The recently concluded Zonta International District 17 Conference will go down in history as the first-ever virtual event, and it had to be the Zonta Clubs of Bangkok to give credit to!
Zonta Int’l District 17 governor Pamela Chavali Osthanugrah welcomed the delegates to the four-day conference, thus “united as Zontians in achieving Zonta Int’l’s objectives, as well as District 17’s.”
“The conference is still made possible at a safe distance, despite the challenges of the pandemic, in the respective homes of the Zontians,” Osthanugrah said.
The theme was “Unity and Safety.” Osthanugrah continued: “The link to the future is now. Let us embrace the new normal optimism for women through the three Rs: Recover, Rebuild and Rehabilitate.”
Another inspiring message was given by H.E. Chuti Krairirks of Social Development and Human Security, Royal Thai Government, with his opening remarks. “Unity for women and girls means uniting our sectors in eliminating stereotypes and instilling gender equality norms in society.”
An invitation from Zonta Int’l president Sharon Langenbeck reminded Zontians to continue their initiative to combat violence against women. “Participate in ‘Zonta Says No To Violence Against Women’ Campaign,” she stated. Raising awareness and inspiring actions are the two other options districts and areas can do as well.
Invigorating workshops were in focus on Day 2, with three sessions: “Gender Responsive Budgeting,” which mentioned that the Philippines was the first in Asia to initiate this; “Prevention of Violence Against Women,” which showed the contributions of the Philippine National Police making use of social media for a violence-free and gender-fair society. During the third session, “Become Climate Change Citizen Scientists,” attendees were encouraged to be aware of how to mitigate climate change in their communities and daily lives.
The superbly organized District 17 Conference commenced Day 3 with past district governor, Manila-based Georgitta ”Beng” Puyat, awarding prizes to the winners of the photo contest: 1st Place, Zonta Club of Ilocos Norte; 2nd and 3rd Place went to Zonta Clubs of Bangkok X and XI, respectively. Likewise, Zonta Clubs in the district were honored for their outstanding donations.
There were five more empowered ladies: Leung Ka Chi for the 2020 Int’l and District Young Women in Public Affairs; Shu Ming Wu, 2020 Int’l Amelia Earheart Award; Lok Yan Joyce Chiu for the 2020 Int’l and District Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship Award; Qing Xie, 2021 International Amelia Earheart Award; and Chloe Lau, 2021 Int’l and District Young Women in Public Affairs Award.
Top Governor’s Awards marked Day 4, the last conference day, with awards committee vice-chairperson Olivia Ferry doing the honors with other committee members in awarding highest scores in the club’s various projects.
Categories were Service, Advocacy In Covid-19, Education in Leadership Initiatives delivering Zonta’s mission and vision, and for the success of Organization and Extension, Growth in new clubs and membership.
Last but certainly not the least, the Zonta Club of Cebu 2 is mighty proud of the following Outstanding District Awards: District Governor’s Diamond Award for Outstanding Club Performance in Area 3; Best Advocacy Project Silver Award; Leadership Development Bronze Award; Best Local Service Project Merit Award; and Best Local Covid-19 Project Merit Award.
With great appreciation, the Zonta Club of Cebu 2 would also like to award Merry Melle Aguilar and her team, students of Media Communication at St. Theresa’s College in Cebu for her valuable assistance in preparing this article.
Hip, Hip, Hooray!