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Sub Logos Target Program

In 2009, FAWCO and The FAWCO Foundation announced the Target Program to bring a critical global issue to the attention of FAWCO Clubs, their members and the world. The Target Program offers opportunities for local FAWCO Clubs to make a global difference. 

Target Programs:

  • Follow a three-year cycle of issue awareness and education, project selection, fundraising, project monitoring, review and evaluation.
  • Demonstrate the power of FAWCO Clubs working together toward a common goal.
  • Increase knowledge and awareness of global issues affecting women.

In keeping with FAWCO’s Resolutions and Recommendations, Target Programs have the overarching goal of improving the lives of women and girls. The FAWCO Board, in consultation with The FAWCO Foundation Board, chooses Target Issues on a revolving basis through our four areas of interest: Education, Environment, Health and Human Rights.

The NetWorks Malaria Project (2005-2009) was the FAWCO-wide global issues effort that was a precursor to the Target Program. It encouraged FAWCO members to make a significant commitment to worldwide malaria prevention. FAWCO partnered with the Swiss Foundation BioVision in support of their integrated approach to malaria prevention in pilot projects in Africa. In total, FAWCO distributed $165,885 for the purchase of insecticide treated bed nets and integrated malaria prevention. Additionally, FAWCO applied for and received a $100,000 grant from the Hilton Foundation that was paid directly to our partner Biovision in 2008, for a grand total of $265,885.

The 2009-2013 Target Program focused on the Environment and the UN MDG on access to clean water. In addition to raising awareness about the importance of clean water in all the countries where we are represented, we asked our member clubs to fundraise specifically for Tabitha Wells for Clean Water, Cambodia. Details about the Target Program for Water are available here.

The 2013-2016 Target Program focused on Human Rights for Women with a primary focus on Protecting the Rights and Improving the Lives of Women and Girls Worldwide. The Education and Awareness portion emphasized women’s rights as human rights, specifically in the areas of political empowerment, economic empowerment, peace and security, and ending all forms of violence against women. FAWCO Member Clubs chose FREE THE GIRLS: Providing Economic Opportunity to Survivors of Human Trafficking as the Target Project, raising over $172,000 by the end of the program.

At the Interim Meeting in Frankfurt (March 11-13, 2016), Education – Empowering Women and Girls through Knowledge and Skills, was announced as the overarching theme for the FAWCO Target Program 2016 - 2019.  The Education and Awareness Raising Campaign explored the issues which prevent millions of women and girls from receiving quality education around the globe.  Member Clubs voted in February 2017 to select the 2017-2019 FAWCO Target Project. On April 1 at the 2017 Biennial Conference in Mumbai India, FAWCO announced Hope Beyond Displacement - Building better futures through education, vocational and leadership training for refugee women and girls in Jordan, as the new Target Project. Hope Beyond Displacement is an initiative of the Collateral Repair Project designed to address the pressing issues identified in close consultation with the women they serve. The FAWCO Foundation  employed the energy and generosity of our members and a Backing Women Fundraising Campaign to raise over $190,000 for Hope Beyond Displacement.

At the Biennial Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland (March 21-24, 2019), Health: Ensuring Healthy Lives and Promoting Well-Being to Improve the Lives of Women and Girls, was announced as the broadscale theme for the FAWCO Target Program 2019-2022. In March 2020 S.A.F.E. a project of Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania was announced as the Target Project for 2020-2022. Education and awareness-raising campaigns conducted with the assistance of bulletins, presentations at virtual meetings and a monthly blog, explored top health issues and especially the topic of the elimination of female genital mutilation that was central the the Target Project. Incredible resilience and support of members and clubs during the global pandemic resulted in $177,413 raised for S.A.F.E. The new Target Program Environment was announced with the theme: "Our Natural Environment: Empowering Women and Girls to Ensure a Sustainable Future" on March 5, 2022 at the virtual Interim Meeting Part 1: Focus on the Future.

As a United Nations accredited NGO (non-governmental organization) with special consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council, FAWCO places a high priority on giving our Member Clubs the opportunity to contribute together to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Together, through the Target Program, we are making a significant impact on global issues and supporting the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 


In March 2013, Human Rights for WomenProtecting the Rights and Improving the Lives of Women and Girls Worldwide, was announced as the overarching theme for the FAWCO Target Program 2013 - 2016.  

The Target Program: Human Rights for Women was composed of two parts: Target Education/Awareness and the Target Project. The Education/Awareness Program focused on women's rights as human rights, specifically in the areas of political empowerment, economic empowerment, peace and security, and ending violence against women. The Target Project was our opportunity to financially support a project that met the Target goal.

Target Education/Awareness continued through the Target Bulletins, Special Programs and Workshops, and with the support of FAWCO's Human Rights Team. Fundraising for the Free The Girls Target Project, through the Backing Women Campaign as well as special events sponsored by Member Clubs, continued through February 2016.  

In 2013, twelve Target Project proposals were submitted and the Target Selection Committee developed a short list of three finalist projects announced in December 2013. FAWCO Member Clubs voted for the winning Target Project. The Target Project -- Free The Girls -- was announced at the March 2014 Interim Conference in Brussels. Free the Girls works with former victims of sex trafficking in Africa and Latin America, helping them rebuild their lives through economic empowerment. 

FTG Award Presentation


From left to right: Melissa Watson, National Director, Free The Girls; MyLinh Kunst, FAWCO President 2011-2015; Kimba Langas, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Free The Girls; Catherine Marland, FAWCO Rep and Application Sponsor, AWC Surrey; Betsy Speer, President, AWC Surrey; Johanna Dishongh, Chair, FAWCO Target Program 2013-2016; Michele Hendrikse DuBois, President, FAWCO Foundation 2012-2015.  

Following the Target Project announcement, The FAWCO Foundation launched the Backing Women Fundraising Campaign with the unveiling of Christian de Laubadère’s painting, the inspiration for the campaign logo. The original painting was auctioned at the FAWCO Biennial Conference in Rome (March 2015) with all proceeds going to the campaign.

With the support of The FAWCO Foundation Backing Women Campaign and Member Clubs from every region of FAWCO, over $172,000 was contributed to FREE THE GIRLS, which allowed this start up non-profit the necessary breathing room to streamline operations, fine tune their limited staff positions, all while maintaining a focus on the women they serve. Women who, prior to participating in the FREE THE GIRLS program, did not have a means to support themselves or their families. Women, whose children and very often, children of extended family members, now attend school with school fees paid from their earning. Women, who through their own purchasing power, now support the local economy.

For more information on the Target Program, please contact Target Chair Johanna Dishongh, at .

Johanna Head Shot cropped

Johanna Dishongh

AWC The Hague







In 2009, FAWCO and The FAWCO Foundation announced a four year program to bring a critical global issue to the attention of FAWCO Clubs, their members and the world. The FAWCO Target Water Program was an opportunity for FAWCO member clubs and FAUSA members to work together towards the goal of clean water worldwide.

The 2009-2013 Target Program was focused on the global environmental issues of Water and Sustainability. In addition to raising awareness about the importance of clean water in all the countries where we are represented, we asked our member clubs to fundraise specifically for Tabitha Wells for Clean Water, Cambodia.

FAWCO is an international NGO and the Target Program distinguishes FAWCO clubs from other international clubs by giving them the opportunity to pool their efforts and contribute together to a UN Millennium Development Goal. We asked our member clubs for their support in whatever ways were open to them. Together we have made a huge impact on access to clean water worldwide.

FAWCO's Target Water Program, which ended in February 2013, was a tremendous success with participation from 78% of member clubs  and nearly $165,000 raised. About $135,000 went to Tabitha Cambodia Wells for Clean Water while the remainder went to other Water projects. 

 At the 41st Biennial conference in Bern, Target Program Chair Anne van Oorschot (AWC The Hague) received a Caroline Curtis Brown Spirit Award for her tireless work in the last two years. She gave an excellent final report and included a thank-you video from Tabitha's founder Janne Ritskes.

Thanks to the generosity of our clubs and members, FAWCO has changed the flow for 1541 families in Cambodia.
Target - Family well Oct 2011Tabitha Open/hand-dug Well


In September 2012, the FAWCO Board appointed the Target Evaluation Team to review the Target Water Program and make recommendations for improvements. Thanks to Monica Jubayli, Anne van Oorschot, Elsie Bose, Sara von Moos, Karen Lewis, Pam Perraud, and Tricia Saur for their thorough evaluation and thoughtful recommendations, which have been adopted by both FAWCO and The FAWCO Foundation Boards.





Download the Target Program Final Presentation

Download PICTURES of FAWCO wells .

Check out our fundraising ideas.

Go to The FAWCO Foundation website for more fundraising ideas and stories from Cambodia.


Sub Logos Target Program Education

Target Program Education 2016-2019

At the Interim Meeting in Frankfurt (March 11-13, 2016), Education – Empowering Women and Girls through Knowledge and Skills, was announced as the overarching theme for the FAWCO Target Program 2016 - 2019. 

Education is one of the most critical areas of empowerment for women. When girls are educated, they lead healthier and more productive lives. They gain the skills, knowledge and self-confidence to escape the cycle of poverty. They become better citizens, parents and breadwinners. An educated girl has a positive ripple effect on her health, family, community and society as a whole.  - USAID

Stay Up-to-Date

On April 1, 2017, FAWCO announced the 2017-2019 Target Project


CRP Logo

Hope Beyond Displacement
an initiative of the Collateral Repair Project
               - Submitted by Therese Hartwell of FAUSA


Educating and Empowering Refugee Women and Girls in Jordan

Visit the Target Project page to learn more.

