Souella Cumming, Governor 2018 – 2020
Honour and Empower
The 2018 – 2020 biennium is a significant one for Zonta International as we celebrate 100 years of service and advocacy to women and girls globally. The Centennial Anniversary Biennium offers new opportunities for service, advocacy and Zonta engagement, while building on the solid achievements of the past, and I am delighted to be working with the 2018 – 2020 District 16 Board to honour those who have come before us and empower the next generation of leaders.
President Susanne von Bassewitz has set three clear goals for the biennium:
1) We maximize our impact through service and advocacy initiatives and educational programs that empower women and girls.
2) We strengthen our resources to support our mission.
3) We enhance our profile around the world through our centennial anniversary activities.
Underpinning this is our continued commitment to ending violence against women through Zonta International’s partnership with United Nations agencies, with a major focus on ending child marriage. The aim is to lay the ground for Ending Child Marriage to become a signature project for Zonta International, with US$2 million committed in this biennium. Other International projects include Let Us Learn Madagascar, an integrated programme for adolescent girls, and Eid Bi Eid (Hand in Hand), a programme to improve the resilience and empowerment of Syrian refugee and vulnerable Jordanian women. A pilot scholarship for women in technology will complement existing educational awards and scholarships. The centenary will be celebrated in a number of ways including Centennial Anniversary Awards and Grants.
From a District 16 perspective we have an exciting new District Project – Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Aotearoa (PADA) where we are funding the Educator Project to ensure that there is awareness of, and access to resources available to support women suffering from depression during and following their pregnancies.
We are also celebrating the centenary by holding a joint conference with the three Australian Districts (Districts 22, 23 and 24), the opportunity for Zonta members across both countries to share good practices and to hear from a range of inspirational speakers. A once in a lifetime opportunity for us all.
We have strong community support and during 2018 – 2020 we will continue to build a vibrant network of Clubs and members, focused on our vision, and provide a strong advocacy voice for those who struggle to be heard.
I, together with the District 16 Board, look forward to working with you during the important biennium, and to meeting as many of you as we can through the Area Meetings, Club events and celebrations and at the 2019 Conference.