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World Bank Family Network

ANNUAL REPORT July 2011 – June 2012

Editor: Amy Chamberlain Assistant Editor: Christinne A. Secrest Layout: Gilda Dadush

Table of Contents From the Editor


President’s Report


Organizational Operations


Volunteer Leadership


Office Management


Programs 30 Welcoming


Career and Volunteering Program




Members Abroad


Spouse Issues Committee


Information Seminars


Activities 48 Special Events


Fee-based Classes




WBFN Outreach


The Book Project


Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund


Credits 86

FROM THE EDITOR Being asked to edit WBFN’s FY12 Annual Report was both an honor and a rather terrifying experience: following in the footsteps of Louise Shimizu is never an easy task. I have done my best to replicate her meticulous attention to detail, but her extensive knowledge of our organization can never be matched. I can only hope that I have done her proud! Thank you, Louise, for your support and encouragement. As always, this year’s Annual Report rounds up WBFN’s activities, programs, events, challenges and achievements from the past fiscal year, and this year was a particularly eventful one. With changes to the leadership structure, new job descriptions, and adjusted bylaws, the organization planned, refined, and implemented changes up to the highest levels. While adjusting to the new office setting in DC, WBFN successfully continued its mission to welcome WBG families with a smile and a helping hand. New social and cultural activity groups found their feet; picnics, parties and new programs were planned and pulled off; classes were well attended and well received; newcomers were welcomed and brought on board; ideas flowed and flourished; and to top it all off, awards were won. Meanwhile, our members overseas successfully established their own WBFN chapters in Kenya and Argentina. And all of this because of the dedication and energy of our members, ‘old’ and new, with the invaluable support of our staff. This year’s Annual Report takes a slightly different form. Individual reports have, as always, been written by activity leaders or coordinators, and where they have been unable, others have stepped in. But for FY12 we have experimented with some style guidelines. The result is a slightly more standardized reporting style, through which the uniqueness of each activity still shines through. Furthermore, unlike previous years, readers will find all of the “thank yous” compiled in a final “Credits” chapter recognizing our volunteers, rather than included in the individual reports. Breaking the rules slightly, however, I would like to express my own thanks here. The editor’s note would not be complete without thanking Annemarie Brink Olsen for her leadership as WBFN President throughout FY12. Her spirit, drive, and determination pushed our orga-


nization through some trying and some very rewarding times over the past year, and for that we are all grateful. My final thanks go to our Coordinator, Catherine Mathieu, and our Program Assistants, Mimi Besha and Christinne Secrest, who miraculously keep the engine of the WBFN office ticking over and provide our members with everything they need to sustain and develop our organization. Particular thanks go to Christinne for her precious editorial, layout, and, most importantly, moral support during the production of this report! I hope that you enjoy the FY12 Annual Report, the fruit of yet another very productive year at WBFN. Amy Chamberlain Editor


PRESIDENT’S REPORT WBFN has turned 40—like a middle-aged person, full of life and still surprisingly innovative and productive. WBFN has worked hard to produce an Anniversary publication to celebrate these 40 years and it is still in the pipeline. The year sowed and yielded at the same time, meaning that many strategic decisions were made and implemented by the WBFN volunteer leadership to update and improve the organization. It is hard to know where to begin, but without doubt this year has been a tremendously prosperous and challenging one. The New Leadership Model and the many new initiatives introduced will show their strength during the coming years. Many WBFN activities were assessed this year, resulting in a number of changes. Going forward, the hope is that all activities will be continuously assessed, beginning with those that were not considered this year. Read about the new initiatives and changes in more detail on the following pages, together with reports on a multitude of other activities and programs organized and carried out by volunteers during the year.

Members volunteer with WBFN for the good of members WBFN owes its success to its dedicated volunteers who, for yet another year, have delivered WBFN governance and reforms, welcoming, information, guidance, education, and social events to WBFN members. Volunteers took the time, even when constrained by other duties, to plan and execute programs and activities either from the WBFN office or from home. It has been an incredibly exciting and challenging year and without these dedicated and effective people, none of the activities described in this report would have happened. WBFN celebrates all of them and is extremely grateful to have their support. Office staff and short-term consultants are of course the stable backbone of all WBFN activities. They provide solid support to allow the volunteers to create and manage programs and events, and due to their excellent skills and dedication to the organization, they always ensure nothing is forgotten. At the same time they are enthusiastic about the work WBFN does, and deliver services with a smile. WBFN staff and consultants are invaluable. This year we said goodbye to Louise Shimizu, the living history of WBFN. Louise now will spend her time on


all the other activities she postponed while she gave her all to WBFN. Thank you and good luck, Louise.

