The FAWCO Interim Meeting (IM) in The Hague was attended by over 150 members from 35 clubs, representing all of FAWCO's 11 Regions. AWCH had the largest delegation of any club with 11 delegates—Cat C., Charis H., Carol B., Carol S., Becky T., Frauke R.-H., Lyn H., Shelly S., Susan S.-W., Teresa PYL, Tracy M.
Interim meetings offer practical training sessions in organizational development and leadership, which the delegates may use to strengthen their own organizations. The presidents and representatives of FAWCO clubs exchange ideas, share best practices and solutions to common issues, and build their network. It's also a wonderful opportunity to meet and make friends with women living all over the world and there's always lots of fun planned! The pre-and post tours gave delegates a chance to get to know each other and The Hague.
Highlights of Annual General Meeting
Target Project Hope Beyond Displacement
Amanda Lane, Executive Director of the Collateral Repair Project described the activities that FAWCO donations had supported and would further support. The activities focused on helping refugee girls and women in Jordan get educations, including empowerment training for women, and training for men and boys to prevent gender-based violence. The 548 beneficiaries to date include 359 girls back in school, 30 girls in the Super Girls program for trauma healing, 40 women in Economic Empowerment, as well as 29 men and boys in the program to prevent gender-based violence.
The fundraising target of $125,000 is close to being achieved with $118,000 already raised. AWCH has joined the rank of Diamond Donors for clubs raising more than $6000 on the Donor Wall http://www.fawcofoundation.org/our-programs/updated-2017/club-donor-wall-hope-beyond-displacement.html.
FAWCO Rep Appreciation Awards
Being a FAWCO Rep can be immensely rewarding but it can also be challenging. The women who are recognized with the FAWCO Rep Appreciation Awards truly have done an exceptional job in strengthening the bond between their clubs and FAWCO. The nominations were read out and it was amazing to learn how dynamic, talented and committed these women are—truly inspiring. The winners of the 2018 FAWCO Rep Appreciation Awards were Mary Dobrian (AIWC of Cologne), Sandra Gogel (AWG Paris), Lauren Mescon (AWC Amsterdam) and Orla Blundell (AWC of Languedoc- Rousillon).
The FAWCO Foundation (TFF) Development Grant Fund is a dynamic program which financially assists projects that are passionately supported by FAWCO Member Clubs. The purpose of the program is to fund projects that can make an immediate impact and lead to success for the people they support. The TFF has awarded 127 Development Grants valued at $472,500 since its founding.
This year 8 grants were awarded and AWCH took home one. Our club's nomination won the FAWCO Foundation $4500 Development Grant in the category Environment for the project Hazarwadi Open Well in Maharashtra, India. This grant will completely finance the construction of an open well in a rural hamlet of 14 tribal families who have insufficient access to water.
For all the 2018 Development Grant Recipients visit The FAWCO Foundation website.
The EducationAwards recognize and honor the academic excellence and all-around achievement of FAWCO and FAUSA members and their children and grandchildren. FAWCO hopes to promote international understanding and good will by giving annual awards for study, in the U.S. or abroad, at high school, undergraduate and graduate levels. Since 1972 TFF has awarded 308 Education Awards valued at $947,500. Seven children of AWCH members have received Education Awards.
This year AWCH made a one-time award donation in honor of our 60th anniversary. The AWC Hamburg Continuing Education Award of $4,000 was awarded toTammy Sas-Mayaux.She is a member of AAWE Paris. Tammy will further her education through a master's degree focused on the historic context of globalization and economic development, public policy theory, as well as corporate regulation, strategies for citizen action and sustainable development. The knowledge and skills she will learn through this master's program will give her the advantage she needs to promote change on a local, national and international scale.
For all 2018 Education Award Recipients visit The FAWCO Foundation website.
UN Liaison Laurie Richardson brought us up to date on the latest work of the UN Team. This Team
· represents FAWCO through advocacy and action in NGO Committees and at UN conferences
· informs FAWCO members about UN programs on gender equality, education,environment, health and human rights
· engages FAWCO members in UN events and campaigns
· promotes the UN development agenda working with Global Issues Teams and Target Program
FAWCO supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030. FAWCO is focused on SDG 4, Quality Education; SDG 5, Gender Equality; SDG 13, Climate Action; and SDG 13, Good Health and Well-Being. For a fun short introduction to the SDGs with hip hop music, see the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGcrYkHwE80.
