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  • Fri, December 07, 2018 11:00 | Christine Funke (Administrator)

    All throughout 2018, the Heidelberg IWC has been fundraising for the FAWCO Target Project, Hope Beyond Displacement, which provides education and skills training for refugee women and girls in Amman, Jordan. As a FAWCO Member Club, the HIWC has the opportunity to come together with the 62 other Member Clubs and make a difference with one organization. After the last of five fundraising event and activities took place in December, we can announce that the HIWC has raised €1,215 to donate to Hope Beyond Displacement!

    Hope Beyond Displacement aims to build better futures through education, vocational and leadership training for refugee women and girls in Amman, Jordan. It is an initiative of the Collateral Repair Project (CRP) designed to address the pressing issues identified in close consultation with the women they serve.

    Hope Beyond Displacement

    Located in Amman, Jordan, Collateral Repair Project is a grassroots effort to bring much-needed assistance to refugees and other victims of war and conflict - those commonly referred to as "collateral damage". They operate numerous programs focusing on community building, education and emergency aid.

    The project addresses these issues through targeted training and educational programs, and through tangible opportunities for advocacy and leadership. To ensure the sense of ownership and investment that will be integral for the longevity, sustainability, and success of the project, community members will be involved at every stage.

    The events and activities where money was raised were:

    • A special book discussion, where members read When the Moon is Low and the Skyped with the author Nadia Hashimi;
    • A Walk Through the Night, where members walked along the Neckar in Heidelberg and considered the plight of refugees fleeing their homes;
    • The Kick-Off Monthly Meeting, where attendees participated in a raffle to win two gorgeous prizes provided by members Gisela Backe of Evolving You Art Design, and Ginny Trowman, an Independent Stella & Dot Stylist;
    • Soirée on the River, a fancy picnic on the river Rhine in Mannheim; and
    • The Benefit Concert with Robin Meloy Goldsby.

    Additionally, Target Program Chair Tricia R. Saur was the guest speaker at the club’s Monthly Meeting in May, and Collateral Repair Project Executive Director Amanda Lane and four Target Project Site Visit attendees spoke at the FAWCO Region 5 Meeting hosted by the HIWC in November. It’s been wonderful to learn more about the project and organization and to spread this awareness among the members.

    The Heidelberg IWC is thrilled to have raised so much money in support of this amazing organization. Not even a year old, the HIWC has jumped in feet first in support of the Target Project, learning as much about it as possible and contributing to the programs that will make a vital difference in the lives of the women and girls in Jordan.


  • Thu, December 06, 2018 10:01 | Christine Funke (Administrator)

    In the middle of the Heidelberg Old Town at a small music school, Robin Meloy Goldsby performed a touching, funny and heartwarming concert for 30 guests at the Heidelberg International Women’s Club’s Benefit Concert on December 5th. Robin played beautiful pieces on the piano, a combination of her own composed pieces and classics from her multiple albums, and shared three delightful and relatable stories about visiting German saunas, performing for Prince Charles, and shopping at Ikea while pregnant.

    Robin Meloy Goldsby at the piano

    Robin Meloy Goldsby: Composer, Pianist, Author, Storyteller

    It was not only just a wonderful concert, but the Heidelberg IWC raised money for the FAWCO Target Project, Hope Beyond Displacement, which provides education and skills training for refugee women and girls in Amman, Jordan, through the Collateral Repair Project. All proceeds from the tickets, plus 50% of the sales of Robin’s books and albums, combined to an impressive €635 for the night! The Heidelberg IWC thanks the clubs of FAWCO Region 5 for their support for the evening as well.

    The Heidelberg IWC, not even a year old, has supported the Target Project all throughout 2018, raising a total of €1,215 through 5 different fundraising events and activities. Well done!

    The Club says a big thank you to Robin Goldsby for entertaining us in fun and inspiring evening.

    President Christine Funke and Robin Meloy Goldsby

    Heidelberg IWC President Christine Funke and Robin Meloy Goldsby at the Benefit Concert


  • Mon, November 12, 2018 10:00 | Christine Funke (Administrator)

    The FAWCO Region 5 Meeting took place in Heidelberg, Germany for the first time ever with it being hosted by FAWCO’s newest Member Club, the Heidelberg International Women’s Club. The organizers, led by President and Founder Christine Funke, took on a huge challenge in the Club’s first year in existence and threw a giant welcoming party for itself by hosting this meeting.

    The meeting, held on Friday and Saturday, with optional tours on Sunday, had 48 women in attendance from all the Region 5 Clubs, except for Frankfurt, plus women from Amsterdam, Paris, Denmark, Dublin, and The Hague among others. Eight members from the host club were there with this being the first ever FAWCO event for many of them!

