About Us

The Story of

Kenya in Soroptimist International


The 1st Soroptimist Club is Formed

In 1921 in Alameda County California, the first Soroptimist club was formed. It was made up of 80 business and professional women from in and around the city of Oakland.

With Violet Richardson as the first President, the first club met weekly to debate service projects and hear speakers on various worldwide issues that would broaden members’ horizons.

Charter members of the first Soroptimist Club, 1921


SI Paris Formed

Suzanne Nöel founded Soroptimist International of Paris in 1924, the first Soroptimist club in Europe using her worldwide lecturing series to share the Soroptimist concept and messages, prompting the establishment of clubs all over Europe.

Nöel later became the first President of the European Federation.

In 1928, the Foundation of both the American and the European Federations and a Soroptimist International Association was created to provide a link between the Federations.


Seperation of Federations in Europe

in 1934, Europe, Great Britain & Ireland were to form separate Federations.

During this decade, many service projects were taken on e.g. vocational training for women and children, housing for the disadvantaged, assistance for the sick and disabled, and the caring of refugees.

Australia joined the network in 1937 with the first of its clubs forming in Sydney, Eastern Australia.

An international convention in Atlantic City is held where
Soroptimists gathered from all over the world


In 1939 during World War II, a British Soroptimist wrote:

Two things are clear to us in the midst of the bewilderment and distress of these present days:

One is that, as a band of women whose aim is the furthering of international understanding, we must stick together and keep in active working order our Soroptimist organisation, the value of which is greater than ever before.

The other is that when we emerge from this nightmare and the struggle is over we must be stronger than ever to see that all our influence is case on the side of a just and lasting peace.

During this time, Soroptimists embarked on rescuing members of the SI Vienna club and their families, threatened by the Nazi regime. American Soroptimists donated funds and clothing and many clubs across Europe were forced to meet clandestinely, making and mending clothes, and preparing all manner of items that were needed.

Soroptimists opened Rest Rooms for women in the forces and a New Zealand club set up a refugee relief committee for people escaping from Europe.


Consultative status with UNESCO

In 1946, Soroptimists held a reception for delegates to UN conferences, which included Eleanor Roosevelt, and in 1948, the Soroptimist International Association was awarded Consultative status with UNESCO.

In 1950, the Association was awarded category C Consultative status with ECOSOC (Economic & Social Council, United Nations).

In 1966, UNICEF granted consultative status to Soroptimist International for service projects for children and in 1975, Soroptimists attended the First UN World Conference on Women which was held in Mexico City.

US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt is the honored guest and speaker at a weekly luncheon of the Washington DC Club in 1943


SI governing body formed

In 1952, the governing body of Soroptimist International was founded, as it is today.


The 1st Quadrennial Project

In 1978 the very first Quadrennial Project got underway in the Maldives.

The training of 20 paramedics and providing 14 medical boats to carry health workers, medical drugs, supplies and equipment to the people in the remote Maldives atoll islands in the Indian Ocean.

Also this year, SI of the South West Pacific Federation was born, with Mary Whitehead as Founding President.


The 1st President’s Appeal

This year saw the first President’s December 10th Appeal, a bi-annual Appeal that still stands strong, bringing countless benefits to women and girls across the world.

Catherine Salt chose the very first President’s Appeal project on the island of Pulau Bidong, Malaysia, helping refugee women and children.

Pulau Bidong was the first asylum centre run in co-operation with UNHCR and provided housing, care and maintenance, including medical and social services for refugees awaiting re-settlement.


Category 1 Consultative Status

Soroptimist International was granted Category 1 Consultative status (now General Consultative Status) with ECOSOC.

African Federation


The idea of an African Federation

In this year, the idea of an African Federation of Soroptimists was born in Athens, Greece.

The proponents of this idea at the conference were Gisela Freudenberg —Soroptimist International officer in charge of Extension in Africa (1987), and Nina Koumanakou who was then President of Soroptimist International of Europe (SIE).