FAWCO Target Program Education 2016 - 2019

Education – Empowering Women & Girls through Knowledge & Skills

The best way to find out everything you need to know about the Target Program is through our monthly Bulletin. 

Education and Awareness    TPE Column 2 

Over the next three years, we will take a deep dive to learn what matters in girls’ education. We will explore the issues which prevent millions of women and girls from receiving quality education around the globe. We will become familiar with the goals established by world leaders in education to remedy this injustice. We will look at the impact educating women and girls have on their lives, their families, their communities and society. We will become experts!

Click the image above or link below to visit our Education and Awareness page. Here you will find information about the new Target Program Blog: Let's Get Schooled, writings by the UN Team and Teams which discuss the topic of education, and our growing Resource Library.

Education and Awareness page...


The FAWCO Target Project is a sustainable investment by our Member Clubs to empower women and girls. Over the next two years (2017-2019), The FAWCO Foundation will employ the energy and generosity of our members through the Backing Women Fundraising Campaign to support women's and girls’ education. Proceeds generated through these efforts will support the FAWCO Target Project:

Hope Beyond Displacement

an initiative of the Collateral Repair Project

  • Submitted by Therese Hartwell of FAUSA

Educating and Empowering Refugee Women and Girls in Jordan

Target Project page…



Target Program Flyer 

We know it can be hard to explain exactly what the Target Program is all about. This PDF flyer explains the Why, What and How. If there is anything else you need to promote the Target Program in your club, please be in touch! 

Tricia R. Saur



Tricia R. Saur

Target Program Chair


FAWCO Target Program 2016 - 2019: 

Education – Empowering Women and Girls through Knowledge and Skills

In our Blog: Let's Get Schooled​ we will explore why education matters; we will examine the barriers, one by one, which impede women and girls from accessing quality education and completing their studies; we will become familiar with the strategies to address these issues; and we will discover who the leaders in world education are.

Don't forget you can get this blog posts via email in the Target Program: Education Bulletin sent out once a month. Sign up now and don't miss any information!

"Ensuring Healthy Lives and Promoting Well-Being to Improve the LIves of Women and Girls" was announced as the theme for the 2019-2022 FAWCO Target Program: Health at the Biennial Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 24, 2019.


Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.

– World Health Organization

Health programs that address gender barriers improve development programs overall. When women are educated and can earn and control income, infant mortality declines, child health and nutrition improve, population growth slows, economies expand, and cycles of poverty are broken.

– US Aid
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Key Areas that have Serious Consequences for Female Health

  • unequal power relationships

  • social factors

  • malnutrition

  • universal coverage

  • environment

  • hiv

  • mosquito nets/malaria prevention

  • tobacco use

  • discrimination

  • mortality during pregnancy and childbirth

  • economic empowerment

  • lack of information

  • physical, sexual and emotional violence

  • sexually transmitted infections

  • unsafe cooking fuels

  • early marriage


Target Program: Health Timeline 2019-2022

FAWCO Target Timeline 2019 2022

Target Health Blog - coming soon

In our monthly Target Blog, we will learn about the most important issues in women's and girls' health:

  • What are the top ten issues for women's and girls' health?

  • What prevents women and girls from accessing quality health care?

  • What are the goals established by world leaders in health to remedy these issues?

  • What are the effects of poor health on women and girls, their families, communities and societies?

  • What is the impact on women and girls, their families, communities and societies when good health is achieved?

Target Health Bulletin

Our monthly bulletin, Target Program: Health, will update you on the current status of the Target Program, tease you with a snippet from the blog, and offer a visual inspiration to enhance your understanding of the health issues faced by women and children.

Don't miss a future issue, it's the best way to stay up to date!


FAWCO Target Program 2019 - 2022: 

Health – Empowering Women and Girls by Ensuring Healthy Lives and Promoting Well-Being

Welcome to the new Target Program Health Blog, Health Matters! In this monthly blog we will be exploring matters important to women's (and girls') health: the top 10 issues for women's health according to the WHO, what prevents women and girls around the globe from enjoying good health, which societal and cultural factors play a role in health for women and girls, the targets of SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being, the relationship between SDG 3 and the other SDGs, and more! The subject of health is broad, and encompasses all of FAWCO's focus areas, so there will be something for everyone. Join us as we take a look at how ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being can empower and improve the lives of women and girls.


Please stay in touch!

  • Send ideas, questions or comments to .

  • Join the FAWCO Facebook Group.

  • Sign up for the monthly Target Program: Health Bulletin to hear the latest news!

We'll regularly publish blogs here. 


FAWCO's Resolutions and Recommendations (R&Rs) are guidelines for FAWCO and Club action over the next two-year period and should be suitable for practical implementation.

The FAWCO Administrative Guidelines specify in article 13.2.3 “Resolutions and Recommendations – meaning what is resolved and how it is to be implemented –should be specific and not merely generalizations." They are normally influenced by current world problems, current concerns of American citizens abroad and current problems faced by women everywhere.

FAWCO asks that Member Clubs publicize the approved Resolutions and Recommendations after each Biennial Conference where the proposed R&Rs are voted upon by the conference delegates.

FAWCO Administrative Committees report to the Third Vice-President, who in turn informs the Board, where appropriate, of the work done by the Committees, any problems they have encountered, and all information they have gathered which can be of interest to the general membership.

Committee Chairs shall be full and current members of an overseas FAWCO Club at the time of appointment. A limited number of committees may be chaired by members of FAUSA providing that they are also full and current members of an overseas FAWCO club. The Chair who is responsible for submitting a written report at the Interim and Biennial Conferences.

Administrative Committees consist of Archives, Bylaws and Administrative Guidelines, Finance, Membership, Resolutions and Recommendations, Conference Site Selection, and Nominating Committee.




Welcome to the world of FAWCO ! Thank you for visiting our website and considering becoming a member of FAWCO. The benefits of being a FAWCO member club are manifold. First and foremost, your Club will benefit from the sharing of resources and best practices with our 64 member clubs, organizations just like yours from around the world. The FAWCO website is a busy meeting place for its members to share information, exchange ideas and problem solve. For example, if you are looking for new ideas on fundraising, membership retention, volunteer mobilization, or Board training, you will find the answers on our website. FAWCO’s annual global and regional conferences provide an opportunity for Club Presidents, Club FAWCO Representatives and other interested members to meet and exchange ideas, as well as learning and developing themselves and their Clubs. FAWCO offers club development workshops on topics that are critical to the successful running of your Club. FAWCO also offers every Member Club a web presence and an opportunity for web hosting at an attractive price.

Elizabeth Abbot


Membership Chair 

Joining FAWCO also gives an opportunity for your members and their children to apply for the FAWCO Foundation Education Awards, as well as for your Club to propose a project for a Development Grant.

Lastly, joining FAWCO gives your Club a voice on the world stage. FAWCO is a United Nations accredited non-governmental organization (NGO), with special consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations – ECOSOC. FAWCO is particularly active in global issues such as education, environment, health and human rights.  FAWCO also addesses specific concerns and issues of U.S. citizens living overseas.

For further information, please look at "Application", or contact .




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The Rebranding Team is currently discussing FAWCO's mission and goals.  Committee members post their ideas here and invite your comments and feedback. Be sure you are logged in so you can add your comments. Click here if you are not yet a registered user.



Click on this link and subscribe to a FAWCO Bulletin of your choice Sign up for our Email Newsletter     For Email Marketing you can trust
News from Our Clubs showcases the varied activities of FAWCO's member clubs worldwide.
News from Our Clubs showcases the varied activities of FAWCO's member clubs worldwide.


If you are an American living overseas you may have many questions about your rights and responsibilities.  FAWCO’s U.S. Issues Committees serve as a valuable resource to assist you with US Citizenship, Tax and Banking, and Voting from Overseas issues and to work for more effective representation in Washington. In fact, did you know that FAWCO was instrumental in the creation of the Americans Abroad Caucus?  Learn more about this group of Congresspersons with a special interest in the concerns of U.S. citizens living overseas. You can find out a lot more by clicking on US Liaison.  Have you ever heard of Overseas Americans Week?   Discover what happens every year in Washington on your behalf.


US Citizenship Committee seeks to ensure that US citizens living abroad retain the broadest possible range of citizenship rights under US law.and serves as a source of up-to-date information regarding US citizenship laws for FAWCO members and their families.

Please have a look at these links for current issues that concern all expat Americans:

Click here for consular services

Click here for information on passport fees 

Citizenship and Immigration: www.uscis.gov 



Contact the US Citizenship Committee Chair Judith Furukawa (AWC Brussels) -


Overall Goals in 2014

Over the years, U.S. legislation has made it increasingly difficult for Americans to live and work overseas.  Our organizations urge Congress and the Administration to review and rethink certain policies that restrict the effectiveness of the 6-7 million overseas Americans who are both ambassadors for American interests abroad and creators of domestic jobs.

Our most important issues this year are:

·       TAXATION: We believe that the United States puts itself at a competitive disadvantage by taxing the income earned by its citizens working abroad.  The ability to send an employee abroad to manage, direct, instruct or train the employees of a foreign subsidiary is crucial to successful competition.  We support the complete exclusion of foreign-earned income from U.S. taxation or, at a minimum, an exclusion adjusted for inflation since the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion was first created.

