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Soroptimist International of Europe

Soroptimists help improve the environment and promote sustainability

5 – Sustainable Environment

Through a great variety of different projects, Soroptimists address the specific environmental needs of women and girls by improving environmental sustainability and mitigating the effects of climate change and natural and man-made disasters.

Our projects in the area of sustainable environment include sustainable farming initiatives, waste management, greening initiatives, the building and refurbishment of sanitary facilities

We actively advocate for greater environmental sustainability at the local, national and international levels.

Working towards a sustainable environment is also the focus of all Soroptimist projects for the period of 2013-2015 – please continue reading this page for more information.

Some recent projects in the SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT area:

  • In 2012, Soroptimists in Madagascar initiated a botanical garden which saw the planting of hundreds of trees in the village of Ambohidehilahy, the building of a drinking water supply system, and an irrigation dam. The project aims to create a botanical garden that would not only alleviate environmental degradation but attract visitors and thus generate income for the community.
  • Soroptimists from Lysekil in Sweden have for several years now been facilitating access to clean water for women and girls in developing countries. Their fundraising activities have generated more than EUR 50,000 over the last 5 years. The proceeds have been used to finance the improvement of a water supply system for the inhabitants of a village in Tanzania by digging wells, creating a water supply system to the local school, and installing water tanks for crop cultivation. Since 2013, the project has shifted focus to the installation of clean water and sanitary facilities in the area around Budhiganga, in western Nepal.
  • For this project, Soroptimists from Eldoret in Kenya provided four groups of women with LED lamps and solar chargers and asked the women to use the money saved from not buying kerosene for lamps to invest in more lamps for other women in their group until each had two LED lamps and a solar panel. Moreover, participants started using the solar panels to charge cell phones for a small fee, thus generating some income. Each participant also received a fireless cooker, a heavily insulated basket for transporting food, and was required to plant at least 20 trees on her property. This project is reducing the use of fossil fuels, improving the health of women and children, and providing a source of income for rural families. This model has since been replicated by other women’s groups.
  • In 2011, Soroptimists in Ankara, Turkey, created a forest in an area approximately 30km from Ankara’s city centre in the proximity of some wetlands in order to alleviate droughts and environmental degradation stemming from climate change and rapid urbanisation. In addition, each year, in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry, Soroptimists from Ankara plant 50-60 trees in order to increase environmental awareness.