FAWCO News – December 2016

What is FAWCO?


Founded in 1931, FAWCO (Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas) is a UN-accredited NGO (non-governmental organization) and umbrella organization for some 65 women’s clubs in 35 countries worldwide, with a total membership of around 12,000. Member clubs include American and international clubs such as ours.  FAWCO seeks to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide, specifically in the areas of human rights, health, education, and the environment. It contributes to the global community throughout its Task Forces and FAWCO Foundation, which provides development grants and education awards. Since 1997, FAWCO has held special consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council.  From 2016-2019, its focus will be on  Education, as a path to empowerment, mobility, and freedom. As  MIWC is a member of FAWCO, all members of MIWC are also FAWCO members.   FAWCO says:   everyone can make a difference; together we make change!

In order to get more detailed information on your area of interest, I would strongly urge you to visit: www.fawco.org  & www.fawcofoundation.org

In addition, you might want to subscribe to FAWCO publications from the following Task Forces:

  • Education / Human Rights / Environment / Health.
  • Subscribe to the UN Liaison Bulletin for regular updates on all of FAWCO’s UN NGO activities.
  • You must be personally registered to get access to a variety of member-only-access information.
  • An outstanding YouTube video entitled  FAWCO in a Nutshell  of 13 minutes in length prepared by Leslie Collingridge that presents everything you’ve ever wanted to know about FAWCO but didn’t know what or how to ask!

The best way to find out everything you need/want to know about the Target Program is through the monthly Education Bulletin. Sign up today at www.fawco.org

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Exciting News – the next FAWCO Region 5 Meeting 10-12 November 2017 will take place in Munich!!

FAWCO 43rd Biennial Conference in Mumbai – The Butterfly Warrior – 30 March – 2 April 2017

The webpage is live and online registration is ongoing!  So far, eight MIWC members will be attending!

For more information, go to FAWCO.org – Conferences – Mumbai 2017.

Although the deadline for booking the Pre-Conference Tour was October 30th, there is still time to book and attend the Conference. You can register your guest/s (non-FAWCO friends or family members) when you register yourself. The $150 fee includes welcome materials as well as the Opening Dinner and the FAWCO Foundation Night.  The Conference editions of Spotlight on Mumbai will provide the link for booking the hotel. Every edition focuses on fun facts about India as well as some aspect of planning ahead for Mumbai: how to get your visa (apply for Tourist visa; and as a US citizens, mine is good for five years – this is new!), where to shop and eat, and much more!

Applying for the 2017 Development Grants (DG) and Education Awards (EA)

There is still time to apply. The 2017  Education Award applications and Development Grant nomination forms are now available on The FAWCO Foundation website.  Click on the above links to find the forms and detailed instructions on how to complete them. The deadline for all submissions is January 27, 2017. There will be 17 awards and grants available, including several new offerings, such as a new EA for members to study in the field of Education, sponsored by the Counselors of The Foundation, FAWCO and FAUSA, to mark the 50th anniversary of The Foundation in 2017. Perhaps your child or grandchild might be interested in applying for an EA worth $5,000? Or you yourself would like to further your own studies or expand your skills set?  Call on me for assistance.

UN Commission on the Status of Women

The 61st session of the  Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) will take place at UN Headquarters in New York from March 13-24, 2017. CSW is the principal global inter-governmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. To learn more, check out UN Women. As an ECOSOC-accredited NGO, FAWCO may send up to 20 delegates to CSW. If you are interested in joining the FAWCO delegation, please contact Laurie Richardson at unliaison@fawco.org. The deadline to register for CSW61 is mid-January.

18 Proposals for FAWCO Target Project!

This includes our proposal for NEEED (lambs for schoolgirls and post-secondary teachers’ training). The Selection Committee will announce a shortlist of 3-5 projects on 6 January 2017 along with project summaries for clubs to review. Between 1-15 February 2017, member clubs will vote. The winning project will be announced and fundraising will begin in March 2017 at the Biennial in Mumbai.

The Forum — FAWCO’s semi-annual news magazine is here!

Download your copy from FAWCO.org website.

The FAWCO Foundation Live and Silent Auction on Foundation Night

You can help The FAWCO Foundation by donating to the live and silent auctions to be held on Foundation Night at the March 2017 FAWCO Conference in Mumbai. Do you (or a sponsor) have a property, an experience, or a special item to donate to the Golden Memories Live Auction? “Small and Precious” is the theme of this year’s Silent Auction. Wanted are items like jewelry, scarves, photos, artwork, or anything that is easy to transport in your luggage. To participate, contact Mary Adams at tfffundraise@gmail.com.

FAWCO’s Strategic Planning Task Force (SPTF)

The SPTF will be sending out a brief survey in January 2017 to identify how relevant their current programs are to our club and individual members. We are invited, both as a club and as individuals, to complete a 10-minute survey to provide them with a clearer picture of our members’ needs. More to follow.

Campaign for a Woman UN Secretary-General

FAWCO supported the  Campaign for a Woman UN Secretary General. The UN Security Council selected Antonio Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal and UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015. He will be the new UN Secretary General effective January 2017.

From the Environment Task Force

The UN Climate Conference in Marrakech (COP22) successfully demonstrated to the world that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is underway and the constructive spirit of multilateral cooperation on climate change continues.

One of the main thrusts was water scarcity and how it is impacted by factors such as overuse, pollution, drought, and climate change. In light of this challenge, below are a few suggestions for needed goals:

  • In a  world of increasing scarcity and competition for water, a comprehensive strategy is needed to improve the productivity of water for multiple uses.
  • The management of irrigation systems is needed.
  • Policies and institutions must be developed to halt the environmental degradation caused by overexploitation of groundwater resources.
  • Special attention must be given to implementing policies and developing technologies suitable to farmers of developing countries.

From the Education Bulletin – the Education Blog – Let’s Get Schooled!

“Education is one of the most critical areas of empowerment for women. When girls are educated, they lead healthier and more productive lives….An educated girl has a positive ripple effect on her health, family, community, and society as a whole.“  USAID

Recommended Reading:  „What works in Girls’ Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment“  A free PDF of the entire book is available for download on:  https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07

The Top 10 Reasons to Invest in Women’s and Girls’ Education:

  1. Education increases economic growth.
  2. Education leads to better wages and jobs for women.
  3. Education saves the lives of children and their mothers.
  4. Education leads to smaller and more sustainable families.
  5. Education results in healthier and better-educated children.
  6. Education reduces rates of HIV/AIDS and malaria.
  7. Education reduces rates of child marriage.
  8. Education empowers women.
  9.   Education increases women’s political leadership.
  10. Education reduces harm to families from natural disasters and climate change.

The next logical question is to know where and how to invest money and resources, to make it count most. The authors of the above-mentioned book delve into that in chapter 4.  Here are seven areas they consider critical:

  • Making schools affordable
  •  Helping girls overcome health barriers
  • Reducing the time and distance to get to school
  •  Making schools more girl-friendly
  •  Improving school quality
  •  Increasing community engagement
  •  Sustaining girls’ education during emergencies

Clubs in Motion

MIWC is arguably the „moving-est“ club in FAWCO at approximately 5,000 kilometres walked in 2016!

Stepping Down

It has been my pleasure to serve as your FAWCO Rep for the past 21 months.  As of January 2017, I will be passing the baton to Caroline Pekarek and Aurora Silvestri, whom I trust to do a stellar job.

Wishing you all a joyful and festive holiday season!

Roxey Lau


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