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was established in 1946 and is "dedicated to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women”. The annual sessions provide advocates for human rights for women an opportunity to influence the UN agenda. Around 6000 delegates from the 45 Member States of the Commission, United Nations entities, and accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attend the annual sessions. This year FAWCO had a delegation of 14 attending CSW 62 at UN Headquarters in New York, May 12–23 March. You can read the delegates' impressions on the CSW62 blog https://www.fawco.org/un-issues/gender-equality/commission-on-the-status-of-women/csw-62-blog.In preparation for CSW62 in March 2018, FAWCO signed on to four Written Statements https://www.fawco.org/un-issues/advocacyon the primary theme: challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls. FAWCO is proud to contribute to these important civil society statements submitted to UN Women for consideration in the development of an outcome document from CSW62. FAWCO can send 20 delegates to CSW every year. As a FAWCO member, you are eligible to attend. Sign up for the UN Liaison Bulletin https://www.fawco.org/about/publications/subscribe-to-bulletins-e-newslettersto keep informed about the dates.
To find our more about CSW62, watch the video from UN Women https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zxWxZilGgo.
FAWCO has an impressive list of publications throughout the year. FAWCO Members can keep informed and stay up to date with FAWCO’s committees, teams and Board of Directors by readingFAWCO News in Brief; Connections, Letter from Headquarters; and the bulletins from the UN Liaison, the US Liaison, and the Global Issues Teams on Education, Environment, Health, Human Rights, and the Target Program.
FAWCO’s online magazine, Inspiring Women, profiles the lives of members of FAWCO clubs throughout the world who have used their skills, talents and passions to make an impact in the global community.
You can learn more about the publications and sign up to receive them here https://www.fawco.org/about/publications.
Caroline Curtis Brown Spirit Award
One highlight of the last day of the IM was the presentation of FAWCO Counselor Emily van Eerten (AWC The Hague) with the Caroline Curtis Brown Spirit Award in recognition of her outstanding volunteer contributions to FAWCO, especially her work on the early FAWCO website and her more recent work as Archives Chair. Emily has propelled FAWCO into the future as well as ensured that our past is preserved.
There was an extensive and impressing offer of 55-minute workshops: FAWCO Youth Program, Ensuring Your Club‘s Financial Health, Club Publications, How FAWCO Benefits Its Member Clubs, US Tax and Estate Planning for Overseas Americans, US Voter Registration Workshop, UN Advocacy, Making FAWCO‘s Global Issues Relevant for Member Clubs, Networking to Support Refugees, Target Project, and Fundraising.
One of the best-attended workshops was "Networking to Support Refugees: FAWCO Clubs Creating Connections Across Borders".This IM workshop has resulted in the creation of the newFAWCO Refugee Network under the auspices of the Human Rights Team.
The FAWCO Foundation Dinnern Alice in the Netherlands—The Mad Hatter's Tea Party
This year's Foundation Night festivities focused on the theme of Alice in Netherlands; all guests were invited to attend The Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Party-goers were adorned in Wonderland wear and/or hats of all kinds. It was a bright and colorful evening which included: a costume and hat contest, the wonderful song stylings of Kanika Holloway (AWC Antwerp), and the Silent Auction and the Live Auction. Guests truly displayed their generosity and spirit in support of The Foundation and its programs. Raffle ticket sales were brisk all weekend for both the spectacular "Butterfly Brigade" Friendship Quilt with many squares sewn by AWCH members Shelly S., Tracy M., and Susan S.-W.
Over $40,000 for The FAWCO Foundation's programs were raised during Foundation Night and during other weekend sales.
2019 Biennial Conference
This Conference will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland from March 21–24, 2019. AWC Central Scotland, the host club is already hard at work on preparations. The Theme Bonnie, Brave, Beneficentis a perfect for FAWCO. The beautiful, historic Dalmahoy Hotel outside of Edinburgh is the venue and fantastic pre- and post-conference tours are being planned. Watch for more information in the AWCH Newsletters and on the FAWCO website.
(This text was originally published in 2018 Spring/Summer Currents Summer)