The volunteer leadership in transition WBFN was also this year governed by a strong and dynamic Executive Committee (EC). The EC members worked in a farsighted and focused way throughout the year of long EC meetings and special, extra EC meetings that were necessary to find common ground on many proposed changes. In light of the demographic changes within the WBG and the fact that in recent years it has been tougher to recruit volunteers—especially for the most demanding leadership positions at WBFN—a number of strategic discussions took place in early FY12, particularly among the younger core WBFN volunteers. It is crucial that these young members, often only in DC for a few years, can easily become actively involved in and contribute their fresh ideas to the decision-making processes at WBFN. This year, we saw just how much they can contribute to the organization. As a result of these discussions, a “New Leadership Model” team was formed to assess possible ways to change the WBFN leadership model. It was felt that a reworked leadership structure would improve the sustainability of the organization and help to further meet the present day needs of the members. In April, after months of tireless work, the team proposed a New Leadership Model and the associated bylaw changes to the EC, and both were approved. Subsequently, the new model and bylaw changes were presented to the wider WBFN membership via multiple channels, and voted into place during the FY12 WBFN Annual Membership Meeting in May. Year-long discussions within the team and with a wider circle of interested members had reached a final, rewarding result. A similar process of reassessment was proposed for the Nominating Committee’s Nominating Guidelines. In addition to their diligent work on developing the New Leadership Model, this same team was instrumental in starting an assessment of WBFN programs and activities, considered to be necessary in order to ensure the long-term legitimacy of WBFN. During two special EC meetings, of which there were several this year, many of the WBFN activities were assessed. The Annual Exhibit was discontinued partly due to its intensive demand on volunteer hours, which for years has been hard to meet. The Annual Picnic was moved from fall to spring due to competing demands on volunteers for the Children’s Holiday Party in December. The


Children’s Art Contest, formerly a part of the Annual Exhibit, was rescheduled to take place during the week of the Children’s Holiday Party. The relevance of the Annual Dinner is still being discussed; one suggestion was that it could be connected to the Annual Membership Meeting on a smaller scale and in a less costly manner. Regarding WBFN’s publications, discussions continue among members about ways to optimize the Mosaic newsletter in order to meet all members’ needs. One suggestion was to create an attractive, easy to update, electronic newsletter to be distributed every second week, focusing on upcoming activities at WBFN, at its sister organizations IMFFA and IADBFA, and at the WBG. The Welcoming, Publications and Educational programs were not fully assessed by the EC during FY12 due to time constraints. Social and Cultural Groups were not assessed since these groups are selfcontained structures with leaders who replenish their groups and pass on leadership of the activity if and when needed. Despite all the progress made this year, there is always scope for assessing how well WBFN’s activities meet the demands of its current members and accordingly taking bold decisions.

Other achievements during the year In FY12, the new Members Abroad Team continued to work to support members whose spouse/partner is posted at a WBG Country or Field Office. Thanks to the extensive efforts of the FY11 and FY12 teams and of members on location, two overseas WBFN Chapters were formed in Kenya and in Argentina. This is a great achievement and hopefully these frontrunners will inspire others to follow. The WBFN Information Seminars continued to be very positively evaluated and were attended not only by WBFN members but also by WBG employees. This year, WBFN found new partners to present some of the seminars and took up new topics as well, with great success. The Welcoming Team’s development of a new Call Center system enhanced the Buddy System and the Team’s ability to systematically contact newcomers in a very tangible way. Mosaic welcomed a new editor and a new graphic designer at the beginning of FY12. The result was a pleasing aesthetic and a fresh, new look for Mosaic. It was exciting to watch the creative process unfold, particularly when technical problems left everyone holding their breath! All frustrations were overcome and the end result is dazzling.


