What we do

We Stand Up For Women

Soroptimist International is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Soroptimists work towards the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, supporting or developing projects to reach our main goal which is improving the status of women and girls.

Education and the fight to stop violence against women are among the top priorities of our club. The members have decided to focus on local projects, making use of their language skills and their links with foreign residents and organisations.


Food Systems Dialogues

“Feed your Optimism.”

Independent Food System* Dialogue.

*A food system is a complex web of activities involving the production, processing, transport, and consumption of food.


Education

“Reduce the gender gap in STEM at all levels of education and research.”

Since 2015 the members have been actively promoting the SIE Scholarship via the Universities of Malaga and Granada. This scholarship for higher education or advanced vocational training is organised every year by Soroptimist International of Europe. Our club has been able to present five candidates, of which three were STEM candidates. Two of them were awarded an SIE scholarship, and the other three have been supported directly by our club.

Aprendo Haciendois the title of a project focusing on children and offering a new way of learning, by doing. With the support of a local constructor the club built a garden for a special needs class at a school in Malaga, a colourful and peaceful surrounding, where the children can learn about growing plants and vegetables. In this case pictures say more than words.


Gender Equality

“Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.”

Since 2008 SI Costa del Sol has been active in this area, with various projects and activities:

  • Public talks (in English and Spanish) and distribution of leaflets (“You Are Not Alone” campaign and Punto Violeta) giving information about the support available for women victims of domestic violence.
  • Participation in regional activities on International Women’s Day (8th March) and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25th November).
  • Participation in the “Orange the World” Campaign (see our photos here).
  • Napkin Campaign: Promoting the helpline of the IAM (Andalucian Women’s Institute); this helpline is available in more than 40 languages.
  • Participation in the VIOGENEX group in Mijas, which co-ordinates support for victims of domestic violence. It consists of representatives of the Social Services, Equality and Foreigners departments; Red Cross; Guardia Civil and Policia Local; Lions Club, Age Care and Soroptimist. One of the contributions of Soroptimist in this group was the creation of a “Magic Book” in four languages containing the protocol to be followed when a case arises.
  • Project Safe House Step 1: Organizing a “Go Bag”, money for food and a place to stay for victims who leave home during the weekend and can’t go back or to a safe house.
  • Project Safe House Step 2: Supporting victims who need help with paperwork or translation in order to get into the system, or help to get back on their feet.

Our dream is a Safe House for victims. We are working towards this dream step by step.


Leadership

“Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.”

In the pipeline: The Soroptimist Female Leadership Academy which will take place in the autumn of 2021. Follow the link for more information:

Female Leadership Academy (Malaga)


Zero Hunger

“With food banking, more hungry people are fed, less food is wasted, more charitable money is spent on addressing the root causes of hunger instead of purchasing food at retail costs, and progress toward an equitable, more sustainable world is made.”

For the last 10 years Soroptimist International Costa del Sol has been supporting families in need in Mijas during the Christmas holidays, providing some special seasonal treats.

During the recent Coronavirus lockdown, which caused instant financial hardship for many local families, our club started fundraising to buy food for the Mijas municipal foodbank run by the local branch of the Spanish Red Cross. In addition to the standard items like rice, pasta, lentils, flour and chickpeas we are adding fresh goods such as potatoes, onions, apples and oranges in order to ensure a healthy diet.


Good Health and Well-Being

“We believe that no one with life-limiting conditions, such as cancer, HIV, or organ failure should live and die with unnecessary pain and distress.”

Every year the club supports CUDECA the local hospice, participating in the Walkathon asking for sponsorship from family and friends.


Climate Action

“Marine litter is both a global and a local challenge. Across the world, an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic waste end up in our oceans every year. Overall, 80% of all marine litter comes from land-based sources.”

At the International Soroptimist Convention in Kuala Lumpur in 2019 the environment was one of the important topics. The members are looking for ways to take action, by being more conscious about plastic waste, eating vegetarian, avoiding food waste and by joining local beach clean ups. The work here is just starting.


No Poverty

“Poverty and poor health are mutually reinforcing. Support Healthy Ageing by preventing older people from falling into poverty: by having flexible retirement policies; ensuring tax-funded minimum pensions; providing social assistance within the home and community for poor older people and for those without family support.”


Sports

“Sports is a cost-effective and powerful tool for promoting important human values such as respect for rules and for others, teamwork, discipline, diversity, hospitality and empathy. By leveraging its social cohesion capabilities, sports can be used to instill these values into young people and curb youth restiveness. This is so because people often set aside religious, tribal or ethnic differences for the love of the game.”

On the 9th of September 2020 SI Costa del Sol signed a 2-year contract with Mijas Union Basket, confirming our sponsorship of the first girls’ basketball team of the club. We will work together over these two years promoting and supporting each other.


International Projects

Especially when working abroad it is important to know that the money is well spent and doesn’t go missing. As a best practise the club has decided to work abroad only when Soroptimists are involved.

The club has been supporting various projects of Soroptimist International, but the biggest International Project of the club was a collaboration between various Soroptimist Clubs in Europe and Africa. Together with SI Freetown, Sierra Leone and with financial support of SI Copenhagen North the club sponsored the construction of several water wells, finishing the project with the improvement of the water supply for a college in Freetown, which was partly funded with money from the SIE Action Fund.


Fund raising

Many of the projects and activities need money, the club has been receiving donations, but is also organising fund raisers, like a golf tournament in memory of Karen Anne McMahon, a member of the club who passed away last year.