Soroptimist International of Saratoga County

Soroptimist is a global women’s organization whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Approximately 80,000 Soroptimists in 130 countries and territories support community–based and global projects benefiting women and girls.

For more information about Soroptimist and programs that improve the lives of women and girls, visit Soroptimist.org.

Latest News

Sep 30, 2012

September 2012: Ron Deutsch (518) 469-6769 | Mark Bertrand (518) 727-8960 SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY

Imagine having to give birth in a mud hut with a dirt floor and no medical professional.  This is the reality for women who live in Kagoma Gate Village, Uganda — a community declared by its government to be the poorest village in the country.  But no more!

The Giving Circle, Inc., an all-volunteer local charity based in Saratoga Springs, is partnering with Soroptimist International of Saratoga County (SISC) to build a birthing center and health clinic in Kagoma Gate Village. SISC recently awarded The Giving Circle $7,000 to build the center, which will significantly improve the lives of women and children in the 800 person village. “This generous donation from Soroptimist International of Saratoga will save the lives of many women and children in this forgotten village.  We cannot thank them enough and are very proud to partner with them,” said Ron Deutsch, President of the Giving Circle.

Lyn Whaley, SISC’s president, said, “Soroptimist helps other women and girls by giving them the resources to create positive change — for themselves, their families, their communities and the world. What better way for our Saratoga club to implement this mission than by working alongside The Giving Circle to improve the birthing process in Kagoma Gate. We felt so strongly about this effort that we provided The Giving Circle with the largest grant our club has ever donated to a single initiative.”

Mark Bertrand, founder of the Giving Circle and Uganda Team Leader said, “The Soroptimist Birthing Center and Health Clinic is critically needed in Kagoma Gate.  I have traveled to this village many times now and am always shocked at the horrible living conditions.  Children die everyday of malnutrition and preventable disease in this village. This new facility, along with other community improvements such as the school, drinking water well and latrines, will vastly improve the lives of the people of Kagoma Gate.”   Bertrand noted that while at Kagoma Gate a 2 ½ year old child died of malaria (due to lack of access to simple medicines) but the Team was able to save two other children suffering from starvation and infection.

Over two dozen members of the Giving Circle team just returned from a two-week mission to Uganda.  Many Saratoga residents journeyed to Kagoma Gate to build a much needed school in the village. Ally Cirenza, a Saratoga Springs High School Senior, who made a trip to Uganda this past winter with AOET, raised thousands of dollars by holding a Run-a-thon at Saratoga High with the help of the running team and other students.  More than $1000 of the funds will also go to support the health clinic with the balance of her raised funds donated to AOET, a Ugandan based charity that works closely with the Giving Circle.The Giving Circle volunteers nearly completed the first school in Kagoma Gate, conducted workshops and projects on health, hygiene, education, farming, sewing, and small business management (to name a few) and offered recreational activities and nourishing food.  They visited each and every one of our sponsored children and delivered the care packages from Saratoga residents. Watch their latest video.

The Giving Circle continues to raise funds for the work they are doing locally, nationally and internationally. The School in Kagoma Gate is almost finished but they still need to raise money for completion of the school, desks, uniforms and books. The Giving Circle’s website allows people to go and buy virtual bricks for $5.00 a piece to help finish the school and rebuild the lives of the villagers.  Ten bricks will buy one desk that seats 4 children. Each brick purchase brings the Giving Circle closer to their goal of making a better life for people around the world.  Bricks can be purchased online.