Lorraine Markin

Zonta Club members gather in Nanaimo to discuss empowering women

NANAIMO - Zonta Club members from Nanaimo, Victoria and the Pacific Northwest gather in Harbour city for Governor's Seminar.

Zonta Club members strive to improve the lives of women and girls around the world.

The international organization stands up to violence against women, advocates for the status of women, gender equality and helps provide educational opportunities through scholarships.

“We just want women to stand up and be who they are and aren’t punished for who they are, not only here in Nanaimo, but around the world,” said Marg Fraser, past president of Zonta Club of Nanaimo.

About 100 members from Zonta District 8, which encompasses Nanaimo, Victoria, Washington, Oregon and Idaho clubs, are meeting in the Harbour City for the Governor’s Seminar from Friday to Sunday (Sept. 23-25) at the Coast Bastion Inn.

The seminar is hosted by Zonta Club of Nanaimo and Victoria. The theme of the event is Give Her a Voice.

Speakers include Sheila Malcolmson, Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP; Kennedy Baker a Vancouver Island University student who will talk about her struggles with bullying and her effort to support programs to help the homeless; Cheryl Warsh, a VIU professor specializing in women’s medical, cultural and family history; Helena Marie producer of the film Crazy Love will speak about her work that deals with domestic violence and a VIU nursing student Nadifo Ali Abdi who lived in a refugee camp in Kenya will share her experiences.

Other speakers include Katherine Cleland, past chairwoman of Zonta International public relations and Celia White, who received the Zonta International Award and works to create sustainable food systems on post-secondary campuses.

“It’s amazing to hear those stories,” said Fraser.

Fraser said Baker’s story is very poignant.

“She was a high school student who had an illness and who was bullied in her school,” said Fraser. “Instead of falling victim to that she found her own voice and began to reach out to help others.”

Baker created the non-profit organization Stand when she was 17, which helps provide support to Canadians living below the poverty line.

Lorraine Markin, area director of Zonta District 8 and a member of Zonta Club of Victoria, said the seminars are important to share ideas and determine what  activities members can do to raise money to support organizations in their community or carry out advocacy work.

The seminars also help to inspire and reinvigorate members so they head back to their communities with renewed motivation, said Markin.

The Vancouver Island Zonta Clubs support a number of organizations including Haven Society, Samaritan House, the Vancouver Island Crisis Centre, Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. and others.

Earlier this month the City of Nanaimo declared Sept. 19-24 Zonta Club of Nanaimo Week.

Markin said one misconception about Zonta is that the club is for women only, but she said male members are welcome.

For more information please go to www.nanaimozonta.ca.

Just Posted

Nanaimo boxers will look to land punches for Ringside Rescue program

Nanaimo Boxing Club holding a fundraiser card Saturday, Nov. 23, at Departure Bay Activity Centre

Harbour City Theatre Alliance builds on tradition with ‘A Christmas Carol’

Local adaptation of the Christmas classic returns to Nanaimo starting Nov. 21

Nanaimo and District Crime Stoppers encourages document shredding

Shredding Day fundraiser happens Saturday, Nov. 23, at Save-On-Foods Brooks Landing

Student tells Nanaimo courtroom she wasn’t allowed to leave indigenous smudging ceremony

Girl cross-examined Monday in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Nanaimo woman seeks knitters to make blankets for cats

Dale Burke inspired by creator of Comfort for Critters

Harbour City Theatre Alliance builds on tradition with ‘A Christmas Carol’

Local adaptation of the Christmas classic returns to Nanaimo starting Nov. 21

Island student lobbies school board for dress code consistency

Jaylene Kuo contacted school trustees after seeing dress guidelines at brother’s school

Bidders down, costs up for Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Members of little people community applaud change to drop ‘midget’ term

‘It’s not about sensitivity,’ says Allan Redford, the president of the Little People of Canada

Little progress in preventing sudden infant deaths since last report: BC Coroner

Coroners panel studied 141 sleep-related sudden infant deaths between 2013 and 2018

Dive team searching for missing Cowichan fisherman

Bill Court said family and friends are actively engaged in the search

B.C.’s ‘Dr. Frankenstein of guns’ back in jail yet again for trafficking in Glock parts

Bradley Michael Friesen has parole revoked for allegedly importing gun parts yet again

B.C. woman suing after laser hair removal leaves her with ‘severe’ burns, scarring

Nadeau felt ‘far more pain’ than usual during the treatment

$2.9 million judgment in B.C. blueberry farm sabotage lawsuit

The new owners saw most of their farm ruined just as they took possession

Most Read