Soroptimist is coined from the Latin “soror” meaning sister, and “optima” meaning best, and is interpreted as “the best for women”. Soroptimists are women at their best helping other women to be their best. Soroptimist International is a worldwide organization of business and professional women who unite to make a difference for women.
Working within their communities and through international projects, Soroptimists enhance the education, health, human rights and status of all women. Soroptimist International incorporates four federations, of which Soroptimist International of the Americas is the largest with almost 50,000 members in 20 countries and territories. The Western Canada Region, which is comprised of nearly 500 members in 21 clubs, covers the geographical area of British Columbia to Manitoba and is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas.
A Soroptimist is a leader in her community. She believes that by joining with other women and engaging in awareness, advocacy and action in the service of her community and society, she can make the world a better place for all.
Soroptimist also sponsors Live Your Dream.org, an online community empowering offline volunteer action. The self-motivated network is made up of people who wish to support women and girls in their quest to lead better lives, while gaining inspiration in their own lives. Members of the free online community work on topics such as women’s economic empowerment, ending violence against women, human trafficking, and more. They also have access to inspirational articles, tips, and blogs that can help them live their own personal dreams.
Soroptimists make a difference for women through six programs of service:
1. Economic and social development
5. Human rights/status of women
6. International goodwill and understanding.
Using a three-pronged approach (awareness, advocacy and action), Soroptimists identify the special needs of the community – be it a big, industrial city or a small, rural town. Soroptimists then establish projects that best address these specific needs.
In addition to their commitment to the community, Soroptimists work for change at national and international levels to improve the quality of life for people throughout the world.