When I began my term as president, I introduced the biennial theme: "Transitions, Changes and New Opportunities." I would never have imagined just how much this theme foreshadowed what was to come. However, Zontians have embraced the theme with resilience and strength amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We have risen to the challenges with dedication, kindness and flexibility.
These last two years, we have had to shift our interactions from in-person to virtual while thinking of creative ways to empower women and girls in this new "normal." It has been heartwarming to see our members take action through their clubs, and we should all be inspired by their efforts.
Our founding members started Zonta not only to provide a space for professional women but also to address the challenges they faced. As we start Zonta's second century, we can see more challenges than we did at the end of our first century. All around us, women's and girls' rights and safety are being threatened across the globe. Therefore, like our founders, we need to take inspiration from them and continue our proud tradition of being bold, present and supportive while maintaining our fellowship as Zonta's impact is stronger when we work together.
Looking back at our collective actions, I have no doubt we have had a successful biennium. That is why I would like for you to take a moment to reflect on what you and your club have accomplished. We have weathered two challenging years positively because Zontians will continue to be the light the world needs.
Finally, I want to thank you for your support and dedication to Zonta International and Zonta Foundation for Women. I cannot emphasize enough how much your work contributes to this biennium's success and our mission. As we walk into the next chapter of our story, I encourage you all to continue to bring that light of Zonta as we set the foundation for our second century.
Sharon Langenbeck, Ph.D.
2020-2022 Biennium Recap
The 2020-2022 Biennium has been an incredible display of what we can do as a group to make our world a better place. When Zontians work together, we can truly make the impossible possible. Thank you so much for all your hard work!
Read some of the Share Your Story submissions below!
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Peru site visit
Recently, President Sharon Langenbeck, Zontians Barby Crabtree, Mari McKenzie and Adriana Otero, and Assistant Executive Director Megan Radavich participated in a site visit to the Adolescent Girls' Health and Protection project.
During their visit, they received a briefing about UNICEF's work in Peru at the UNICEF Peru country office, visited the San Isidro and El Arenal schools and the 9 de Octubre Health Center in Pucallpa, Peru, and more! Details about their visit can be found on social media and soon on the Zonta website.
Zontians In Action
Clubs and members have made great strides to empower women and their community and build each other up. During this biennium, we have received more than 380 club actions from around the world. Read the stories below that highlight some of the clubs' fantastic work.
Zonta Club of Ibadan I empowers girls through education
Zonta Club of Kankakee presents "What I was Wearing!"
The Zonta Club of Ibadan I, Nigeria, believes that education raises women's standard of living and contributes to the ripple of positive change in their community and country. The club has worked above and beyond to empower local females through education during this biennium.
Keep Girls in School project
By providing funding, the club has helped continue the education of 12 girls from various secondary schools and higher institutions through its Keep Girls in School project and its scholarships. On 2 April, the club conducted an awards ceremony to recognize exceptional local female students with scholarships.
STEM Needs Girls project
The STEM Needs Girls project is another club initative. Launched on 14 October 2020, in commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child, the project aims to dispel stereotypes, break cultural norms, close the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math careers and keep more girls in those fields. Since then, the club has trained more than 200 secondary school girls in coding.
The club has also conducted a free STEM workshop for teachers to enhance the teaching of STEM subjects and train them on how to encourage girls to pursue STEM careers. The participants were empowered with skills to integrate technology into STEM teaching, and they learned online and offline simulations, interactive documents for data analysis and virtual laboratories.
With a local sexual assault center, the Zonta Club of Kankakee, IL, USA, hosted a "What I was Wearing!" exhibition as a part of their Take Back the Night event.
The exhibit had a collection of 18 outfits and stories from anonymous individuals who survived sexual assault in the Kankakee County community. Since clothing is typically taken as evidence in sexual assault cases, the clothing on display is not the actual articles that the individuals wore at the time of their assault but a copy of it. Stories about the survivors and their sexual assault accounts accompanied each outfit.
The event helped attendees understand that clothing has nothing to do with sexual violence.
Share Your Story
Congratulations to the Zonta Club of Midland, USA, District 15, on celebrating its 75th anniversary this month!
To see which other clubs are celebrating a milestone anniversary in June, please visit Zonta News
Watch now on-demand: Meet May's Remarkable Women, Zontian Sangya Malla. Sangya is the Chief of the MONUSCO Police Health and Environment Unit and the 2021 United Nations Woman Police Officer of the Year.