Connections - Letter from Headquarters - Spring 2012

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 Connections: Letter from Headquarters 
Spring 2012

My-Linh Kunst

FAWCO President

AWC Berlin   


Skype: mylinhkunst 

In this issue, I talk about FAWCO conferences, FAWCO volunteers, the amazing success of the Target Water Project and the work still to be done, and FAWCO's support of the Eleanor Roosevelt Girls Leadership program.

Great news - thanks to the voice of FAWCO US Liaison Lucy Laederich (AAWE), the willingness of FAWCO member Genette  Eysselinck (AWG-LR) to share her story  and the efforts of FAWCO's new PR manager Amy Patrick (NAC), FAWCO has been in the news often lately including articles in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Reuters, Le Figaro and many more.  See FAWCO in the News for the dozens of articles just in the last 2 months.

Two clubs have implemented a fantastic program to teach children about American culture and history - it's called Americana The program was started in Doha, adopted by Dubai, and now is accessible to the worldwide FAWCO family. On, you have all the presentations and  program how-tos - I encourage you to have a look and start this excellent program in your club.

I'd like to introduce you to FAWCO's new Platinum Sponsor US Tax & Financial Services.  Chairman Darlene Hart and her team are not only experts in their fields, but very nice and approachable, so do consider inviting UTFS to your club to give a tax&banking workshop (contact to organize). Go to Workshop 1 on this page to attend their workshop in Dublin and check out UTFS' special FAWCO rates.

Having just completed my first year in office, I reflect on the amount of learning and inspiration I have had the priviledge to experience in the past year - not only from FAWCO's work but from our volunteers. What a strong, passionate, empowered group of women! Thank you for your commitment - I am honored to be working with you in our continued quest to improve the lives of women around the world.  



Target Water Project raised over $100,000 so far!

As of end of March of 2012 with still 9 months to go for fundraising, Target Program donations already exceeded FAWCO's original goal of $80,000, totaling close to $100,000 for Tabitha Cambodia Wells for Clean Water and an additional $20,000 for other water projects.

FAWCO has set our sights on raising doubled the original financial goal - with the dream of 100% participation from member clubs (whether fundraising or raising awareness, it all counts as participation). Donations are still coming in, and Cambodia still needs accessible clean water.

If your club has not had an awareness raising session on water or a fundraising event for Target, please contact for ideas and support.  

FAWCO is actively searching for corporate sponsor(s) to match our funds raised on a global level (contact ), and we encourage our clubs to also look for local corporate matching grants.  
Please click here to read the latest Target Program Bulletin.  I encourage you to subscribe to it at subscriptions, Target Chair Anne von Oorschot puts together a bulletin full of information on water, Tabitha updates, and fundraising ideas and stories from our clubs.
FAWCO is changing the flow one well at a time!   

Target - Family well Oct 2011Tabitha Open/hand-dug Well

FAWCO's support of ERGLW

Since 2008 in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt and her role in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, FAWCO has been supporting the Eleanor Roosevelt Girls Leadership Workshop scholarship program with $3300 per year, the equivalent of one girl's program cost.  At the Dublin Conference, the Finance Committee announced that due to unbudgeted reduction in income, FAWCO would not be able to make this donation this year.  

Today, I am happy to announce that thanks to the additional generous contributions from The FAWCO Foundation, the Coughlan Family Foundation, FAUSA, AIWC Cologne, Sara von Moos (AWC Bern), Beth Sanders (AWA  Rome) and Lucy Laederich (AAWE Paris), FAWCO is able to continue our financial support of this program this year with a donation of $4350.  In addition, we have received the generous donation from AAWE of $1000 which will be earmarked for ERGLW support in 2013.

Congratulations to FAWCO daughters Karin Hin, daughter of Marie Louise Cusack (AAWE), Julia Goldsby daughter of Robin Godsby (AIWC Cologne), and Vasiliki Mitsakis, daughter of Alexandra Mitsakis (AWO Greece) for being accepted to this prestigious program this summer.

Click here for more on and please encourage your club's high school age daughters to apply.  The ten day program encourages young girls to go into public service and participate in social justice causes. It has been highly successful in developing self-esteem, confidence, self-definition, and leadership skills as well as social consciousness and commitment to citizenship in the participants. 

FAWCO Interim Conference in Dublin, a big success!     

FAWCO held its 2012 Interim Conference in Dublin, Ireland (March 21-24) with over 120 delegates and 50 guests from 41 clubs representing every region except Region 11 (Asia, Australia and New Zealand). We had the honor to receive the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins who gave a 25 minute speech applauding FAWCO's work and volunteerism. 

In addition to the dignitaries, the highlight of the conference was the speakers, particularly appreciated were Dr. Mary Henry, a former Irish Senator, who spoke eloquently about women's health issues and a panel discussion entitled "Stop the Violence: Ireland" moderated by journalist Susan McKay. FAWCO celebrated the 15th anniversary of its status as an UN accredited NGO with ECOSOC status by inviting Peggy Rigaud (AWG-Languedoc Roussillon) to share the history of FAWCO and the UN and honored her with FAWCO's highest distinction the Circle of Honor award for her efforts in spearheading the accreditation process.  

Melissa Mash (AW Surrey) was recognized with the Caroline Curtis Brown Spirit Award and the FAWCO Reps awards went to Robin Goldsby (AIWC Cologne), Donna Haas (AWA Dubai), Clydette De Groot (AWG Paris) and Alma Lou Annab (AW Amman).  