·       BANKING: Overseas Americans are being denied financial services worldwide.  We call for legislation to require U.S. banks to provide services for U.S. citizens with a foreign address; to allow Americans abroad to maintain bank accounts where they reside; to ensure access to low-cost savings and retirement products worldwide; and to stop U.S. tax discrimination against foreign pension funds.

·       FATCA: The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act understandably targets those who evade paying taxes by hiding assets in undisclosed foreign bank accounts but, as an unintended consequence, penalizes American citizens overseas and U.S. economic interests.  We recommend an IRS Advisory Council to dialogue with overseas Americans, exemption from FATCA reporting requirements for “same country” accounts belonging to bona fide American residents fiscally domiciled abroad, and other measures to redress the damage created by FATCA.

·       VOTING: Legislation should be introduced to clarify certain provisions of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act (complete elimination of witness and postmark requirements, clarification that  a voter’s ballot request applies to each election in the year, etc.). Funding should be assured for the Election Assistance Commission to allow it to carry out its mission and for continued improvement of election technology. American citizens who do not meet state residency requirements should have the right to vote in federal elections in all states and the District of Columbia at the legal voting residence of their U.S. citizen parent(s).

·       CITIZENSHIP: All Americans should enjoy an equal right to transmit U.S. citizenship to their children at birth, including children born to or adopted by a U.S. citizen abroad. Children born to American citizens abroad should be defined as “natural born” U.S. citizens.  We propose alleviating conditions for recognizing children born abroad as U.S. citizens, in particular for unwed American mothers.

Other issues:

·       REPRESENTATION: We strongly support H.R. 597,  Congresswoman Maloney’s Commission on Americans Abroad Act, calling for a Federal Commission to study the impact of government policies upon the millions of Americans residing overseas.  Our organizations look forward to continued fruitful collaboration with the bipartisan Americans Abroad Caucus.

·       SOCIAL SECURITY: Americans who have worked abroad should be exempted from application of the Windfall Elimination Provision which unfairly reduces Social Security pension benefits. Americans abroad should not be required to contribute to U.S. Social Security and Medicare programs in addition to government pension plans where they reside. This double contribution affects, in particular, self-employed Americans abroad and Americans sent overseas by a U.S. employer to a country which does not have a Totalization agreement with the United States; only 24 countries have such a Totalization agreement, which leaves 170 countries without.  The thresholds for taxation of old age and disability pensions should be significantly raised and adjusted for inflation.

·       BUSINESS AND TRADE FACILITATION:  We call on the Department of Homeland Security to expedite implementation of the APEC Business Travel Cards Act of 2011, facilitating travel by U.S. citizens in the APEC economies, whose nationals already enjoy ABTC streamlined visa and immigrations procedures.  Business facilitation with Asia is of critical importance to America and its economy.  ABTC implementation will increase the sale of U.S. goods and services in Asia, and create better employment opportunities for Americans both domestically and internationally.

·       HEALTHCARE: Overseas Americans who retire in America should not be financially penalized for the quarters after retirement age that they lived abroad (where they were covered by other systems and ineligible for Medicare and therefore did not contribute to it), but should be allowed to enter the system.  American civilians eligible for Medicare who retire abroad must return to America to receive Medicare benefits, where medical costs are much higher. A program for civilians abroad similar to Tricare for Life for military veterans retired abroad could ultimately save money for Medicare.

·       CONSULAR ACCESS: We support prompt Congressional action on legislation implementing judicial remedies in serious cases for foreigners arrested in the U.S. whose rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations have been violated. For U.S. citizens arrested abroad to be assured of consular access under terms of the Convention, enforcement must be reciprocal.

·       CEDAW:  The U.S. Senate should finally ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, without “Reservations, Declarations and Understandings” (RDUs) that would undermine CEDAW’s meaning and effectiveness.

Our organizations

AARO: Association of Americans Resident Overseas, founded in 1973, is a not-for-profit, non-partisan public service organization representing United States citizens living abroad. AARO’s mission is to seek fair and equal treatment from the U.S. government for Americans living and working abroad; to inform AARO members of issues affecting them; and to build awareness in the United States of the role played by Americans overseas. www.aaro.org

FAWCO: Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas, a non-partisan not-for-profit network founded in 1931, currently  comprises over 65 independent  volunteer American and international organizations in 34 countries worldwide with a membership of some 15,000. The oldest and largest organization representing private-sector Americans abroad, it is a 501(c)(3)  corporation established in the State of New York, and an approved Non-Governmental Organization with special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. It has been particularly active in the fields of citizenship rights and voting from overseas. www.fawco.org

The US Tax & Banking Committee gathers information on US tax and banking legislation and regulations, and informs the membership of their US tax responsibilities while living overseas. It collects information from the FAWCO membership on specific tax and banking related problems to bring these to the attention of legislators in Washington.

What will I find here?

The Tax & Banking Committee develops lists of resources and advisors, and publishes periodic newsletters, presentations and videos, and updates and links to media articles and other resources for Overseas Americans and “US tax persons.” You can find more information on each category by clicking on the title below.

  • Tax: Cross-border tax issues, information & IRS links
  • FATCA information

We encourage Overseas Americans to plan their international financial lives and maintain compliant status with US regulations.

Remember, overseas residents have until June 15 each year to file their US taxes. However if you owe taxes, to avoid late payment penalties, pay the taxes by April 15. Please refer to this link for more detailed information.

How can I get more information about tax and banking issues?

Even as a FAWCO Member, you must subscribe to receive the US Liaison Bulletins, which include information about US citizenship, voting from overseas and tax and banking information.

Send us your questions, comments, problems or let us know if we can help you with anything. Contact .  

Read the Tax & Banking Disclaimer. 

Banking & Financial Services

meeting calendar wide

Living outside the United States creates particular challenges to personal financial management. Banking services in countries of residence can vary widely, U.S. and foreign government regulations and the banking industry’s reaction to them can make fluid transitions of funds, opening of new accounts, changes in providers, and even access to new banking cards confusing and difficult. Many of us are happy to take advantage of the benefits of internet-based, online banking services; while others are suspicious of the security and identity theft issues that increasingly appear in the press.

We all need access to secure and reliable banking and investing services wherever we live around the world. FAWCO advocates for this in Washington and abroad. We'll be providing links for FAWCO tips, explanations and suggestions, expert presentations, and other helpful information.

Click on a category below under any of the main subjects to learn more.

If you have updates regarding banks that serve U.S. tax persons abroad or difficulties you have faced with banking or other financial services overseas that you would like to share please email us at .


Banking Overseas

Bank Accounts in the U.S.

Bank Accounts in Country of Residence



Financial Planning Resources

Current Issues

Basic Information & Strategy

Mutual Funds



Retirement Issues & Links

Foreign Retirement Accounts & IGAs


Other Topics

Social Security


Read the Tax & Banking Disclaimer.

Legal & Estate Planning

family photoThose of us who live overseas have plenty of challenges to contend with that become increasingly complex as we move from one country to the next leaving a wake of residences, accounts, and often business and personal investments behind us. While living in non-U.S. countries we are often subject to their inheritance laws that evolve from local attitudes and traditions. Sometimes these conflict with U.S. law in uncomfortable ways.

Whether you are considering marrying a foreign national, facing foreign taxation by your country of residence of an U.S.-based inheritance, or planning for the distribution of your assets after you are gone, you will find helpful material here from various country jurisdictions, diverse experts & other FAWCO members.

Click the category title below to learn more about each topic, and find articles related to tax below.

If you have stories or information regarding legal and estate planning issues facing U.S. person living abroad that you would like to share, or you have questions or problems, we will try to help. Please send them to .


Basic Inheritance Law

Medical Directives & Living Wills

Country Specific Info & Presentations


Read the Tax & Banking Disclaimer.

tax termsMost Americans and green card holders must file tax forms and in some cases pay taxes with the US Government every year. You may have to file even though you have no earned income, already pay taxes in your country of residence, are below the foreign income exclusion and/or give or receive money in the form of a gift or inheritance. It can get complicated but we're here to help!

Click the category title below to learn more about each topic, and find articles related to tax below.

Have a tax story or information about taxes to share? Email us at 


Tax Basics

Income Tax

Compliance Issues

Tax Planning

PFIC Regulations

IRS Links

Filing Options

Tax Forms

DC Advocacy


Read the Tax & Banking Disclaimer.



U.S. Liaison

Lucy Laederich
(AAWE Paris)

The FAWCO U.S. Liaison helps to coordinate FAWCO’s work with other overseas advocacy organizations and represents FAWCO’s positions in Washington during Overseas Americans Week, for example, or when legislation is drafted or introduced that directly affects Americans living and working overseas.



FAWCO's Environment Team aims to inform members about global environmental issues that confront our planet, such as air, soil & water pollution, energy efficiency, conservation and waste reduction, and the major issues of global climate change. Since we believe that each person can make a difference, one of our main goals is to help members become more environmentally minded through the choices they make in their daily lives. The Team also seeks to promote informed action within FAWCO, at both global and local levels. Major past activities have supported carbon sequestration through tree planting and water awareness in conjunction with the First Target Program.

For more information and to get involved with us, contact the Environment Team Chair at .


Anne van Oorschot-Warwick

(AWC The Hague)


The Health Team provides information on women's health and aging to allow you to make informed health decisions. We will take a holistic approach to help us safeguard and nurture our bodies, as well as enrich our minds and spirits. There will be articles and reports, suggested books, and FAWCO member contributions. We will also include practical information and resources, such as caring for loved ones from a distance, for ourselves and family members. 

