FAWCO held its Interim Meeting in the hills south of Frankfurt, Germany on March 11-13, 2016 with 117 delegates from 38 member clubs representing FAWCO’s 12,000 members worldwide. AWC Hamburg was represented by 5 delegates. The meeting was a perfectly organized, action-packed 48 hours that focused on FAWCO and club business while still providing time for networking! Kudos to the meeting Co-Chairs Angelika McLarren and My-Linh Kunst (AWC Berlin) and the Registrar Tracy Moede (AWC Hamburg)! Many thanks to Abby M. (AWC Hamburg) and Conrad M. for arranging for a very generous donation of a beautiful Yogi Tea gift for each delegate!
Welcome and Gala Dinner
The meeting got off to a good start on Friday. A Welcome and Orientation for first-time attendees was followed by the session Face-to-Face: Getting to Know FAWCO. This sessions gave participants the chance to talk to all of FAWCO's Task Force and Committee Chairs in an informal setting, to learn what they are doing and planning, and to request more information.
The opening dinner Celebrating 85 Years of FAWCO was very festive. One birthday present was three videos, produced by Rick Chizmadia, documenting FAWCO's history from 1931 through 2015. The FAWCO 80th Anniversary Video Part I and Part II and the 85th Anniversary Video can be viewed on YouTube. Another birthday present was the update by Georgia Regnault (AWC The Hague) and Nancy Thornley of the Red Book. It is a real treasure and well-worth taking a look at the history of FAWCO from 1931 to 2015! For photos of the gala evening, click here.
Highlights of the Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The Rebranding Task Force under Chair Kathleen Simon worked with internationally experienced brand consultants Edwin and Sanja Schmidheiny of Accent Brand Consultants AG Zurich to develop a contemporary logo, tagline and mission statement. The rebranding presentations were fascinating. There were many standing ovations during the process and the logo, tagline and mission statement were voted on and approved. Everyone is very excited about taking FAWCO into the future. As the first step, the FAWCO website will be changing to match the new brand and will be easier to use.
Mission Statement: FAWCO is an international federation of independent organizations whose mission is to build strong support networks for its American and international membership; to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide; to advocate for the rights of U.S. citizens overseas; and to mobilize the skills of its membership in support of global initiatives for education, the environment, health and human rights.
The Target Project 2.0 ended with an amazing $172,000 raised for Free the Girls. Congratulations to AWC Hamburg for making Platinum Donor on the Club Donor Wall!
The theme of the Target Program 3.0 2016—2019 is Education—Empowering Women and Girls through Knowledge and Skills. A monthly Target Program: Education Bulletin will keep you up-to-date and informeed.
The 2016 Symposium Stand Up Against Human Trafficking is a joint project of FAWCO and the FAWCO Foundation. FAWCO exclusive events will be held on October 6–7 in Amsterdam and the Symposium itself will be open to the public October 7–9 in The Hague.
The Development Grants and Education Awards were presented by Tracy M., FAWCO Foundation VP Programs. The recipients of the 2016 Grants and Awards are all on the Foundation website. There was even a workshop on how to draft a winning an application. If you would like to submit an application, Tracy can give you first-hand advice.
The US issues were monitored by Lucy Laederich. Cora Lee Findley (AW Eastern Province), who represented FAWCO at Overseas American Week in Washington D.C., is the new US Tax and Banking Chair. We were reminded to contact our legislators about the "passport revocation" threat. For more information and a model letter, click here
The report of UN issues touched upon the work of the UN Team; the 60th session of the Committee on the Status of Women; the Sustainable Development Goals, launched in September 2015; and the 2030 Agenda. If you haven't already, please sign on to support electing a woman UN Secretary General.
The FAWCO Youth Program has been very popular. The fourth FAWCO Youth Cultural Volunteers Program will take place in Dublin, Ireland from June 7–12, 2016. Last year's program took place in Mumbai, India and was a huge success! The 2014 FAWCO Youth Ambassador Julia Goldsby showed her new video FAWCO - Inspiring Women Worldwide.
The 2017 Biennial Conference will be held in Mumbai, India on March 30 to April 2, 2017! It will be an amazing conference hosted by AWC Mumbai.They are working to keep costs down and the wine has already been donated. There will be stunning pre- and post-conference packages.
There was an extensive and impressive offering of 45-minute workshops on themes relevant to FAWCO and member clubs: How to Build FAWCO's Ideal Budget, How to Conduct a Regional Meeting, How to Run a Meeting, How to be a FAWCO Rep, How to Make the Best Use of FAWCO Publications, How to Creatively Increase Membership, US Issues, Repatriation Issues, and UN Issues. The workshops were schedule parallel and alternating, so that it was possible to attend all of them. They were interesting, fun and educational!
Foundation Night: Wind Beneath our Wings
Members donned feathers and wings for Foundation Night featuring a Silent Auction, a Live Auction and a big Trivia game with all attendees participating. The Foundation raised over €30,000 through the auctions, raffles and donations.
The costume contest was a lively affair with judging using the always popular Clap-o-Meter. This year's winner was Wendy Leyland (AAWE Paris) with her beautiful black and purple feathers and headdress. Susan S.-W. (AWC Hamburg) was in the top four. Click here for some fabulous photos of the evening. (Carol Strametz)