The idea grows

Reflections towards the idea of an African Federation continued in 1989 at another SI Congress in Lugano, Switzerland with Nigeria’s Adetoun Bally.


In this year, a preparatory meeting was held in Dakar, Senegal in the presence of SIGBI and SIE Presidents. Since then, regional meetings and general conferences where held every year, rotationally hosted by different African cities.


At the Nairobi General Assembly in 2006, Boards were set up for sub-regions.


SI African Federation

The creation of the Soroptimist International African Federation was officially inaugurated by the President of Soroptimist International 2020 - 2021, Sharon Fisher at the Soroptimist International Annual General Meeting (SIAGM) on 30 June 2020.

It thus becomes the 5th Federation of Soroptimist International in the world.

SIAF Setup

Structure of the African Federation

The African Federation is currently set up as shown below:


Eastern Region










Western Region




Burkina Faso





Ivory Coast


Sierra Leone



Northern Region






Southern Region

South Africa


Soroptimist International
Kenya Country

The sikc story

Our Presence in Kenya

In 1979 the first Soroptimist International Club was chartered in Nairobi and the Charter President was Beldina Simba.
On the 1st of February 1996, Soroptimist International Kenya Country (SIKC) was chartered. The charter officer was Dr.Gisela Freudenberg —the then SIE President who was from SI Club of Weinheim Germany. The first Union President of Kenya was Mrs Alice Kirambi, who is currently a member SI Club of Vihiga.

Year in Kenya
Active Projects

What We Do

Our Programme Areas

Since inception, SIKC through its affiliate clubs has run different projects in Kenya geared toward the empowerment of women and girls. These projects have revolved around the following programme areas:

  • Education

  • Elimination of gender-based violence

  • Economic Empowerment

  • Food Security

  • Healthcare

  • Disaster mitigation & relief

  • Environmental sustainability / water & sanitation

  • Conflict Resolution / peace promotion

Our Leadership

Board Members

The current term has the following members forming the leadership of Soroptimist International Kenya Country:

Dr. Victoria Chepkemoi Kutto
Dr. Victoria Chepkemoi Kutto
Jesca Oredo
Jesca Oredo
President Elect
Rosemary Adhiambo
Rosemary Adhiambo
Elizabeth Nerima
Elizabeth Nerima
Judith Apondo
Judith Apondo
Immediate Past President
Linet Mwangangi
Linet Mwangangi
Chair, Constitution & By-laws Committee
Khayanga Wasike
Khayanga Wasike
Program Director
Angela Kiveu
Angela Kiveu
Chair, Communications Committee
Alice Micheni
Alice Micheni
Finance Director
Jane Onyango
Jane Onyango
Advocacy Director
Janet Asinatu
Janet Asinatu
Chair, Extension & Membership Committee
Jane Were
Jane Were
Chair, Scholarship & Mentorship Committee
Christine Musiga
Christine Musiga
Assistant Program Director

Former Presidents


Historical Change Of Guard


Leadership Over Time

Our Former Presidents

Alice Kirambi
Alice Kirambi
1996 - 1998
Esther Mathenge
Esther Mathenge
1998 - 2000
Dr. Joyce Laboso
Dr. Joyce Laboso
2000 - 2002
Mary Theresa Odongo
Mary Theresa Odongo
2002 - 2004
Evelyne Lelle
Evelyne Lelle
2004 - 2006
Mary Musula Kundu
Mary Musula Kundu
2006 - 2008
Asha Abdulrahman
Asha Abdulrahman
2008 - 2010
Beatrice Yieke
Beatrice Yieke
2010 - 2012
Hellen Yego
Hellen Yego
2012 - 2014
Jutta Quarde
Jutta Quarde
2014 - 2016
Dorothy Shiroya
Dorothy Shiroya
2016 - 2018
Juliet Wamiri
Juliet Wamiri
2018 - 2020