Celebrating the charter of SI Iskandar Puteri

The charter of Soroptimist International (SI) Club of Iskandar Puteri, the newest SI club in the South West Pacific region, is in tandem with the current development of Johor Baru under the Iskandar Malaysia project.

One for the album: Soroptimist Interntional Club of
Iskandar Puteri with guests at the charter ceremony event
SI is a vibrant organization for professional and business women who are committed to creating a world where women and girls can be guided to achieve their individual and collective potential and have an equal voice in building strong and peaceful communities.

Graced by Soroptimist International South West Pacific president, Theresa Lyford, and guest of honour, Member of Parliament for Pulai, Datuk Haji Abd Rashid Kasman, representing Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Nur Jazlan Tan Sri Mohamed, the recent charter ceremony was also witnessed by guests and SI representatives from clubs established in Bangsar, Damansara, Shah Alam, Kuantan, Penang and Seremban.

SI Iskandar Puteri charter president, Nooraini Datuk Mohd
Yasin, signing the petition witnessed by SI South West
Pacific president, Theresa Lyford
As SI clubs are formed in various districts in the Malaysian states to meet the social needs of the local community, it is timely for Johor Baru to have another SI club to expand the Soroptimist’s work to the community in Iskandar Puteri.

This was the sentiment voiced by Charter President of SI Iskandar Puteri, Nooraini Datuk Mohd Yasin, in her maiden speech during the charter ceremony.

Nooraini, who joined SI Johor Baru in 2011, admitted that when she saw what SI was doing to help the local community, she in awe of the SI sisterhood.

She comes from a small family with just one brother and commented in jest that he was not a very good sister.  While she once missed the joy of having a sister, Nooraini now has more than 100,000 sisters spread across the SI Asia Pacific region!

Through the work of SI Iskandar Puteri, Nooraini aims to empower women and advocates a stop to violence against women and girls.

The signed petition to establish SI Iskandar Puteri
She outlined the SI Iskandar Puteri projects in the pipeline that include greening the schools and parks, clean-up campaigns, advocating the stop of child abuse and creating a shelter for children rescued from prostitution rings.

The projects also include teaching English, Malay and living skills as well as developing economic skills for girls and single mothers in sewing and cooking and to be more self-confident through having better communication skills.

Nooraini also expressed her appreciation to the government for their support of SI’s efforts in developing better communities.

The SI Iskandar Puteri logo
In his speech, Datuk Haji Abd Rashid said that women are recognized as an asset to the nation and their contribution is essential for the nation’s success.

He said women have a special role in nurturing children as these children will grow up to be the future generation of leaders.

On behalf of the Home Affairs Ministry, Abd Rashid announced the gift of RM20,000 to SI Iskandar Puteri as a token of their support to the club in their effort to achieve its goals for the local community.

Lyford congratulated the charter president and charter members of SI Iskandar Puteri which is established in Johor, a state rich in culture and history.

She explained how the word, soroptimist is derived from two Latin words: soro (sister) and optima (the best) to mean a sisterhood of likeminded ladies working together to bring out the best in women and girls.

Nooraini Datuk Mohd Yasin receiving
a bouquet from Soraya Alkaff Gilmour
Lyford, who works in university education in Melbourne, often have the opportunity to travel abroad to visit various countries where she has learnt ways to live, grow and unite.

From her own experience she consistently encourages others to live by the mantra, “innovate, inform and inspire.”

She said SI is an organization where members transform themselves as well as others with whom they are working in education projects like equipping women and girls with living skills and marketing skills.

She hopes that SI Iskandar Puteri will inspire others to join the club and work with SI to shape their own future and the future of the nation through their social work.

After signing the petition to establish the new club and an induction ceremony to present certificates to charter members, the members recited the Soroptimist pledge together.

A short video presented a brief history of Soroptimist International which closed with a succinct phrase that sums up the sentiment of SI members worldwide.  It simply reads, “Charity is for a day, Soroptimism is for life.”

Photos courtesy of Syazana Mohamad Isa

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