    Region 5 Meeting Attendees in Heidelberg

    The theme of the meeting was “Connect & Inspire” and the focus was on getting to know the other women in attendance. There were stickers for the name tags for starting conversations, a round of “speed dating” where everyone had two minutes to chat with each attendee, longer lunch time and coffee breaks, and a member directory with attendees’ photos and a short description they provided upon registration. Overall, everyone took the opportunity to reach out to someone they hadn’t met before which created a buzzing atmosphere throughout the weekend.

    During the FAWCO and FAWCO Foundation sessions, the majority of the time was spent on hearing from the attendees themselves. Eight FAWCO volunteers, including a counselor, the Inspiring Women editor, the Club Workshops Coordinator and Youth Co-Chair, stood up and gave a short explanation of their position and why they got involved. Later, we heard from women who won an Education Award or have a son or daughter who won one, and from Roxey Lau and Carol Strametz who each won a Development Grant for a project. Last but not least, Target Program Chair Tricia Saur led a round of Q&A with four women who participated in the Target Project Site Visit in April 2018, and in the afternoon Collateral Repair Project Executive Director Amanda Lane spoke with small groups about the Target Project, Hope Beyond Displacement, on the ground in Jordan. It was a unique way for attendees to learn more about FAWCO and the Foundation, and hear about its impact on the women who are actively involved.

    Saturday’s meeting sessions were held in the community room at the Peace Church in the Handschuhsheim neighborhood of Heidelberg, where the Heidelberg IWC hosts its Monthly Meeting. The lunch was catered by HIWC Member Juliah Rais-Morres of Serai and proceeds were donated to her organization Cooking for Hope, which supports unaccompanied refugee minors in Heidelberg and the surrounding region. Some of the young men were on hand to say hello and help out with the lunch and cleaning up.

    Juliah Rais-Morres of Cooking for Hope

    Saturday wrapped up with dinner at the hotel where the attendees were staying. Then on Sunday, attendees did a tour of Heidelberg’s Old Town and Castle, or went for a walk on the Philosophers’ Path and then back through the Old Town.

    A weekend with the women of Region 5 is never enough, but we look forward to seeing each other again in March, and of course somewhere else in Region 5 next November.

  • Wed, October 31, 2018 12:45 | Christine Funke (Administrator)

    Written by Kirsty Rowan

    On Saturday the 27th of October, members of the HIWC put on a performance of Ghosts of Artists Past, dramatic readings from some of history’s most inspiring female creatives.

    From Frida Kahlo to Sylvia Plath, writers, poets and painters, we embraced the magical Halloween spirit and took the the streets with our candles and ghostly faces. Stopping at four of Heidelberg Altstadt’s most beautiful squares, we had seven ghosts reading excerpts and histories from these wonderful women’s lives.

    Heidelberg IWC Ghosts of Artists Past Performers

    The event was in aid of raising funds for art supplies and classes for women refugees living in Heidelberg, and to seed a children’s puppet theatre if we received enough funds. We are happy to say that thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our family and friends, we raised €880 for this excellent cause, and we look forward to putting together the art programme for 2019.

    Heidelberg IWC Ghosts of Artists Past Group


  • Thu, October 25, 2018 13:00 | Christine Funke (Administrator)

    On a chilly October evening at the Community Room at the Peace Church in Handschuhsheim, Heidelberg IWC members and guests got together for the Monthly Meeting.

    As guest speaker, HIWC Member Gisela Backe, of Evolving You Art Design, took the group through a fascinating and inspiring journey of self-discovery and acceptance while turning a lump of clay into a beautiful piece of jewelry. The attendees were wowed by how such a lovely item could be transformed from something dull and shapeless.

    Gisela Backe at the Heidelberg IWC Monthly Meeting

    Also during the evening, President Christine Funke spoke about the values and goals of the club and the many exciting events and activities coming up. Charities Coordinator Marelie Manders touched on the volunteering opportunities available to HIWC Members with Cooking for Hope and the new partner organization Mehrgenerationenhaus.

    Gisela Backe is a generous sponsor of the Heidelberg IWC providing her studio as meeting space for the club. Thank you Gisela!

  • Wed, September 19, 2018 13:07 | Christine Funke (Administrator)

    The Kick-Off Meeting was an extra special edition of the Heidelberg IWC’s Monthly Meeting to get members and guests excited about a busy fall with the Club.

    Around 25 attendees gathered in the Community Building at the Peace Church and had a fun time chatting, eating and learning more about the HIWC. Everyone brought a dish representing their home country or somewhere they had lived for a potluck lunch, which was organized by member Faeimm Tang, also the founder of Food Explorers.

