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  • Mon, March 25, 2019 15:30 | Christine Funke (Administrator)

    Springtime brings the FAWCO Biennial Conference, and we have lots of exciting news from this year’s meeting in Edinburgh, which took place March 21-24.

    FAWCO Conference in Edinburgh 2019

    AIWC Cologne and HIWC Member Tricia R Saur wrapped up the Target Program for Education this weekend after three successful years. The highlight was the announcement of the final fundraising achievement of $190,000.00 ($65K over the original goal!) for the Target Project Hope Beyond Displacement. These funds have served over 1290 individuals to date and will continue to be invested through the fall. If you would like to read more, view her last blog post, “We’ve Crossed the Finish Line!

    FAWCO Target Program Health

    With the Target Program for Education coming to an end, the conference marked the launch of FAWCO’s new 3-year Target cycle centering on Health. The first year (2019-2020) will be devoted to awareness-raising and education on health-related topics affecting women and girls. At the same time, FAWCO will be accepting nominations for a new Target Project to be the focus of our charitable giving. Applications for the new Target Project will be available beginning May 1, 2019. The deadline for nominations is September 30.

    FAWCO Foundation

    And the FAWCO Foundation celebrated an astounding $2,000,000 in total giving towards Development Grants, Education Awards and other charitable programs since 1967, its founding year! 

    The FAWCO Youth Team announced the 2019 Youth Cultural Volunteers Program, which will take place in Athens, Greece from October 16 to 23, 2019. The wonderful week-long program is open to children of FAWCO club members, ages 15-18. Applications for the 2019 FAWCO Youth Cultural Volunteers will be available later this spring.

    Want to join us next year? Then mark your calendars... we're heading to Luxembourg for the FAWCO Interim Meeting the weekend of March 20-22, 2020.

    FAWCO Members from Region 5

    FAWCO Members from Region 5 (Germany and Austria)

    Additionally, the Region 5 Meeting will take place in Leipzig, Germany from November 15 - 17, 2019. All FAWCO Members are invited!


  • Mon, January 21, 2019 10:00 | Christine Funke (Administrator)

    The Heidelberg IWC celebrated its first birthday on January 20, 2019 during its first Annual General Meeting and Club Birthday Bash. It was a festive celebration along with a touching and thoughtful review of the past year. Around 20 members attended and after reports from the Executive Board and Coordinators and a vote to elect the new Board, there was cake, games and a fun party.

    The afternoon started off with the opening of the AGM by President and Founder Christine Funke. After a quick review of the AGM’s schedule and appointment of Stacey Barbaro as AGM Secretary, the members in attendance voted to elect the new Executive Board:

    • Christine Funke, President
    • Marelie Manders, Vice President
    • Maria Simo, Treasurer

    Next up were the reports from the officers which included photos from the Club’s firsts (first coffee morning, first Instagram post, first going away party, first vote, first partner event…) by the President, a fascinating look at the membership numbers and demographics by the former VP Laura Bobanovic, and a financial review by President Christine Funke, reporting on behalf of the former Treasurer Barbara Bellosa, who passed away last year. The Club finances are all in order!

    Following up were reports about charities and volunteering by Marelie Manders, highlights of past events by Activities Coordinator Kirsty Rowan, and then the introduction of many of the Activity Leaders to their activities, and finally FAWCO Rep Ulrike Näumann gave a brief overview of FAWCO, the events the Club did to support FAWCO over the last year, including raising over €1,250 for the Target Project: Hope Beyond Displacement.

    After a short break, the group gathered again to recognize and thank the volunteers who have supported the Club with their time, effort and resources over the past year. Their names were called and their were gifted with a small cactus.

    Lastly, the first ever Barbara Bellosa Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Ulrike Näumann for outstanding service and dedication to the Club. The President said some words about Ulrike, as well as Barbara, and then congratulated Ulrike for all she has done for the Club.

    After a few comments, the President closed the AGM and then the party started. There was a place for photographs with funny props, a “pass the parcel” game where a package of FAWCO Foundation Backing Women items were won, members sang Happy Birthday to themselves and cake was eaten.

    Overall, it was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon enjoying each other’s company, celebrating the club and achievements, and getting excited about the new Club year.


  • Wed, December 19, 2018 10:00 | Christine Funke (Administrator)

    After writing, voting, revising, and revoting on the Club’s constitution, and voting for and then re-voting for the Executive Board, we can announce that the Heidelberg IWC is an official charitable nonprofit association (in German, ein gemeinnütziger Verein).

    Our association status is recognized by the district court in Mannheim (Amtsgericht Mannheim) and our charitable nonprofit status is certified by the tax office in Heidelberg (Finanzamt Heidelberg) with our charitable purposes being officially: the advancement of art and culture, charitable purposes in supporting those in need.

    We have fulfilled the requirements under association law and have proved our charitable goals and look forward to operating as an official organization in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

    See all the details on our Impressum.


  • 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.


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Evolving You Art Design by Gisela Backe

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