In 2014, we re-launched Clubs in Motion, with the goal to walk or run around the globe before the March 2015 Conference. That's 40,000 kms, so we better get moving! To learn more, sign up your club's walking or running group, and check how far we've come, go to Clubs in Motion

We have gathered information from FAWCO Clubs about their Heart Pillow Projects to help women who have had breast cancer surgery. If you have Heart Pillow news to share, please send it to us at

We are currently looking for a Health Issues Team Chair. Please contact  if you are interested in the position.




Clubs in Motion!

Join Clubs in Motion and get moving with FAWCO. If your club has a walking, hiking or running group, this is for YOU! You can dowload a flyer to publicize the program to your club members by opening Clubs_In_Motion.doc.  

Let's get moving! Join FAWCO Clubs in Motion today! Happy and healthy! 

Our FAWCO Leadership was caught in the act - out WALKING while attending the Geneva NGO Forum Beijing+20!!  From left to right on the rock...  Kathleen Simon (Counselor & AWC Bern), Maggie Palu (AWG-LR - thanks to Maggie for the photos), My-Linh Kunst (President & AWC Berlin), Monica Jubayli (1st VP & AWC Lebanon), Suzanne Wheeler (Foundation Board Member & AAWE Paris), and Sallie Chaballier (2nd VP & AAWE Paris). Well done ladies! 


Clubs in Motion is a FAWCO initiative to encourage members to stay physically fit.
Keep your club members healthy and increase FAWCO awareness. Start sending a record of all those kilometers or miles your clubs' walkers and runners have walked or run NOW!

Who can send in kilometers/miles?
FAWCO Club activities can include walking groups, participating in walks/runs in your area, organizing a walk with your club members ,etc. In order for the kilometers / miles to count, three or more members must be exercising together.  We are not gathering data from individuals walking on their own, because this is about both the physical benefits and the mental benefits of getting active together!  
How will the kilometers/miles be tallied?
Send kilometers from club activities with club name to and the number of participants. Please include the name and location of any organized walks/runs - for example: breast cancer awareness, club walking group, marathons, etc. and any special locations. Send photos!

You'll find updates on the FAWCO Clubs In Motion page under the Health Team site, so you can check the progress of the various clubs.

Why should clubs get involved?
Exercise benefits your health. Did you know that for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise you do, like brisk walking, you can live two hours longer? And we all know that it's more FUN to exercise with friends. Clubs in Motion will be a fun way to get your members active and interested in FAWCO, and introduce them to FAWCO's website.

Top 10 reasons to Get in Motion with Clubs in Motion:

  • Prevent Type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis: strengthen bones/maintain bone density
  • Improve blood pressure
  • Help lower cholesterol
  • Help you maintain a healthy body weight
  • Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Good for your brain: cognitive functions improve with regular exercise
  • Enhance well-being and reduce stress
  • Improve fitness

When do we start?

NOW! Let’s ‘move it’ together -- with FAWCO!







hamburg heart pillows

Many FAWCO member clubs are involved in making heart pillows to donate to help the recovery of women who have had breast cancer surgery. AWC The Hague has a Heart Pillow Best Practice with instructions for how you can start your own heart pillow project that you can access in our members-only Best Practices section (you must be registered and log in to see these). We also have Heart Pillows featured in these articles: Heart Pillow Project and Stitched with Love.  

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A basic education is an essential human right and should be a global, national, and local priority. Education is essential to understand the world and be able to function effectively in it. There is a direct correlation between women's levels of education and socio-economic status and health. Education empowers women to make informed decisions regarding their futures - knowledge is power!

Education “is a bridge from misery to hope.” - adapted from quote by Kofi Annan.

Mission Statement & Highlighted Topics

Our new mission statement is Increasing Awareness of Global Issues in Education. This mission has been divided into four areas of emphasis:

1. Global Citizenship

2. Literacy

3. Equal Access

4. Access to and Initiatives in Continuing Education after High School

Educational connections with UNESCO will also be highlighted.

We aspire to shine a spotlight on issues concerning education around the world in order to bring awareness of these issues to the FAWCO membership.

Collaboration with the Target Program

We are excited to be working in collaboration with Tricia Saur {Target Chair} as she ventures into the Target Program of Education and are looking forward to this inspiring educational journey together.

Join us:

Our Team is composed of enthusiastic educators and, more importantly, members who are very passionate about education. As a FAWCO member if you are an educator or are very passionate about education, why not join our team?

Please contact us at . If your topic of interest is not highlighted above, please do not hesitate to email Carol-Lyn McKelvey or Arandeep D. Degun, co-Chairs of the Education Team for further consideration, as well.

Sign up to receive the Education Team Bulletin at Subscriptions.

Bild Carol Lyn McKelvey

Arandeep Degun (L) and Carol-Lyn McKelvey (R), Co-Chairs
AIWC Cologne

We are currently putting together the Education Team Team. If you'd like to join the team, please contact .   

Go here to find UN Resources on Education. To learn more about UN priorities and the work of FAWCO's UN Team, visit our UN Issues pages


Note: Information and resources that were included under Education on our previous website have been moved to Resources for International Living, under the Resources tab on the website navigation bar.

You can find links to Americana, College Guidance, Students Who Learn Differently Overseas, and Sharing Cultures here.  

The FAWCO Human Rights Team is a comprehensive network of advocates working to ensure human rights for all women. The Team will keep members aware of new developments impacting women’s rights, including UN updates, through Human Rights Team Bulletins and other publications. We also engage FAWCO Members in awareness and action campaigns.
It is our goal to leverage FAWCO’s unique strength as a global women’s organization to help end violence and discrimination against women and girls. 
Team Committees include:
Economic Empowerment for Women
Ending Violence Against Women
Political Empowerment for Women
Women in Peace and Conflict

Learn more about the issues and download information sheets to share with your club members on the Committee pages.  
For current information on resources to aid refugees, please visit the FAWCO UN Team's Current Initiatives page.

All FAWCO members are invited to get involved in their area of interest. If you don’t see yours here, let us know. Please email Therese Hartwell, Chair of the Human Rights Team at  to discuss participation. 

And sign up to receive the Human Rights Team Bulletin at Subscriptions.

Therese headshot

Therese Hartwell, AW Eastern Province
Chair, Human Rights Team

Ending Violence Against Women is a Committee of the Human Rights Team, addressing issues of domestic violence and sex trafficking, as well as other forms of violence against women. The Ending Violence Team was created in April 2008 to address issues of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual exploitation in order to increase awareness and empower those women and children affected. Over the years, the Team has put a spotlight on the issues to get people talking about them. We also promote tangible actions that we can all take to help eradicate these forms of violence. When you look at the facts you see that we still have a long way to go.

1 in 3 women has been sexually assaulted in her lifetime;

Rape continues to be used as a weapon during war and conflict;

Globalization and climate change are having the most profound impacts on women and children who are disproportionately displaced and left without options;

Gender-based violence is an affliction that millions of women and children suffer in silence and shame. Many become victimized by those who are supposed to love and protect them. 

Please share these three one-page information sheets on issues of Domestic Violence, how you can help victims of Domestic Violence, and global issues of Violence Against Women with your club members. 

For a worldwide listing of domestic violence agencies, see the Hot Peaches website

You'll find a link to the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center (AODVC) website on our homepage under Domestic Violence. 

For more information or to get involved, contact the Committee Co-Chairs.

Co-Chair, Global Issues, Tonya Teichert at 

Tonya Teichert (AWC The Taunus)

Co-Chair, Global Issues

Co-Chair, Domestic Violence and AODVC Liaison, Karen Lewis at aodvc@fawco.org.

Karen Lewis (FAUSA)

Co-Chair, Domestic Violence and AODVC Liaison

The Economic Empowerment for Women Committee of the Human Rights Team will report on issues related to the achievement of gender equality through economic empowerment.

Please share this one-page information sheet on Economic Empowerment for Women with your club members. 

Research demonstrates that gender equality boosts economic growth by closing the gender gap in labor markets worldwide. Recent reports support the fact that better jobs for women benefit individuals, families, communities, companies, and economies.

Women’s economic empowerment results in greater investment in children, education, nutrition, and health,  and therefore leads to reduced poverty.

Contact Committee Chair, Economic Empowerment for Women, Betsy Cook Speer, at  


Betsy Cook Speer (AW Surrey)
Committee Chair, Economic Empowerment for Women

Women Peace and Security is a committee within the Human Rights Team. Its goal is to raise awareness about violence against women in conflict zones and the role of women in the peace-keeping process.

The theme of women and conflict resonates with the very origins of FAWCO. According to The Red Book, FAWCO: A History 1931-2011:
Caroline Curtis Brown founded FAWCO on the belief that "enlightened women, working cooperatively throughout the world, could do much to help achieve permanent international peace; and that this was especially true of American women living abroad who had acquired special experience in living in foreign lands among foreign people and foreign customs. Their American clubs not only provided a home away from home, she felt, but also served to promote sympathetic awareness of the needs and problems in countries other than the United States."  Our founder's words are perhaps even more relevant today than in her own time. In our globally connected world, wars have a real impact on the lives of all of us, even when they occur in a distant land. A peaceful world benefits everyone.



FAWCO is more than just a group of people sharing a common culture, it offers an opportunity through The FAWCO Foundation to change people’s lives through charity work.

