President's Corner

Celebrating the 2016 Zonta Service Recognition Award winners

12 October 2016

Zonta International’s mission is empowering women through service and advocacy. Part of that service means providing the tools and education for women and girls to make independent decisions and live free of violence.

That also means diligent work from Zonta districts, clubs and individual club members. There are Zonta clubs all over the world, sometimes in vastly different regions within the same country, so each club has service opportunities unique to their location. Clubs identify local issues to address specific needs in their community while focusing on Zonta’s mission to empower women.

The Zonta Service Recognition Award was established during the 2012-2014 biennium to highlight outstanding service work that improves the lives of women and girls. The awards are presented at the end of each biennium during the Zonta International Convention.

District Winners
This year’s first place district winner is District 17 for ending gender based violence, early marriage and preventing teenage pregnancy through education. To ensure that women have a healthy and safe delivery, second place winner, District 5, assembled birthing kits with basic supplies needed by doctors in more remote regions of the world. Third place winner, District 12, created a public display called Silent Witness where members of their community could read the stories of local survivors of gender based violence.

Club Winners
The issue of trafficking and unsafe migration was the focus of the Zonta Club of Quezon City’s service by providing training for vulnerable overseas workers, which earned them first place. The Zonta Club of Madras (second place) arranged medical screenings for women in Kanadapalayam villages. Survivors of rape, abuse and trafficking were given psychological care because of the work of the Zonta Club of Makati & Environs (third place). The Zonta Club of Adelaide Inc (fourth place) shared stories of local survivors in a display called Walk In My Shoes. The Zonta Foothills Club of Boulder Co (fifth place) empowered at-risk girls through literacy, college preparedness and leadership. The issue of women experiencing alcoholism, incest and assault in small communities in Greenland was identified by the Zonta Club of Sønderborg (fifth place), which then organized a rehabilitation workshop.). School washroom facilities for girls were constructed in Uganda by the Zonta Club of Damme (sixth place).

While these service projects are uniquely different, they are unified by Zonta’s mission. Each project also aligns with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal Number 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. As future service projects are considered by clubs and districts, it is important to relate strong service work to Zonta’s mission and Goal Number 5. How will you and your club address Goal Number 5 this biennium? Let us know how your club is impacting your community; Share your story on the Zonta International website and social media. 




Susanne von Bassewitz is the 2018-2020 President of Zonta International and the Zonta International Foundation.

»Read her biography.