    For the presentations, attendees heard from President and Founder Christine Funke, Vice President Laura Bobanovic, Activities Coordinator Kirsty Rowan, and FAWCO Rep Ulrike Näumann. In addition to these reports, the Club voted on changes to the constitution and re-voted for the executive board (president, vice president and treasurer).

    Last but not least, there was a raffle to raise money for the FAWCO Target Project, Hope Beyond Displacement, which provides education and skills training to refugee women and girls in Amman, Jordan. The items being raffled off were provided by HIWC Members Gisela Backe, of Evolving You Art Design, and Ginny Trowman, an independent Stella & Dot Stylist. In the end, over €200 was raised for Hope Beyond Displacement, and two lucky members went home with new jewelry!

    Thank you Gisela and Ginny!


  • Mon, July 02, 2018 10:30 | Christine Funke (Administrator)

    For a change of style, the Heidelberg International Women’s Club met at restaurant Zum Achter for our June Monthly Meeting. The theme was “Welcome Summer” and the warm weather and late-setting sun were the perfect background. Around 20 women, members and guests, attended.

    We started off with ordering drinks and then dinner, and while waiting for our meals, member Neha Agrawal took us with her on a description of her solo journey by car through Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. She gave us the highlights, her favorite spots, lessons learned, and told us why she had so many photos of sunsets. She traveled through Italy and some parts of the other countries with her husband, but it was really the time she spent alone that wowed us.

    Her presentation was engaging and fun, not just a slideshow of thousands of photos. We appreciated hearing about her experiences booking apartments or rooms last minute, and giving up control to lean into her vacation. Thanks Neha for sharing your experience with us!

    Towards the end, we took a fabulous group photo, where we all were wearing our Club t-shirts. You can see the photo on our About page. With lots of potential new members and the chance to catch up with our friends, it was a perfect summer evening with the HIWC.


  • Tue, June 26, 2018 11:00 | Christine Funke (Administrator)

    It was a lofty goal: to set up, organize and hold three events to coincide with World Refugee Day on June 20, 2018. But President and Founder, Christine Funke, wanted a way to show that working with refugees is an important issue for the Heidelberg International Women’s Club. Along with raising awareness and talking about these events, and therefore this issue, the Club raised €260 for the FAWCO Target Project, Hope Beyond Displacement!

    Taken together, these events show the diversity of the membership of the club, the interests of the members, and the strength of working together to get things done. Through a book discussion, a party with refugee women, and a challenging walk through the middle of the night, the HIWC is committing ourselves to supporting refugees living in our community and around the world.

    Additionally, the HIWC joined FAWCO in supporting the FAWCO Target Project in considering that many of us chose to leave our home countries, but what if we had no choice? This meant that the HIWC was taking part in in a larger, global-wide campaign through our FAWCO membership to fundraise for the Target Project on World Refugee Day.

    Special Book Discussion: When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi

    When the Moon is Low by Nadia HashimiThrough FAWCO membership and connections, Christine was able to get in touch Nadia Hashimi, the author of the book When the Moon is Low, a fictional story of a woman who must flee Afghanistan with her children to get away from the Taliban. Nadia had spoken with other FAWCO Clubs in the past, and was willing to speak with a group of HIWC Members who gathered at Christine’s home after reading the book.

    The book discussion was engaging but getting the chance to chat with the author herself was amazing! She was thoughtful, kind, funny and in the middle of a U.S. congressional primary campaign, but still had time to speak with us. She gave us insight into how she created the characters, how she wanted to create situations that she thought couldn’t possibly happen in the journey of a refugee from Afghanistan to England, but do happen now. She answered our questions and impressed us with her candor and approachability.

    It really was a special moment for the members who attended this event, and those avid readers who have been part of the Book Club for a few years.

    Special Book Discussion with Nadia Hashimi


    Zuckerfest with the Refugee Women in Freinsheim

    Originally a picnic on the Neckarwiese had been planned for the afternoon on June 20, World Refugee Day, but due to logistics and timing, a few HIWC members went out to Freinsheim, a small town in the Pfalz, about 40 minutes away from Heidelberg.

    The Zuckerfest (sugar party) celebrated the end of Ramadan and everyone brought a dish to share. The organizers of the Frauentreff (women’s get together) spoke and welcomed everyone, and translations in Arabic and Persian were given as well. Lots of small children ran around the room and everyone enjoyed the food.

    The Club continues to keep in touch with the group, Miteinander in der VG Freinsheim, who spoke at the January Monthly Meeting. We hope they’ll be a good resource as we continue to work with refugee women in Heidelberg and that the groups can support each other in various ways.

