December 10 (Human Rights Day), marks the start of the International President's Appeal, which apart from the attendance at the Commission on the Status of Women, is the only occasion on which the 4 Federations are united in action.  Soroptimists are asked to make some small personal sacrifice and donate the money saved to a project chosen by the President of Soroptimist International. Clubs are also encouraged to conduct special fund raising for the Appeal.

Since its inception in 1981 by the then President, Catherine Salt, President's Appeals have:

  • addressed a variety of social and health issues including trafficking of women and children, land mines, HIV AIDS and malaria.
  • helped women towards economic independence in Paraguay, India, Bangladesh, Tokelau, Lesotho and Mauretania;
  • supported refugees and the homeless in the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic and Malaysia;
  • educated girls in India, China and Africa;
  • supported decreasing maternal and infant mortality in PNG, through medial education projects
  • supported four projects in Nepal, with a focus on improving the lives of women and girls through Education, Empowerment and Enabling Opportunities.



The Soroptimst International President's Appeal 2017-2019, supports projects that EDUCATE, EMPOWER AND ENABLE WOMEN AND GIRLS, ensuring they have the capacity, experience and education to manage water resources and gain careers in water related professions. 


Water is Life

Safe, accessible water is crucial to preserving life. Water fuels our bodies, cleans our homes and clothes, drives industry, generates energy and irrigates the crops which feed the popu­lation. Growth in the world’s population and indus­trialisation, together with climate change and demographic shifts, all lead to an increased demand for water. Annually, four billion people experience severe water scarcity . Additionally, 663 mil­lion people lack ready access to improved sources of drinking water (World Water Development Report 2016). Women and girls are disproportionately affected – instead of earning an income or attending school, they are forced to be the primary water carriers for their families

Water and Women

It is increasingly accepted that women should play an important role in water management. Women are experts, agents of change, and perform an important role in achieving equitable access to water for all, and for all uses. Despite positive steps taken in past decades, the potential contributions of women in water development remain largely untapped, inhibit­ing women’s economic empowerment. Of the millions of paid water-related jobs worldwide, currently less than 17% of the positions are filled by women. Their expertise, if harnessed through education and empowerment, could position women as effective leaders.

Support the Cause

Soroptimists are invited to support Women, Water & Leadership, once again joining with the SI membership around the world for a common goal. Clubs or members can make a donation through their own Federation or you might hold a fundraiser, and use social media and websites to create awareness.

By uniting the four Soroptimist Federations, ‘Women, Water and Leadership’ seeks to reach the goal of raising £350,000, over two years, empowering at least 500 women to be self-supporting and to enable and educate at least 100 women to move into leadership.

To read more information about the SI President's Appeal visit the Soroptimist International site

To access Women Water & Leadership presentations, information documents and logo, SWP Members can access this information folder here

Nepal logo

By uniting the four Soroptimist Federations, ‘Educate to Lead: Nepal’ is able impact the lives of over 1,000 women and girls in Nepal. There are many women and girls that need help – these are ‘Our women and girls’”.  This project currently supports four projects in Nepal, with a focus on improving the lives of women and girls through Education, Empowerment and Enabling Opportunities. 

Click the link to view the latest presentation about this project, or Click the link to read more about this current project

Note: President's Appeal - Educate to Lead Nepal 2015-2017 has now closed. Donations for this program are no longer being accepted.

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Soroptimist International President, Ann Garvie choose “See Solar, Cook Solar” for her International President’s Appeal: “Can you imagine finding time to earn your living if you had to spend hours every day collecting firewood? Or how you would study with no electric light in the evening?".   One quarter of the world’s population do not have reliable access to electricity; 70% of these are women and girls living in developing countries.

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Soroptimist International President Alice Wells, choose Birthing in the Pacific for her President's appeal, Alice says: “When I first learned of this project as SI President Elect, I was immediately touched by the fact that it was a South West Pacific Federation sponsored project which truly supported: a) women helping women; b) education and leadership; c) a project where Soroptimist would get credit for the work being done. In addition, I also saw it as a project that could hopefully be implemented in other Federations. After visiting PNG in 2012, I was even more convinced that this project could truly be life-changing for these women and their families in Papua New Guinea”.

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