FAWCO Biennial Conference Opens in Bern on March 6

Top Quote FAWCO's Biennial Conference kicks off in Bern, Switzerland, on March 6. Speakers, including Ambassador Betty E. King , U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, will cover a variety of issues affecting Americans living abroad. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) March 03, 2013 - Over 150 members are expected to participate in FAWCO's (Federation of Women's Clubs Overseas) Biennial Conference in Bern, Switzerland on March 6-10, 2013. Local and international speakers, including Ambassador Betty E. King , U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, will cover a variety of global and club-level issues. Conference attendees will spend the week being briefed on a variety of issues facing Americans living abroad, receiving updates on FAWCO's global initiatives and participating in educational workshops. The 15,000 FAWCO members not attending the conference may view videos of sessions and speeches online via the FAWCO YouTube channel. Photos and newsletters will be posted daily, as well as PDF copies of presentations and handouts. Anyone can follow FAWCO on Twitter at ( @ ) fawco, join the conference conversation using #fawco2013 or find FAWCO on Facebook dot The full conference agenda as well as speaker biographies are available at www dot fawco dot org dot

    The first keynote address of the conference will be given by Mrs. Megan Beyer, wife of U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Don Beyer, on Thursday morning, March 7. Mrs. Beyer is an American journalist, commentator, civic leader, and an outspoken advocate for gender equality issues. Dr. Lisa Thomas from The World Health Organization (WHO) will speak to the conference on Thursday afternoon about her work on new innovative procedures to improve maternal mortality in the developing world. She is a US Board certified OBGYN specializing in family planning and has had over 15 years of experience doing field world in 20 different countries.

    Friday, March 8, is International Women's Day and conference participants will celebrate with a variety of activities. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Betty E. King will address the conference Friday morning, followed by delegates' participation in Join Me on the Bridge, Over the Aare on the Kornhausbrücke (www.womenforwomen.org), a global act of solidarity to bring awareness to violence against women. A panel discussion entitled Moving Mountains - Women and Politics: Switzerland will be held on Friday afternoon. The panel will be comprised of four women, all of whom are national-level, Swiss politicians - Claudine Esseiva ,General Secretary of the FDP Women Switzerland, and National Council Members Margret Kiener Nellen, Christa Markwalder, and Barbara Schmid-Federer. Fritz Reimann, TV-Journalist at SRF Swiss Radio and Television, will serve as the moderator. Many empowering workshops will also be held throughout Friday on topics such as active aging, maternal health, climate change, local club strategies and repatriation.

    Saturday morning will feature a workshop based on the book 17 Women who Shook the World, presented by author Preethi Burkholder. Although she currently lives in the US, Burkholder is originally from Sri Lanka. She does humanitarian aid work with a women's organization in her home country called Rajarata Women's Foundation to improve the lives of women and children in remote villages. Saturday afternoon's workshops will be a choice between FAWCO and U.S. Issues and Swiss Art Appreciation.

    FAWCO has partnered with an outstanding group of main sponsors to present this year's conference, including Emmi Group, Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors, Highmount, US Tax and Financial Services Group, Victorinox, Vonage, International Herald Tribune, Presence Switzerland, Gerda Spillmann Swiss Cosmetics, The Hess Collection and Clements Worldwide. Other conference sponsors include Crown Relocations, Swatch, Traser Watch, Loeb Department Store, International Herald Tribune, Bern Tourism and ABC Art and Greeting Cards.

    Founded in 1931, FAWCO is a global network of independent volunteer clubs and associations. There are more than 75 member clubs in 40 countries, with a total membership in excess of 15,000. FAWCO serves as a resource and channel of information for its members, promotes the rights of U.S. citizens living overseas and contributes to the global community through philanthropy and global issues task forces. A not-for-profit New York-based corporation, we are also a UN-accredited NGO with Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council. The philanthropic arm of FAWCO - The FAWCO Foundation - is an independent entity, which has donated more than $1,000,000 in education awards and development grants since its inception in 1967.

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