Murray Bridge Soroptimists' community projects

One of many activities: Soroptimist International Murray Bridge's 2016 open garden fundraising event. Photo: Supplied.
One of many activities: Soroptimist International Murray Bridge's 2016 open garden fundraising event. Photo: Supplied.

At their last meeting members of Soroptimist International Murray Bridge reviewed the projects which they sponsor.

Several years ago the Club contributed towards the furnishing of the Palliative Care Unit at the Murray Bridge Soldiers Memorial Hospital. There are suggestions that it may need to be revisited for an upgrade. The family room at the hospital, also furnished by the Club, is hugely popular with families, giving all members an opportunity to bond with their new arrival.

Soroptimists became involved with the Breakfast Club at Fraser Park Primary School in 2004. This initiative has won accolades in the Premier’s Awards several times. Teachers say it improves student potential, with less absenteeism, and better student concentration. It was estimated that well over 10,000 meals had been served over that time.

Another long established project is an annual $2000 scholarship offered to a Year 12 student about to take up tertiary studies.

The most recent project is the establishment of a Wig Library for those who have lost their hair. There is great community interest in this initiative, with generous donations from other service clubs and members of the public.

Looking further afield, a project supported by Soroptimists worldwide is “Birthing in the Pacific”. This is focused on Papua New Guinea, where until recently there were only a handful of midwives, despite so many women living in remote villages, with no access to towns except by foot. Moneys raised has trained midwives and birthing assistants who can travel to isolated locations. They are issued with basic kits, valued at just a few dollars each, but able to save the lives of newborn babies and their mothers.

The current international project, “Sanctuary Shelter for Women,” provides emergency shelters for women and children who are victims of violence and national disaster, initially in Fiji.

The Club makes an annual donation to assist a village in Cambodia, and locally is involved with International Women’s Day, the Mental Health Expo and the annual White Ribbon event.

There has been interest in how money is raised to fund all these projects. A long standing tradition has been an annual wine bottling day. Members sell around 150 dozen bottles of wine to their appreciative family and friends under a distinctive Soroptimist Murray Bridge label. This year’s wines were discussed.

One Club member has a house with a magnificent garden at Aldgate which has been “open” several days over the last five years. Up to 200 people attend each year and, including the sale of plants, around $2000 is raised.

All projects aim to improve the quality of life for women and children, wherever the need arises. Members believe they are helping make a difference in the community and the world.

Soroptimist International Murray Bridge welcomes new members.

For more information visit their Facebook page or email