A MEMBER of Soroptimist International of Yeovil, Sherborne & Districts will be in India later this month to present books and other essential scholastic supplies to three teenage girls whose higher education is being paid for by funds raised in Somerset and Dorset.

Jackie Mosedale, who has been President of the local club four times, will meet the students during celebrations to mark the tenth anniversary of Soroptimist International of Bangalore, which is supporting the students under its Shining Stars project. 

Soroptimist International of Yeovil, Sherborne & Districts have pledged to give £300 a year, over three years, to help the Bangalore teenagers.

Three fundraising events so far have provided just over £1,000 and the first £300 was sent to Bangalore last year. 

An initial £400 was raised by a coffee morning in Sherborne, at the home of a club member, and a coffee morning at the Mason’s Arms in Odcombe provided £230. 

A further £400 resulted from a presentation on the history of jewellery by an expert from auctioneers Bonhams South West, followed by the opportunity for members of the audience to have personal items described, dated and valued. 

This was a well-attended event held at The Manor Hotel in Yeovil in September.

Jackie Mosedale has maintained strong links with the Bangalore branch since presenting them with their charter ten years ago.  

She said: “One of the benefits of giving money to help women and girls being supported by Soroptimists is that people know the money is handed over in its entirety to the cause concerned.” 

The three girls – Vimala, Gracie and Mala - are all from lower socio-economic backgrounds and have been successful in their general schooling but do not have funds to continue into higher education. 

Mala and Gracie are undertaking courses for Bachelor of Arts and Vimla for a Bachelor of Commerce.  They give feedback about their courses, and their lives in general, and receive ongoing help from their mentors in the Bangalore Soroptimists group.

“By maximising their educational potential these girls will have the chance to become financially independent and support their families.  Their own children are then likely to be well educated and will gradually lift their families from poverty,” Jackie explained.