Soroptimist International Club of Penang (SI Penang) has been taking charge and reaching out to those in need throughout the pandemic.
SI Penang president Harriet Lim said the club had been quietly working to meet new and urgent needs emerging from the many lockdowns.
“It became apparent that many schoolchildren were unable to follow online classes from home as they did not have electronic devices.
“With the help of schools, we identified those students in need.
“We have provided 223 iPads, laptops and desktops to school- children in the state since May last year,” she said.
Harriet added that those with no internet access at home were given pocket WiFi devices too.
With generous donations from club supporters, SI Penang was also able to provide 15,240 hot and nutritious lunches daily to frontliners at Penang Hospital.
“Currently, SI Penang is distributing 600 Covid Care packs to the homeless around Komtar, at the Goddess of Mercy temple in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and also in Penang Road.
“These care packs contain items like hand sanitiser, face masks, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, face towels and T-shirts as well as snacks.
“These packs are given out in batches of 100.
“We space out the distribution of the packs every six months to ensure there is no wastage,” she said.
Last year, SI Penang was awarded the organisation’s South-West Pacific Federation’s Best Practice Award for its aquaponics project at the Women’s Welfare Council, Penang.
“We have won several international awards, the most recent one in May this year.
“With 27 members, SI Penang was awarded the Federation Membership Best Practice Award for Retention and Extension.”
The club’s ongoing projects are its Good Seconds Sales (donated clothing, household items, books and toys sold to raise funds), SIP Education Fund (which helps students complete their tertiary education) and Blossom Women and Girls (which empowers candidates through learning new skills).
SI Penang was founded and chartered in 1996.
It is part of Soroptimist International, a 100-year-old global entity of 75,000 women who work voluntarily in 132 countries to improve the lives of women and girls.
SI is made up of five federations: SI South-West Pacific, SI Great Britain and Ireland, SI Europe, SI of the Americas and SI Africa.