- including session videos, pictures, and presentations to download.

On behalf of the FAWCO Board, I would like to thank the conference's Presenting Sponsor US Tax & Financial Services, host club AWC Dublin, Co-Chairs Patti Meek and Nancy Ward and their team of more than thirty volunteers for this extraordinary conference. We all left with new friends, a renewed sense of "FAWCO Fever", and the inspiration, energy and empowerment needed to go forth and make a difference.

Pres Higgins

from left: Conference-Chair Patti Meek, Melissa Roy (AWC Dublin president), President Higgins of Ireland, Conference-Chair Nancy Ward, Jane Donnelly (Speakers Coordinator)
Announcing Bern, Switzerland
FAWCO Biennial Conference 2013 

The FAWCO 41st Biennial Conference will be in Bern, Switzerland (March 6-9, 2013) hosted by AWC Bern.  The theme is In a Timely Fashion: Women, Tradition, Innovation. Conference Chairs Angela Abersold and Anne Riz with their team of volunteers are already busy putting together a fabulous, inspiring conference for you. Online registration opens October 1 - look for more information in September. 

The capital of Switzerland has many charms. Bern's quaint Old Town, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, is framed by the Aare river and offers spectacular views of the Alps. With its 6 km of limestone buildings and medieval arcades, its Renaissance fountains with colorful figures, and the beautiful Cathedral surrounded by picturesque rooftops, Bern, founded in 1191, is truly a gem of medieval architecture in Europe.

Bern is a city of superlatives: most beautiful flower city of Europe, birthplace of Einstein's relativity theory, cradle of Toblerone chocolate and home to the largest Paul Klee collection in the world. 

FAWCO People News

I am happy to announce the following appointments - thank you to our new volunteers:

Kathleen Simon (AWC Bern) - FAWCO Board 2013-15 Nominating Committee Chair

Laurie Richardson (AWA Vienna) - Resolutions and Recommendations 2013-15 Committee Chair  

Joining 1st VP Michele Wirt in the Communications team: 

Amy Patrick (NAC) - PR Manager and FORUM Layout Editor  

Patricia Shea (AIWC Genoa) and Denise Donaldson (AWC Dublin) - Advertising Managers

Melissa Roy (AWC Dublin) - Social Media Manager

Ellie Badanes (FAUSA) - Tweeter

Joining 2nd VP Elizabeth Abbot servicing our member clubs:

Leslie Collingridge (AWC The Hague) - Club Presidents Coordinator

Kara Fairchild (AWC Gothenburg) - Regional Coordinator for Region 2 

Joining 3rd VP Monica Jubayli in the Committees and Task Forces:

Margaret Spethman (AWC Hamburg) - US Tax & Banking Co-Chair

Erica Higbie (AWC Melbourne, FAUSA) - Ending Violence against Women & Children Co-Chair

Therese Hartwell (AWEP Saudi Arabia) - Ending Violence against Women & Children Exec Committee

Ellie LeBaron (AWA Doha) - Education Task Force Co-Chair for Americana   

Many thanks to our outgoing volunteers Forum Layout Editor Melissa Leiby (AAWE Paris), RC Terri Knudsen (AWC Aarhus), RC Kate Hayes (AWC Shanghai) who is repatriating back to the US this summer, and EVAWAC Task Force Co-Founder and Co-Chair Karen Lewis who is stepping back from Chair but will continue on the Task Force. Your service and dedication to FAWCO is deeply appreciated.       

CONGRATULATIONS to 2 of our Task Force Chairs with new books:

ISBN-13: 978-1936447251 Learning Without Boundaries by Education Co-Chair Susan van Alsenoy (AWC Antwerp) exposes the reader to many of the conditions that confront individuals who learn differently as they attempt to acquire an education, not only in their home countries, but also when they are transplanted abroad. It is a guide for parents, educational professionals, and students as they attempt to navigate obstacles placed in their way by often well-intentioned people who don't understand LD problems sufficiently. Available at Amazon 

ISBN-13: 978-1904881667 by Elizabeth Vennekens-Kelly (Munich IWC), Sharing Cultures Co-Chair. Your home country is a very large comfort zone. What can you do now to help you cope with the many differences of life overseas? It's human nature to think that if something is different, it may be wrong. Subtle Differences, Big Faux Pas will introduce you to some of the many differences you may encounter living in a country not of your origin. Available at Amazon and electronically here.  


HELP WANTED from 2nd VP Elizabeth Abbot - Member Clubs:


Regional coordinators for Region 7 (Spain and Africa), Region 10 (Caribbean and South America) and Region 11 (Asia, Australia, New Zealand).  Please contact 2nd VP Elizabeth Abbot at   if you are interested.  A regional coordinator facilitates FAWCO communications within the region (from the clubs to FAWCO and from FAWCO to the clubs). She also works with the hosting club to organize the regional meetings. RCs report to the 2nd VP.  

A Best Practices Library Cheerleader - The library is up and running. This year's goal is to collect at least one best practice from each and every club. The "B.P. Cheerleader" will help us reach this goal while encouraging clubs to USE the library.

A "Rep Corner" writer/editor - To help me create a truly supportive, up-to-date and user-friendly Rep Corner on the website.

A "Bring FAWCO to Your Club" Coordinator - To help clubs organize and host information sessions by FAWCO board members, committee and task force chairs -- both face-to-face and virtually.

Thank you to Our Sponsors

                      Volvo - new Jan 2011

US Tax & Financial Services special FAWCO rates                     Volvo special Expat offers


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