Established in 1967 as the philanthropic arm of FAWCO, The FAWCO Foundation is a not-for-profit organization registered in the State of Missouri. It was created exclusively for “charitable, scientific and educational purposes and for the purpose of the prevention of cruelty to children.” The Foundation's mission is to carry out the philanthropic work of the members of FAWCO.

A large portion of the donations to The Foundation come from the FAWCO Member Clubs and their individual members.

Member Clubs are under no obligation to contribute to any of FAWCO’s fundraising activities but all have the opportunity of proposing their favorite charity for a Development Grant awarded by The FAWCO Foundation and of raising more money for their charity as FAWCO promotes club charities to a wider audience. The FAWCO Foundation education awards are a wonderful opportunity for FAWCO members and their children to gain financial assistance to further their education.

Through its extensive communication channels, FAWCO is able to spread the word about all the wonderful work being down by our Member Clubs and sometimes, to help projects grow beyond the local scale. One example was the "challenge" to FAWCO clubs to raise $75,000 for the FAWCO 75th anniversary, to be donated to help fight malaria. Thanks to the enthusiasm of FAWCO members around the world, that original target was more than doubled.





The FAWCO Club Presidents’ Coordinator acts as a liaison to establish and maintain communication between Club Presidents and FAWCO as well as among the Club Presidents themselves.  The Coordinator sends out the quarterly electronic Club Presidents’ Post containing important and pertinent information from FAWCO for Club Presidents.  The Coordinator also plans, organizes and facilitates informative Club Presidents’ Workshops at FAWCO Annual Meetings.


FAWCO Mission Statement

FAWCO's Club Workshops program is designed to help Member Clubs enrich their meetings, provide value to their membership and perform better as a Board. Most workshops are FREE to members. Please contact us for more information about any costs and how to arrange a workshop for your club. More information about all the workshops can be found on the Club Workshops Description page. 


FAWCO 101 Target Program  Expat Tax & Investment Support

We have designed presentations for your Club to explain what we do and how your Club can be part of our network. As well as awareness sessions and activist campaigns that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Education, Environment, Health, and Human Rights. (hover over the name to learn more)

FAWCO's Target Team will offer special workshops for 2023. Stay tuned for more information. 


Support for members seeking information and advice on tax issues and their implications affecting expats. (hover over the name to learn more)

  • FAWCO Overview
  • FAWCO Foundation Overview
  • FAWCO Advocacy at the UN
  • FAWCO Target Project 2020-2022: What is FGM?
  • FAWCO Target Program 2022-2025: An Overview 


  • Expat Tax Confusion? We have answers and solutions!

Club Development 

Member Enrichment  

FAWCO supports our members and clubs through interactive learning based on real experience through coaching sessions designed to strengthen and improve the functioning of Boards and their general membership. (See Club Workshops Description for more details.)

FAWCO believes in the importance of enrichment to broaden the knowledge, confidence and fulfillment of its members. (See Club Workshops Description for more details.)

  • How to Creatively Increase Club Membership
  • Teambuilding
  • Empowering Women from Within
  • The FAWCO Foundation's Guide to Club Fundraising
  • Development Grant Writing
  • Applying for an Education Award
  • Shaping Your Club's Brand Story
  • Improve Your LinkedIn Profile in 6 Easy Steps
  • It’s ok to not know what to do with your life
  • Trailing Spouse: How to find a job in your new country
  • How to use the Power of Goal Setting to achieve your dreams
  • Keeping Your Resume Current




Please send a message to , if you are interested in a workshop for your Club.    

Are you interested in developing a workshop or presentation? Please contact us at


Welcome FAWCO Member Clubs!!!

First and foremost, thank you for visiting our website and checking out our Member Services section. Your Club will benefit from the sharing of resources with our nearly 70 member clubs.

  • News from our Clubs is a great way to share what is happening with your and spread the FAWCO Fever. Be sure to subscribe to this E-bulletin.
  • Member Clubs Area: provides information you can use to find out the ABC’s of being a Rep, Regional Coordinator, Hosting a Regional Meeting and much more! Click on the blue button on the home page.
  • Looking for new ideas for FUN-draising? This is another area that is extremely valuable for your Club and also for the FAWCO Foundation. For more information on Fundraising ideas please go to the Foundation’s website at www.fawcofoundation.org
  • FAWCO’s annual global conferences and regional meetings provide an opportunity for Club presidents, Club FAWCO representatives and other interested members to meet and exchange ideas, as well as learning and developing themselves and their Clubs.
  • Enjoy your journey into the world of FAWCO as a FAWCO Rep and please contact me if you have any questions, Sallie Chaballier, 2nd VP Member Clubs, .
  • Club Workshops Program: Do you have a unique professional skill that would be of value to our FAWCO clubs? Club Workhops is about Members helping Members! A wonderful opportunity for members to come directly to your club and present a workshop that would help your clubs grow and improve in many ways. If so- please contact our new Club Workshops Coordinator, Elizabeth Kennedy, for more information.  More information on Club Workshops coming soon on the website!


    If you are a FAWCO Rep and have a question, please write to the 2nd VP

    If you are a Club President with a question, please write to the Presidents Coordinator




    The world has a plethora of fabulous places to see.  Many of us choose to buy a guide book before taking the trip in order to make the most of our time in the new location.  Sometimes we have days to explore the city but other times just a day - either way, it is important to make the most of our time.  Guide books can be very helpful but information from the locals is usually the best.  They know the little out of the way places, they can tell you what should not be missed and what is a waste of time or money.  Their insights are invaluable.

    FAWCO has clubs in 35 countries and 65 cities around the world: could there be a better source of information? We are asking each club to provide highlights about their city so that our members can use the information to either make a decision about where to go next or to prepare for their upcoming trip.

    Please download the form , complete it, and return to the following web address . The completed forms will then be posted on the Sharing Cultures section of the FAWCO website.

    AILO the FAWCO club located in Florence, Italy has already completed their form.  Check it out for ideas or if you are interested in visiting a beautiful city.

    The Sharing Cultures Committee supports FAWCO Member Clubs in their efforts to promote mutual understanding and awareness of customs, cultural differences, and local environments in order to bridge gaps between nations and different populations. The committee welcomes FAWCO Member Club programs or activities that help Club members, their families, and/or the local community learn from one another.
    Committee Chair position open.  
    If you are interested in working on this committee, or have questions, comments or information to share, please email .



    day_in_your_city   A Day in Your City

    Travel Tips from FAWCO Clubs 


    Eleven Questions

    Robin Goldsby

    Interviews FAWCOites

     Tricia 2

    Eleven Questions

    Tricia Saur

    Interviews FAWCOites 

    expat_resources Expat Resources
    reading-list Reading List

    Conference Reports:


    Resources on bilingualism and language development may be helpful for families living in other countries and cultures.

    The College Guidance Committee is no longer active.  As some of the information might still be of value we have left it on our website.             



    If you are a student who learns differently who is living abroad, a family member of such a student, or an educational professional concerned with the teaching of such students, this is an invaluable resource. Much of the information compiled in this study is the result of research undertaken by members of FAWCO. In many cases, the respondents have been American women who were living overseas at the time the study took place. Many of these were living in non-English speaking countries. Often the women had to try to find adequate accommodations for their LD learners with little or no assistance. Students Who Learn Differently Overseas is an attempt to help fill that void by researching accommodations, rights, and resources that are or should be made available to our learning-differently students, their families and their educators.

    Susan van Alsenoy

    For more information please contact Students Who Learn Differently Overseas Co-Chair, Susan van Alsenoy at .

    The Table of Contents and Introduction will give you a more complete overview.  The full text of Students Who Learn Differently Overseas can be found at http://studentswholearn.fawco.org.






    FAUSA (FAWCO Alumnae USA) is a vibrant and growing association of women who share a common experience of living abroad. FAUSA, Inc. is the official and only FAWCO alumnae organization recognized by FAWCO.

    Contact FAUSA



    Regional Meetings have been taking place since 1978. Log in to browse the years below to learn more about the Clubs who hosted them and what happened there.

    Focus on Malaria - NetWorks

    Dr Wycliffe Mogoa, Director of Kiisi District Hospital, KenyaAs a United Nations accredited non-governmental organization with consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, FAWCO has an obligation to work for a better world and to help achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals. We have long realized that to be effective and make a significant impact on the MDGs, it would be best to focus mainly on one MDG. Malaria seemed to be the logical choice, since it is an attainable goal and one that FAWCO could easily influence. Malaria is a preventable tragedy that impacts so many other problems – health, child mortality, poverty and hunger, primary school education, maternal health, the environment - probably 7 of the 8 MDGs.

    On March 18, 2005 the delegates to the FAWCO conference in Birmingham, England were asked if they would like to pull together on one MDG project – so that together we could try to make - not a small difference - but a big impact. They responded with an enthusiastic yes to tackling malaria prevention together! Since its founding in 1931, FAWCO has worked for the well being of children - so it is appropriate that for our first joint global effort we focus on malaria – the single largest killer of children in the world.

    Commitment to Malaria Eradication 

    Child brought to Kiisi District Hospital, KenyaAt the 2005 FAWCO Conference in Birmingham , the delegates committed to take on one of the world’s great problems and unanimously agreed to: “take up the global challenge for reducing poverty and improving lives by promoting and supporting the Millennium Development Goals. More specifically, they resolved to address the tragedy of malaria by encouraging FAWCO's members to make a significant commitment to worldwide malaria prevention." Over $100,000 was raised the first year for the purchase of insecticide treated bed nets.

