Amsterdam, Netherlands (WiredPRNews.com) — Soroptimist International of Europe (www.soroptimisteurope.org) this week announced that Fabien Cousteau, the renowned French aquatic filmmaker and oceanographic explorer, and the grandson of the legendary oceanographic explorer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, has agreed to be a keynote speaker at the organisation’s 19th European Congress in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from 10 to 12 July this year.
Cousteau will focus his speech on, among other things, the urgent need on the part of the developed world to facilitate in making clean, drinkable water available to impoverished communities in developing nations; a need that is also expressed in the theme of this year’s congress: ‘Soroptimists Go For Water!’
According to incumbent President of Soroptimist International of Europe, Mariet Verhoef-Cohen: “We need to take swift and decisive action rather than create more policies. Sanitation is fundamental to dignity, and water is the essence of life. As women are always central when it comes to providing the necessities of life, it stands to reason that we actively contribute to this incentive.” The name Soroptimist stands for ‘sorores’ or ‘sisters’ and ‘optimum’ or ‘the best; in other words, ‘the best for women’.
Soroptimist International of Europe is currently involved in scores of water-related and other projects to empower women and children in Africa, Eastern Europe, Haiti, including drilling and constructing clean water wells, pumps and building schools and sanitation and healthcare facilities in remote villages that are often overlooked by local authorities.
According to Immediate Past President, Monique Rivière: “As 2005 – 2015 is the UN Decade of Fresh Water and Basic Sanitation, Soroptimist International of Europe will actively contribute to the UN Millennium Development Goal ‘to halve the number of people living without sustainable access to safe (and affordable) drinking water and to basic sanitation by 2015.”
Fabien Cousteau, who frequently accompanied his famous grandfather and father on their sea voyages, states in a number of video interviews that are available for viewing on the website of Soroptimist International of Europe, www.soroptimisteurope.org that “the efforts that the Soroptimists are making in less privileged communities, by building wells and making clean water available to those communities, is paramount to life, as this not only fulfils a basic need, but it also helps to combat diseases and mortality amongst women and children.”
All Soroptimist projects are developed and implemented as partnerships between European clubs and the women of the local clubs in the developing nations, including in Mali, Senegal, Benin, Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Haiti, Madagascar and many other countries. The funding is made available thanks to private and corporate donations to Soroptimist International of Europe. President Verhoef-Cohen emphasizes that “every penny that is donated to the Soroptimists is invested directly in our projects in the underprivileged communities of Europe and Africa. Not one penny is kept.”
For more detailed information on Soroptimist International of Europe, please contact Executive Officer, Jenifer Beles at [email protected]
Or visit our websites: http://www.soroptimisteurope.org and http://www.soroptimistsgoforwater.nl
For more information on this press release, please contact Michèle Aimé at [email protected]