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20th Soroptimist International Convention 9th -12th July 2015.
President Margaret's Report.

President Margaret was accompanied to Istanbul by IPP Noreen, Incoming President Sarah, P R and Media Officer Irene, Tess SI Cork and Ciara Maguire Public Speaking student. The Theme of the Conference was Soroptimists Educate to Lead – Fresh Ideas Empowering Women.  We registered early on Thursday 9th July and we had the day free to explore Istanbul visiting the Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque and Haghia Sophia. We returned in time to prepare for the Opening Ceremony. Turkish Drummers welcomed 1450 Soroptimists from the four Federations. The Master of Ceremonies was the Convention Chair Emine Erderm. The Flag Ceremony and Roll Call was emotional and moving and we waited eagerly to hear the Republic of Ireland called, we proudly stood up. (Read full report...)

Istanbul Conference video

Ciara MaguireReflections on Istanbul by Ciara Maguire

"The only source of knowledge is experience”, the words of Albert Einstein. How true they are.
It was an honour to represent the Republic of Ireland at the International Soroptimist convention in Istanbul. My experience was beyond expectation. Upon arrival I was taken back by the enormity of the event.  
I witnessed over 1450 Soroptimists come together and voicing their desire for change.  I enjoyed listening to the speakers and speaking to Soroptimists about the many projects in their home clubs.
The issues being tackled were varied, depending on the social and economic structure of the area. It was amazing to learn of the work being done to change lives, particularly for those less fortunate than ourselves.
Throughout the convention I was educated about the vast issues that women face. Some I was never exposed to before. While some of these problems may not exist in my social environs or perhaps even in my country I learned that indifference is not an option. I must stand up and give a voice to those who have been silenced.
It was inspiring to see people striving and believing in Soroptimist's message to educate, enable and empower.  I witnessed women from across the globe come together and unite to achieve a common goal. I was touched by the sense of community, a community that I was welcomed into.  I am grateful for the continuous support, encouragement and generosity from Soroptimist members. I wish to sincerely thank all members of the society. In particular to those who made it possible for me to attend the convention and to those who supportedand guided me throughout the experience? 
I was exposed to a new way of thinking that has lead me to question the world around me. It was a privilege to speak, an experience I will never forget. I wish to thank Soroptimist for giving me the platform to voice my thoughts and opinions. This experience has enabled me to grow as a person. I met Soroptimists from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. They encouraged me to become aware, challenge and most importantly take action.

Ciara Maguire.

Vice President Sarah McCormack received a “Thank You” letter from International President Ann Garvie.

Sarah was invited to take part in a workshop called “Projects: From design to delivery”.

She was one of 4 members of the panel, the other participants were:

Sue Biggs,  Programme Director SIGBI, Ermine Erdem, SIE Assistant  Director  2013/2015 and Chair of SI Convention. Jennifer Luz-Olson,  SI of the Americas.

Facilitator was Lori Blair, Senior Programme Director SI of the Americas.

It was a great honour (and well deserved) for Sarah to be invited on this panel.

The workshop followed by a Q & A session was very well attended and received very positive comments from the audience.

Link to Istanbul Conference report

Link to member's blogs


Review of Soroptimist International Convention Istanbul 2015