    From May 2006 to May 2007, FAWCO's Global Concerns Fund continued this focus on malaria eradication raising over $40,000 for integrated malaria prevention.

    At the FAWCO biennial Conference in Lyon in 2007 , the delegates once again re-affirmed this commitment to malaria eradication by unanimous vote of FAWCO’s Resolutions and Recommendations with a continued commitment; "encouraging our members to focus on malaria, the single largest killer of children". With this resolution, fund raising and awareness raising will continue at least up until the 2009 FAWCO Conference.

    Beginning in 2005, FAWCO partnered with the Swiss Foundation BioVision in support of their integrated approach to malaria prevention in pilot projects in Africa. FAWCO’s partnership with BioVision was enthusiastically supported by member organizations and individuals and as a result, thousands of children have lived to see their 5th birthday and beyond.

    In total, FAWCO distributed $165,885 for the purchase of insecticide treated bed nets and integrated malaria prevention. Additionally, FAWCO applied for and received a $100,000 grant from the Hilton Foundation that was paid directly to our partner Biovision in 2008, for a grand total of $265,885.

    CEDAW is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly and entered into force in 1981.

    What does CEDAW do?
    Reduce sex trafficking and domestic violence

    Provide access to education and vocational training

    Ensure the right to vote

    End forced marriage and child marriage and ensure inheritance rights

    Help mothers and families by providing access to maternal health care

    Ensure the right to work and own a business without discrimination

    Why has the USA NOT ratified CEDAW?
    Almost all countries have ratified CEDAW - 189 out of 195 countries. Only six have not ratified including Sudan, Somalia, Iran, two small Pacific Island nations (Palau and Tonga) and THE UNITED STATES!

    FAWCO supports CEDAW and continues to work towards it ratification.

    Key Links

    UN Women CEDAW Text

    UN High Commissioner for recent developments, links to treaty, reports  www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/cedaw/pages/cedawindex.aspx

    Amnesty International Fact Sheet on CEDAW www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/cedaw_fact_sheet.pdf

    Organization working for US Senate Ratification 

    The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), part of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), promotes gender equality and the advancement of women. Its charge is to measure progress towards equality and highlight challenges, set standards and formulate concrete policies to promote equality and women’s empowerment, and encourage mainstreaming of the gender perspective in all UN activities worldwide.

    FAWCO is a member of the NGO Committees on the Status of Women (NGO CSWs) in NY, Geneva and Vienna. FAWCO members and UN Representatives regularly attend the annual CSW in New York. You can read blogs by members of FAWCO's delegations to CSW. 

    FAWCO signs on to Written and Oral Statements submitted to UN Women for consideration by CSW, joining our partner women's NGOs with consultative status to ECOSOC. You can read these statements on the Advocacy page. 


    Key Links
    UN CSW http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw
    NGO CSW New York www.ngocsw.org
    NGO CSW Geneva www.ngocsw-geneva.ch/
    NGO CSW Vienna https://ngocswvienna.org/

    CSW63 banner

    CSW62 WEB Banners EN

    The sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 12 to 23 March 2018.

    Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world are invited to attend the session. FAWCO is sending a delegation of ten members from around the world, and they will be posting on the CSW62 Blog.

    See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw62-2018

    CSW61 Banner EN

    The sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 13 to 24 March 2017.

    Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world are invited to attend the session. FAWCO is sending a delegation of ten members from around the world, and they will be posting on the CSW61 Blog.

    See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw61-2017#sthash.5Yges7P1.dpuf

    A delegation of 14 FAWCO women joined over 6,000 other NGO representatives for the 60th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60) in NY from March 14 - 24, 2016. The Commission 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 6,000 delegates from the 45 Member States of the Commission, United Nations entities, and accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended this year's annual session with the priority theme "women's empowerment and its link to sustainable development". The session comprised the official ministerial meetings, more than 200 side events hosted by the Member States and UN entities, and around 450 parallel events organized by NGOs.

    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), launched in September 2015, are the top priority at the UN and are to be achieved by the year 2030. Goal 5 is "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls". The focus of the Goal 5 Targets—e.g., violence against women and girls, trafficking, early marriage, health, discrimination—were reoccurring themes in the events. "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it Up", the theme of 2016 Women's Day, was also in focus.

    The opening speech "CSW60 is the First Test of Our Resolve" by UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka gives a perspective on the 2030 Agenda. The concluding commitment of CSW Member States to the implementation of Agenda 2030 is summarized in a press release from the closing day.  (Thanks to Carol Strametz of AWC Hamburg for contributing this introduction.)

    Blog posts are by UN Liaison Laurie Richardson (AWA Vienna) unless otherwise noted. 



    A FAWCO delegation of 17 women attended CSW59 at UN Headquarters in New York from March 9 - 20, 2015.  We posted blogs here to report on our experiences and impressions.

    Click to download the four-page FAWCO Brochure created especially for CSW59: front and back pages and the inside pages.

    CSW Blog 58 Erica Higbie and My-Linh Kunst blog from the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women. It took place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 10 to 21 March 2014.

    Live reports from Erica Higbie who is attending the UN Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in New York.

    Read Final Report on CSW 57 from UN Rep Erica Higbie.


    “The trade in and exploitation of human beings through trafficking is one of the gravest violations of human dignity that exist. The purposes of trafficking in persons range from forced and bonded labour to various forms of sexual exploitation, forced marriages, removal of organs and other contemporary practices similar to slavery."

    Navi Pillay
    United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights


    The CRC was the first legally binding international instrument which set standards for the civic, economic, social and political rights of children under the age of 18. It consists of 54 articles and two optional protocols.

    The four core principles of the Convention are non-discrimination; devotion to the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child. Every right spelled out in the Convention is inherent to the human dignity and harmonious development of every child. The Convention protects children's rights by setting standards in health care; education; and legal, civil and social services.

    The optional protocols deal with rights of children involved in armed conflict, sale of children, prostitution and child pornography.

    It is the most widely signed of all UN treaties. To date, 195 countries have ratified it; South Sudan and Somalia ratified the CRC in May 2015. Only the United States remains as a non-signatory to the treaty.

    FAWCO endorses CRC and has joined other NGOs in urging the US Senate to ratify the treaty as soon as possible. In late 2015, in honor of International Children's Day and in collaoration withFAWCO's UN NGO Reps Team, FAWCO's US Liaison promoted an advocacy campaign to FAWCO members, with letters to President Obama and key US Senators encouraging them to ratify CRC as soon as possible. 


    Key Links

    UNICEF- Rights of the Child www.un.org/rights/dpi1765e.htm

    Campaign for US Ratification of CRC www.childrightscampaign.org

    Amnesty  International – Rights of the Child www.amnesty.org/en/children

    Child Right International Network (CRIN) www.crin.org

    Welcome to our new UN Youth Rep, Vali Mitsakis. Vali is from Greece; her mother is a member of AWO Greece. She was active with the Model UN in high school, and she's spending a year in New York, where she's keeping very busy going to UN meetings and learning about the UN's post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

    Valia Mitsaki-2









    FAWCO's first UN Youth Rep was Gavin Higbie (pictured below at UN Headquarters in New York, third from left). Gavin is the son of Erica Higbie (FAUSA, AWC Perth) who is an active FAWCO volunteer; she serves as our UN Rep in New York and as the Chair of the Human Rights Team

    Gavin attended UN meetings live in New York and via Webcast throughout 2014 and reported via a blog. He attended the UN Youth Assembly on February 5 and 6, 2014 and posted blogs about his experiences.

    This is a great way for your club's teenagers to engage in global issues and get involved with other FAWCO youths. Please encourage your club's teenagers to check our Youth Program webpages.


    Gavin Higbie UN Photo

    To follow Gavin's UN Youth Rep Blog, click here.

    Violence against women and girls is a horrific worldwide phenomenon.

    It has been estimated that one in three women (35%) of women worldwide have experienced intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

    Intimate partner violence is the most common however other forms of violence include human trafficking, sexual violence including when it is used a s tactic of war and harmful traditional practices such as early forced marriages, female genital mutilation and so called “honor” killings.

    Globally, as many as 38% of murders of all women are committed by an intimate partner.

    Gender based violence cuts across ethnicity, race, class, religion, education and international borders.

    Click here for more information about FAWCO’s Sub-Committee on Ending Violence against Women and Children

    Key Links

    World Heath Organization Fact Sheet on VAW www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/

    Say No to Violence - Join the orange campaign to fight violence against women www.saynotoviolence.org/

    UNITE- UN Secretary General’s Campaign to End Violence against Women www.un.org/en/women/endviolence

    UN Women- support for Ending VAW  www.unwomen.org/

    US Strategy to End Violence against Women and Girls http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/article/2012/08/20120812134584.html#axzz2nkXBZuih

    The Human Rights Council

    The Human Rights Council, created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006, is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe, addressing situations of human rights violations, and making recommendations on them.

    The Council is made up of 47 Member States which are elected by members of the General Assembly of the United Nations through direct and secret ballot. Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

    The Council’s rotating membership is based on equitable geographical distribution of the following seats: African States: 13 seats; Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats; Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats; Western European and other States: 7 seats; Eastern European States: 6 seats.

    The 34th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva

    Stacy Lara and Madaline Keros, FAWCO's UN Reps at the HRC in Geneva, will keep us informed via blog posts during HRC34.

