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In the first half of my presidency, I have been extremely fortunate to meet many Inner Wheel members around the world and have been inspired and invigorated by their projects, commitment and stories.
Whilst in France in October 2018, one conversation struck me as too good not to share about our organisation. So, I asked Christiane Darondeau (IPP 18/19 District 65 France) to commit to paper (or hard disc!) her thoughts on the importance of International Inner Wheel in the Clubs. Here it is:
In October 2018, in Paris, when our IIW President, Chris Kirby, asked me to write an article about the importance of the International side of Inner Wheel in a club’ s life, I was really thrilled because for me it was obvious.
First of all, let’s begin with a fact : Our Club is not a simple local association. Each Club member of Inner Wheel is part of one hundred and ten thousand women working with the same aim : Improving the conditions of women and children all around the world. We can be proud of what we achieve!
We must always keep in mind that International Inner Wheel is the most important Women’s social service association network in the world with more than four thousand clubs in one hundred and five countries and this network is our strength. We also have four representatives in the United Nations Social Council, in New York, Geneva and Vienna.
This strong International Inner Wheel network provides our club the possibility of realising a number of actions, different from those we are used to, by sharing information.
Thanks to this network, thanks to the Triennal Conventions and other international events, we are given clues about what to do, how to do it, and get new ideas for our club to become more efficient. It also gives us the opportunity of talking with ladies from other clubs, from other countries.We can compare our actions, learn from them and share our experience with them.
This leads me to talk about another aspect of the benefit of belonging to an International Organisation. It is the personnal fulfilment acquired by sharing experience with others, and learning from the professionnals who come to coach us. These events are where we really feel that we are not alone with our questions.
For those whose English is not their first language, don’t think these events are not for you because of the language barrier. Be sure you will find ladies more than happy to be able to speak your own language with you. You must know, when friendship is at stake, even a few words are enough to understand each other and to share memorable, warm-hearted moments and laugh, in any language!
Christiane Darondeau, Immediate Past President 2018-2019, Club of Vannes D65 France