The Executive Committee (EC) comprises nine members supported by additional non-EC members and many other volunteers. Since the Club was founded in 1992, the BIWC has relied on the dedication and willingness of its members to voluntarily give of their time and share their skills with other members.
To quote Sylvia, our former Assistant Membership Secretary: Everything BIWC members enjoy – social and cultural activities, meetings of Special Interest Groups, the Newsletter, the Directory – requires work and creativity to bring about. Yet we have no paid employees. Everything is done by volunteers who, in addition to the BIWC, have their own personal, family, and vocational lives to pursue.
Currently, more than 100 competent and dedicated members contribute to the attractive range of activities on offer almost every day of the week. We have about 30 different activity groups who meet at all times of the day, on a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly basis, with the aim of facilitating communications, sharing experiences and developing skills and friendships.
There is a lot of fluctuation in the Club when our members move away for professional or family reasons or they return to their home countries. Friendships made in our Club are upheld even when members move away, and they often come back to visit and stay with their BIWC friends who are still in the city. To quote former member Evelyn Yallen, who after a two-year stay in Berlin, returned to Toronto:
Becoming a member of the BIWC was the high point of my time here in Berlin, as it allowed me to make friends and feel really connected to life in this city. I am leaving with regret that it may be some time before I see these new friends again, but also with a sense of optimism and gratitude for the extra dimension they have brought to my life. It would not have happened without the efforts of the women who keep the BIWC rolling, month after month, and I thank them. I urge new members to get involved with the Club, whether that means attending events or helping to organise them.
Once again, thanks to everyone!