    The 33rd Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva

    Stacy Lara, FAWCO's UN NGO Rep at the HRC in Geneva, will keep us informed via blog posts during HRC33.


     COP26 cover photo 2021


    In 2015, FAWCO's UN Reps Team and Environment Team collaborated to inform FAWCO members about the proceedings of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP21) held in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015. The UN Climate Conference in Paris was of historic importance. While no one from the UN Reps Team or Environment Team were able to attend the Conference, we reported on what was happening. In addition to general background information on UNFCCC (and definitions of the UN’s alphabet soup of abbreviations), we posted summaries of previous UN environment meetings. 
    In 2016, motivated by the interest of members of AIWC Cologne, FAWCO applied for Observer status at the UNFCCC so our UN Reps could participate in Climate Change Conference sessions in Bonn. We were granted Observer status and three members of FAWCO's UN Reps Team attended meetings in Bonn in May 2017. FAWCO joined the Women and Gender Constituency of Observer NGOs at the UNFCCC and will continue our coverage of and involvement with the climate conference process. 


    To get involved in FAWCO's advocacy work and action campaigns for Human Rights, visit the Human Rights Global Issues Team pages. We also encourage you to support our Target Program: Human Rights for Women.


    Human Rights Council Replaces the Commission on Human Rights

    The final session on the Commission on Human Rights came to an end on March 27, 2006 in Geneva with NGOs standing and observing a moment of silence for those who have suffered human rights violations during the life of the Commission, to mark with dignity its closing after 60 years.

    The new Human Rights Council began its work on June 19, 2006 as a result of long awaited reform. The new council did not have a smooth start: the second session ended with no decisions and with everything (44 texts) being tabled and the session suspended until November 2006 when procedural issues were finally addressed.

    FAWCO joined the CONGO Committee on the Status of Women urging the new HRC to recognize the need for the integration of women's rights throughout the entire human rights agenda. CSW also advocated for  mainstreaming a gender equality perspective in the UN system to ensure that women's human rights are dealt with in the context of social and economic development.

    In the 4th session of the HRC, the human rights situation in Darfur was the main focus. In signing a joint FAWCO statement, FAWCO thanked Secretary General Kofi Annan for his leadership in urging the Council to convene the special session to begin to address gross violations around the globe and asking for a strong resolution in Dafur.

    What is Beijing + 20?

    page1image18920In 2013, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) requested the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to review and appraise implementation of the Platform for Action in 2015, in a session known as Beijing+20. The Beijing Platform for Action was adopted at the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, and is the defining policy framework and roadmap for achieving gender equality and women's rights. Beijing+20 takes place at an historic moment when major international efforts are underway to advance human rights and development. The global community is intensifying efforts to accomplish the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their 2015 endpoint and considering a post-2015 development agenda. These and other interconnected processes provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to position gender equality, women's rights and women's empowerment at the heart of the global agenda.

    FAWCO members had the opportunity to participate in the Beiing+20 CSW at UN Headquarters in New York, March 9 - 20, 2015 and the Beijing+20 Review Forum in Geneva, November 3 - 5, 2014. 

    Geneva Regional Review Forum Beijing+20

    Read the full report of the NGO CSW Geneva Beijing+20 ECE Regional Review Forum and be inspired by the prominent role FAWCO members played in planning and implementing the Forum. Sara von Moos (AWC Bern), UN Liaison for FAWCO in 2014, was a Vice President of the NGO CSW Geneva's Executive Bureau and a key member of the organizing team for the Forum, and Anne Riz (AWC Bern) served as Chair of the Financing and Sponsoring Team. On page ii, you can see a photo of UN Rep Enid Burke, and on page 147, a photo of the FAWCO delegation. Sallie Chaballier (AAWE Paris and FAWCO Board), Paula Daeppan (AWC Zurich) and Laurie Richardson (AWA Vienna and UN Liaison) were Rapporteurs for conference roundtables. Special thanks were given to Robin Meloy Goldsby (AIWC Cologne) and her daughter Julia Goldsby, FAWCO's Youth Ambassador in 2014, for their performance of the song "Maybe It's You" written especially for the Forum's Closing Ceremony.

    "Education is not simply a moral imperative—it is the smart choice. Every dollar invested generates US$ 10 to US$ 15 in returns. Yet worldwide, some 61 million children are still not in school. Our shared ideals are simple. We want all children to attend primary school and to progress to secondary school and relevant higher education. We want them to acquire the literacy, numeracy and critical-thinking skills that will help them to succeed in life and live as engaged and productive global citizens.”

    - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

    If you would like to get involved, join FAWCO's Global Issues Team on Education.

    Excerpts from the UN report "The Global Education First Initiative" (2012) are below:

    It is time for the international community to face the fact that we have a crisis in education. We must be clear that if children are forced out of school, their governments and communities are also failing.

    As we approach 2015, we must have unwavering support for achieving and exceeding the global education goals we have set for ourselves. It will take relentless and uncompromising focus on the most
    marginalized children and countries lagging furthest behind to finish the job. But we cannot stop until
    every child, youth and adult has the opportunity to go to school, learn and contribute to society. 

    When we put Education First, we see an end to wasted potential -- we unleash the human spirit.

    Meeting the urgent needs of our children and communities will take more than good intentions. To fulfill the promise of the Initiative, the United Nations Secretary-General will lend his convening power, supported by his Special Envoy for Global Education and all the education-related UN agencies, to leverage the expertise and experience of existing stakeholders, as well as find innovative ways to engage new networks. Everyone has a critical role to play. When we act with unity of purpose and rise above self interest, miracles will happen.

    Non-governmental organizations and community organizations must play an important role as advocates for education, including mounting media campaigns, mobilizing networks and members and engaging governments, donors and multilaterals.


    To fulfill the requirements to maintain our UN accreditation, FAWCO submits annual reviews to the UN Department of Public Information (DPI NGO) and quadrennial reports to the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC).

    The UN Reps Team reports to the FAWCO Board through Annual Reports.


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    SDG Team Leaders

    Alexandra De Jager, FAUSA and Katja Malinowski, AWC Berlin


    The UN Sustainable Development Goals

    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all 193 Member States of the United Nations in September 2015. 

    These goals are ambitious (ending poverty world wide), and comprehensive (including people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership). The more people who know about and support the goals, the more likely countries are to achieve them.  

    However, on 24 September 2019 UN Secretary-General António Guterres gave a speech at the first Global Goals Summit, saying: 

    We are far from where we need to be. We are off track... We must step up our efforts.  And we must do it now... I am issuing a global call for a decade of action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

    In spite of the best efforts of the UN and of UN Member States, the majority of people around the world remain unaware that the SDGs exist. Without adequate awareness and support, we will collectively fail to achieve these goals. 

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    In 2020, FAWCO launched SDG Awareness for the Decade of Action: 2020 – 2030.

    FAWCO Already Aims to Support the Global Goals

    The Global Issues Teams and the UN Reps Team promote the SDGs. FAWCO’s Youth Program encourages the next generation to connect to the SDGs, and the Target Program and the FAWCO Foundation also invoke the SDGs in their work. Member Clubs around the world contribute to achieving the SDG with projects in their local communities.

    Raising SDG Awareness in FAWCO Clubs 

    To reinforce the efforts already in place within FAWCO, the SDG Awareness Team is developing actions to inspire FAWCO Member Clubs to integrate the SDGs into their club communications and activities. Many materials exist for clubs and FAWCO volunteers to use, but searching through them is time consuming. Also, not all materials are adapted to the FAWCO Club context. The benefit of this project is that materials will be adapted to the FAWCO audience. The tools selected will integrate a gender perspective. Additional tools will be selected to emphasize the connection between the SDGs and the current Target Program.

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    If you are a student who learns differently who is living abroad, a family member of such a student, or an educational professional concerned with the teaching of such students, this is an invaluable resource. Much of the information compiled in this study is the result of research undertaken by members of FAWCO. In many cases, the respondents have been American women who were living overseas at the time the study took place. Many of these were living in non-English speaking countries. Often the women had to try to find adequate accommodations for their LD learners with little or no assistance. Students Who Learn Differently Overseas is an attempt to help fill that void by researching accommodations, rights, and resources that are or should be made available to our learning-differently students, their families and their educators.

    For more information please contact Students Who Learn Differently Overseas Co-Chair, Susan van Alsenoy at .

    The Table of Contents and Introduction will give you a more complete overview.  The full text of Students Who Learn Differently Overseas can be found at http://studentswholearn.fawco.org.


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    The Cultural Volunteers module of FAWCO's Youth Program is designed to foster cultural awareness and volunteerism among FAWCO youths. FAWCO teens aged 15 - 18 will be hosted by FAWCO families for a week, and will experience a new culture while volunteering with local charities, working side-by-side with local teens. As part of the program, the participants will create a video about their experiences, and write individual essays reflecting on what they learn. Participants will be able to receive community service credits required by their International Baccalaureate program. 

    Here are just a few excerpts from reflections by our Youth Cultural Volunteers in 2013 and 2014:  

    "I made new friends in the UAE --- Emirati teens, who helped us learn more about their culture. Believe me, we may dress differently and practice different religions, but teenagers around the world are pretty much the same --- we're all goofy, curious, and hoping our generation can improve life for all of us."

    "In the end, what matters is that you have raised your personal awareness of poverty. And maybe it would have inspired you by then to grab the initiative and take part in a bigger project."

