchants Quay Drugs Project.
Health Rose Project – Fights AIDS in Africa in women and children
Health KARE
International Goodwill & Understanding National Project 2002-3 Fundraising for the Special Olympics 2003
International Goodwill & Understanding Northern Ireland Children’s Enterprise
Education Public Speaking for Girls. The Club runs a Public Speaking Competition for Girls.
Youth Barnardos: Clane Youth Club

Annual Special Days

21 March UN International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination
22 March UN World Water Day
April UN World Health Day
15 May UN International Day of Families
21 May UN World Day for Cultural Diversity and Development
22 May UN International Day for Biological Diversity
5 June UN World Environment Day
20 June UN World Refugee Day
23 June UN Public Service Day
26 June UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
11 July UN Population Day
12 August UN International Youth Day
8 September UN International Literacy Day
21 September UN International Day of Peace
1 October UN International Day for Older Persons
3 October Soroptimist Club Friendship Day
October UN World Habitat Day (1st Monday)
10 October UN World Mental Health Day
16 October World Food Day
17 October UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
24 October United Nations Day
16 November UN International Day of Tolerance
20 November UN Universal Children’s Day
25 November UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women
1 December World AIDS Day
3 December UN International Day of Disabled Persons
10 December Human Rights Day – Soroptimist International Day