IPP Juliet Wamiri Karung’o

To my ever vibrant Kenyan Soroptimist sisters,

In the journey of life, we experience several beginnings and endings, which in turn usher in new beginnings, and such is the cycle of life. In my Soroptimist journey, Saturday, 3rd November 2018 and Saturday, 10th October 2020 will forever remain etched in my mind. The first Saturday marked a beginning when I accepted the President’s insignia and other instruments of power from President Dorothy Mapenzi Shiroya taking the mantle as SI Union of Kenya (SIUK) President; the second was an ending, culminating in handing over to the 13th President of SI Kenya Country (SIKC), Judith Apondo.

This marked yet another new beginning and an ending as Kenya migrated from Soroptimist International of Europe (SIE) Federation to the recently chartered Soroptimist International Africa Federation (SIAF). Witnessing this Soroptimist history with my Kenyan sisters has been a pleasurable journey. Moving forward, my desire is to experience the growth of SIAF from strength to strength. In this report, SIUK and SIKC will be used interchangeably.

I wish to express my sincere appreciation to all the members of the 2018-2020 SIUK Board, Club Presidents and Club Delegates who served diligently during the biennium. Thank you for your solid support, cooperation and selflessness. You diligently served in the frontline and behind the scenes in line with the Soroptimist Mission and Vision. Your actions and presence added meaning, life and colour to the biennium. The tenure in office was exciting, successful and ended in the twinkling of an eye; the weight of responsibility was barely felt due to the immense dedication and support accorded by this great team of women.

To all Soroptimist Clubs in Kenya, I truly appreciate the privilege, honour, and trust you bestowed upon me to serve and steer the Country as President during the 2018-2020 biennium. It was such an honour to be at the helm of this great organization. The exemplary teamwork has enabled us to pass on the mantle to Team 2020-2022 gracefully.

It is with great pleasure therefore that I present the Soroptimist International Kenya Country (SIKC), formerly Soroptimist International Union of Kenya (SIUK) Biennium Report 2018-2020. I take this opportunity to thank all the Immediate Past Club Presidents and their able teams for reporting in a comprehensive and timely manner. Without your invaluable input, our outgoing Programme Director and Assistant Programme Director, Dolphine Anyango and Nerea Othieno Liyayi would not have compiled this report.

During the biennium, we made a number of significant strides. Some of examples include chartering of two (2) Clubs, increasing the number of Clubs from 11 to 13, increasing membership from 162 to 261, implementation of the President’s Appeal Project (2017 - 2019), Action Fund (2018; 2019), Roswitha Ott Fund (2019), My Book Buddy (MBB) Project, Solvatten project, participation in the Orange the World Campaign, just to mention a few. From 1st October 2018 to 30th September 2020, a total sum of Ksh.38, 037,018 was raised to fund the design, planning and implementation of 151 projects and 116 advocacy campaigns and initiatives, 30 of which were Covid-19 related.

Since March 2020, our biggest challenge has been and remains the Covid-19 Pandemic which completely shifted our operational dynamics during the second half of the 2018-2020 Biennium. Despite all odds and in true Soroptimist spirit, we remained resilient and steadfast in our purpose and embraced the new normal without a misstep. This demanded a radical shift to embrace technology. I am pleased to proudly declare that all the 13 Country Clubs have adapted very fast to the digital space. Kenyan Soroptimists are actively participating in virtual meetings locally, nationally and globally and this is very commendable. Our path towards the introduction of virtual clubs is already well defined. As the 2018-2020 team exits the stage, I take this opportunity to urge all Kenyan Soroptimists to embrace unity, tolerance and friendship in our diversity. We have a common Mission and Vision and we should not lose sight of this fact as We Stand Up for Women!

I thank each and every Kenyan Soroptimist and all our local and external Soroptimist and non-Soroptimist partners who contributed to the success of the 2018-2020 Biennium. I wish the incoming Board (2020 - 2022 Biennium) success in all their endeavours

In friendship,

Juliet Wamiri Karung’o

IPP – SI Kenya Country