    "It was nice to be able to go outside the tourist destinations and contribute to the lives of others who may not have the same luxuries as we do back in our own countries."

    "[It was] a wonderful group of people. . . These friendships will last a lifetime. . . I am proud of what I feel I have accomplished with the group, and look forward to hearing about FAWCO Youth’s continued development."

    The pilot Cultural Volunteers Program was held in Dubai in July 2013, hosted by AWA Dubai.

    The 2014 Cultural Volunteers Program was held in Shanghai in July 2014, hosted by AWC Shanghai. 

    The 2015 Cultural Volunteers Program was held in Mumbai in August 2015, hosted by AWC Mumbai.
    Please contact for more information.


    Click to see videos prepared by the Youth Cultural Volunteers for Dubai 2013Shanghai 2014 and Mumbai 2015.


    Sub Logos Youth Program


    The FAWCO Youth Cultural Volunteers Program flourished in its fourth year as seven of our FY Volunteers travelled to Dublin for a week in June. They were hosted by AWC Dublin members and were joined by Carson and Ian, two local youth volunteers. The enthusiastic feedback described the week as “wonderful” and an “unforgettable experience”.


    The teens between the ages of 13-17 representing FAWCO were from AIWC Cologne, IWC Torino, AWC Hamburg and AWC Berlin. Thanks to the organization and energy of the Dublin Club President Rheagan Coffey and her capable team, the group enjoyed a fun week that included both sightseeing and volunteering.


    The program including both sightseeing in Dublin and real hands-on volunteering. The group cleared out the gardens of two local residents and both enjoyed working together as a team and they were very proud with their efforts! All of the CVs recognized the satisfaction of seeing how one’s work can make someone else happy.


    Laura Wilhelm (AIWCC) summed up her observations beautifully:


    „The Cultural Volunteers trip was definitely eye-opening. It allowed me to meet many new people and to learn and experience new, interesting things. I got to spend time with some amazing people and had a lot of fun. With friends, both garden work and exploring a new city were suddenly much more fun! This experience is one I will remember and treasure“.

    Dublin 2016 2

    Read all of the participants' reflections on their experiences, In Their Own Words. You must be logged in to view this content.


    The 3rd FAWCO Youth Cultural Volunteers Program took place in Mumbai, India from August 22-29, 2015 and was a huge success! Many thanks to the AWC Mumbai for their hospitality and generosity. AWC Mumbai’s Club President Meenakshi Advani and her team put together a full program and these teens came away full of praise: “Life-changing!” “Amazing” “Wonderful Memories” and they all agreed they made friends for life!



    Fifteen teens from seven countries travelled to Mumbai August 22-29 and were hosted by the local club.

    The group was treated to a mix of culture and charity. They visited the Foundation for Mother and Child Health (FMCH), an NGO providing preventive health and balanced nutrition in underprivileged communities, VOICE, an organization that helps street children, the MANN Center for Individuals with Special Needs, and URJA, a shelter for homeless young girls.

    The tours included watching the Dabawallas work, the Mumbai Heritage Walk, a visit to the Ghandi Museum, a trip to the American School of Bombay, a yoga lesson and Bollywood dancing and lots and lots of fun!  

    Watch Pascal Shrady's video of the group's experience:



    Read all of the participants' reflections on their experiences, In Their Own Words.

    The 2014 FAWCO Youth Cultural Volunteers Program took place in Shanghai July 18-27, 2014. Many thanks to the AWC Shanghai for their generosity and willingness to set up this year's program!

    Fourteen teens from 8 different countries travelled to Shanghai in July, where they were hosted by the AWC Shanghai. (The list of Shanghai participants is here.) The teens were treated to a mix of cultural activities and volunteering opportunities. They visited Shining Star Orphanage for Blind Children, where Chinese orphans learn English to improve their chances of being adopted into English-speaking homes; the Renewal Center for Homeless Migrants in Shanghai, where volunteers assist homeless people coming in off the streets for a shower, a change of clothes, and something to eat;  the YouDao Center for Migrant Children, where the Cultural Volunteers spent time with migrant children; and Heart to Heart Shanghai, a non-profit community outreach organization that supports children undergoing heart surgery. The cultural outings included a tour of the city, sightseeing in the Yuyuan Garden and Confucian Temple, shopping in Shanghai's markets, tours of the Qibao ancient town, and a Shanghai Acrobatic Show… and, as this video shows, lots of fun.

    Shanghai 2014

    The pilot project for the Cultural Volunteers module hosted by AWA Dubai was a week-long program (July 16-23, 2013) attended by seven FAWCO teens from Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The teens were hosted in AWA Dubai members' homes and had the opportunity to do hands-on volunteering in three local charities. Participants received community service credits for their IB program. The program included cultural learning about the UAE and Ramadan, as well as experiencing the sights and sounds of a new country. Click here to see the program video.


    Dubai 2013

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    12 FAWCO Youth Cultural Volunteers hosted in Athens by AWO Greece

    By Stacey Harris-Papaioannou

    Teens from 14 to 17 years old came to Athens from October 16th to 23rd to get a taste of Greek culture and volunteering through the American Women's Organization of Greece (AWOG). The teens were hosted by local FAWCO Chair Georgia Kallis, AWOG Treasurer Stacey Harris-Papaioannou, and Danielle Termote, a Cultural Volunteer Alumna and volunteer from AWC Amsterdam, staying in an AirBnB down the street from Stacey.

    The students hailed from 10 FAWCO clubs and live in England, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and France. The youth put in hours at a Caritas soup kitchen serving meals and sorting clothing, helping with AWOG’s heart pillow stuffing, visiting the Sea Turtle rescue center in Glyfada and getting a hands-on experience at Pame Mmazi, the art therapy program for cancer patients at Agoi Anargyri Hospital in Kifissia. The group also visited Merimna center for unaccompanied refugee boys in Exharxia and had the opportunity to interact with some of the 29 boys, ages 12 to 17, currently housed there. 

    The participants in the FAWCO Youth Cultural Volunteers 2019 in Athens reflected on their experience through the essays posted here.  We invite you to read them here (you must be logged in).

    They visited the Acropolis, Sounion, Lake Vouliagmeni, the Niarchou Center, Monastiraki and Syntagma— the A list of attractions for Athens. Below is the highlight video, produced by the youths themselves. 


    Sub Logos Youth Program

    The American Women’s Club of Amsterdam successfully hosted the 2022 edition of the FAWCO Youth Cultural Volunteers Program from June 25 to July 2. This was an especially exciting event after two postponements due to the pandemic. During the one-week itinerary, 15 Cultural Volunteers (“CVs”), aged 15-18, hailed from 11 clubs and traveled from 11 different countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland,  France, Germany, Italy, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and the US), stayed with local host families and immersed themselves in a variety of enriching activities which were designed to provide insights into important global issues and Dutch culture while offering them opportunities to give back to the local community…all whilst making new friends and having a ton of fun.
    They volunteered at Plastic Whale Boat; Canal Clean-Up / deKloof Men’s Day Shelter; Cooking for the homeless / Speeltuin; rehabilitate children’s play area, and Social Housing sites, Amsterdam Noord; Gardening and Beautification. They also experienced first-hand accounts with a WWII Holocaust Survivor and refugees, and learned about human trafficking and sustainable fashion.
    The participants in the FAWCO Youth Cultural Volunteers 2022 Amsterdam reflected on their experience through the essays posted here. We invite you to read them here (you must be logged in).

    Below is the highlight video, produced by the youths themselves. 


    FAWCO Youth Ambassador

    The FAWCO Youth Ambassador program is for teens taking a gap year between high school and college. High school graduates often spend a year exploring the world, discovering themselves along the way. The FAWCO global family is in a unique position to support members’ children in this endeavor. The FYA program offers our young adults a chance to experience new cultures, learn about the world, and do hands-on volunteer work while contributing to our member clubs.  For more information, contact .

    Click here to follow FAWCO's first Youth Ambassador, Julia Goldsby, on her trip Around the FAWCO World in 365 Days, including links to her video blog.

    FYA EA Julia Goldsby

    Past FAWCO Education Awards recipients Thaddeus Jahn (left) and Alex Barton (right) with current FAWCO Youth Ambassador, Julia Goldsby, Shanghai, 2014.


    In August 2017, Samuel Witt (son of Susan Stanley-Witt, AWC Hamburg) began his FAWCO UN Youth Rep experience. 

    Youth Assembly 2016 Vali and Sammy

    From May - August 2017, Paige Higbie was FAWCO's UN Youth Rep in New York. Paige's mother is UN Rep Erica Higbie (FAUSA) and her brother Gavin was FAWCO's first UN Youth Rep. Now enrolled in a Master's program studying international relations in Berlin, Paige serves as FAWCO's UN Youth Rep Coordinator.  

    Paige Higbie photo

    FAWCO's UN Youth Rep 2015 - 2017 is Vali Mitsakis from AWO Greece. Vali is studying in New York, and as a former Model UN participant, is excited to be a FAWCO UN Youth Rep. 

    Valia Mitsaki






    In 2014, FAWCO had its first UN Youth Rep, Gavin Higbie, son of Erica Higbie (FAUSA), FAWCO UN Rep in New York and former Chair of the Human Rights Team. In August 2014, Gavin attended the Summer 2014 Youth Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City. He also attended the Winter 2014 Youth Assembly, and posted blogs about his experiences.

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    Gavin Higbie, FAWCO UN Youth Rep 


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