    Zuckerfest with refugee women in Freinsheim


    A Walk Through the Night

    Heidelberg IWC A Walk Through the NightThe series of events wrapped up with an hour walk starting at midnight along the Neckar River in Heidelberg. Modeled off of “The Night of the Refugee” held in The Netherlands, this walk was purposefully challenging to help us understand a bit better what it might be like to have to walk at night to leave your home and go somewhere unknown. While, we can’t ever recreate or fully understand what that might be like, the women who participated appreciated the chance to walk and talk and discuss ways for the Club to continue to develop our charity and volunteer work.

    We got a selfie on the Theodor Heuss Bridge with a clear view of the moon to remember our first Walk Through the Night.

    Overall, it was a successful series of events and we’re happy to have supported the FAWCO Target Project, Hope Beyond Displacement, with a donation, as well as, talked about this issue with our new Club. We can imagine that each year we’ll want to continue to use World Refugee Day to raise awareness, do some activities together, and fundraise for the refugee projects that are meaningful to us.


  • Mon, June 04, 2018 10:00 | Christine Funke (Administrator)

    On a very warm morning at the end of May, around 17 women attended our Monthly Meeting at the Peace Church Community Room in Heidelberg-Handschuhsheim. Our guest was Tricia R Saur, an HIWC Member, AIWC Cologne Member and FAWCO Target Program Chair. This morning gave HIWC members and guests a short introduction to FAWCO (we joined in April) but mostly Tricia focused on the Target Program and the Target Project, Hope Beyond Displacement.

    Tricia started with the history of the Target Program, where it began with raising money for mosquito nets then water wells in Cambodia then bras for women to sell to fight human trafficking and now supporting the education and skills training for refugee women and girls in Jordan.

    Heidelberg IWC Monthly Meeting May 2018Hope Beyond Displacement (HBD), the Target Project submitted by Therese Hartwell, a FAUSA Member, and voted on by the 65 other FAWCO Member Clubs, is a project by Collateral Repair Project (CRP) in Amman, Jordan. They support refugees from various backgrounds and countries who do not live in camps but are not legally allowed to work.

    Through HBD, the Member Clubs can collectively fundraise and support educational and skills training programs for the refugee women and girls they work with. Programs include beautician skills training, Super Girls, a program for young girls to work through the trauma of war and hardship, international driver’s license training, providing school uniforms and materials to girls going to school, and gender-based violence training for women and men. Additionally, many of the programs then train new trainers who will be able to deliver the programs and provide the element of sustainability to CRP’s programs.

    Tricia shared that the original fundraising goal of $125,000 for HBD has already been met, with another 8 months of fundraising still to go! Also, in early April a group of 22 women from FAWCO and FAUSA joined a site visit to Jordan and CRP to learn more about the organization, to see the programs in action, and to meet some of the people the Target Program is supporting. Tricia shared testimonials and photos which brought the visit to life for our attendees.

    Heidelberg IWC Monthly Meeting MembersAfter her talk, there were some questions and a discussion, and Tricia also sold items from the Backing Women Boutique, the fundraising campaign to support the Target Project. Beautiful, handheld fans were the popular item with the hot temperatures.

    We were very excited to learn more about the Target Project, as the HIWC has some fundraising events coming up in June which will be raising money for Hope Beyond Displacement. Additionally in December the HIWC will have a Benefit Concert featuring the talented Robin Meloy Goldsby, which will raise money for the Target Project.

    Thank you Tricia for your inspiring and informative talk!



  • Tue, May 08, 2018 14:00 | Christine Funke (Administrator)

    We have officially joined FAWCO as the 66th and newest Member Club. This gives us an intimate connection to 65 other women's clubs and associations around the world therefore expanding our "community" to reach across the globe. We are thrilled to be a Member Club of this inspiring organization.

    So, what is FAWCO?

    FAWCO Inspiring Women WorldwideFounded in 1931, FAWCO is an international network of independent volunteer clubs and associations comprising 65 member clubs in 34 countries worldwide, with a total membership of around 10,000. FAWCO serves as a resource and a voice for its members; seeks to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide, especially in the areas of human rights, health, education and the environment; advocates for the rights of U.S. citizens overseas; contributes to the global community through its Teams and The FAWCO Foundation, which provides development grants and education awards. The organization is a global women’s NGO (non-governmental organization), and since 1997, FAWCO has held special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.

    As a Member Club, we can attend yearly conferences and regional meetings, have access to online resources, the best practices library, education awards and development grants, fundraise for causes we care about on a global scale, and much more. Our members now can volunteer in FAWCO positions, and we're happy to announce the Heidelberg IWC is going to be hosting the Region 5 Meeting from November 9 - 11, 2018!  

    This is an important milestone for our Club and we can't wait to get more involved with this dynamic organization!


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