For the past two years, a great deal of work has gone into planning a revamp of the WBFN website in terms of the platform used, the content, and the design. The hope is that the final design of the website will eventually be reflected in all other WBFN communications and publications, as part of a broader branding strategy that will effectively publicize and distribute relevant information to our members in a uniform way. As such a big undertaking, this attempt to renovate, move and redesign the WBFN website has inevitably moved slowly due to the countless volunteer hours, technical expertise and energy required. It is hoped that the new website and corresponding branding activities will be complete within FY13. In fall 2011, the WBFN President, the WBFN Coordinator and the coordinator of the Members Abroad Team, on behalf of WBFN, were honored to go to Chicago to receive the U.S. Expatriate Management and Mobility Award (EMMA) in the category of “Best Spousal Support Program” and the Highly Commended prize (third place) in the category of “Best Practice in Challenging Locations”. Later in the fall, a WBFN member residing in London accepted, on behalf of WBFN, the “Best Practice in Challenging Locations” award and the Highly Commended prize for “Best Spousal Support Program” at the European Summit. The EMMAs are issued each year by the Forum for Expatriate Management (FEM), an organization focusing on the field of Global Mobility, and are awarded to celebrate excellence and outstanding performance in the area of Global Mobility. In the words of one of the EMMA judges, WBFN is “an extremely proactive and sensitively aligned program that is broad and inclusive across cultures, genders and an incredibly diverse number of countries. Impressive yet down to earth and practical.” WBFN was particularly encouraged to see that the industry (including private companies and public organizations) is recognizing the importance of strong support for spouses, partners and families in the field of relocation. In order to benefit as much as possible in terms of learning as well as networking, WBFN’s President, Coordinator, and a number of EC members attended the Families in Global Transition (FIGT) 14th Annual International Conference, which this year took place in DC. FIGT focuses on education and training to support the entire expatriate family. Providers (the relocation industry, coaches, corporate HR), clients (family associations, individuals), and researchers (academic and non-academic) from all around the world gathered for three days and exchanged their experiences. Many experts in the field of spousal and family support, as well as PhD students, use FIGT as a platform for their research.


New programs and activities Just before the start of this fiscal year, the WBFN office moved to the J building. The new space is welcoming and light and creates a wonderful backdrop for all the activities taking place there, including the welcoming of members passing by for a chat or some social contact with other members. One new addition to the office was a wall dedicated to displaying photographs of WBFN volunteers, and a space to share messages with other members. The hope is that members will update the wall with pictures, share interesting articles, use it to search for likeminded members, advertise their skills and businesses, and so much more. The move also prompted a new and successful activity: the Office Gatherings. These are casual social gatherings for members and their families, as well as WBFN’s friends from the WBG, IMFFA and IDBFA. Attendees meet and greet new members and old friends, and enjoy some light snacks and drinks. A Move-In Party in September started this series of events, followed by a New Year’s Gathering in January, and a Parents and Children’s Day in June. The three events drew from 50 to 120 participants of all ages, with families, couples and singles alike, and were well received by all. It was a joy to gather, meet, and talk to many members in the WBFN office during the three events. Also new for this year was the creation of the Mahjong Group, which along with 17 other social and cultural interest groups under the WBFN umbrella provides an opportunity to plunge into a subject of interest to members. Social and cultural groups generally meet in members’ own homes or at public places such as cafés or parks. Members can also start a new group if they are interested in activities that are currently not offered. All it takes to start a new group is an enthusiastic member to take the lead, a visit to the WBFN office, and some advertising in Mosaic. There is plenty of space under the WBFN umbrella for more groups. At the end of FY11, the idea of creating a 40th Anniversary publication was floated and work commenced on documenting WBFN’s history from 1972-2012. In September, a new volunteer took over the coordination of the project and the brief was narrowed down to produce a commemorative and promotional account of WBFN’s achievements over the past 40 years. The team was restructured and new volunteers joined. Each member was assigned a specific task and countless hours were invested in creating graphics, finding pictures, and writing, condensing and organizing content—a tremendous effort challenged by volunteers getting jobs or leaving the country. While discussions over content and style delayed its development, it is hoped that the publication will be completed in FY13 as a modern-looking


tool for marketing what WBFN is and what it does for its members. Last but not least, the hope is that the publication will inspire new members to volunteer with WBFN for another 40 years or more. One of the biggest achievements this year was the establishment of the Career and Volunteering Program (C&V). Some very engaged and highly active young WBFN members launched the C&V program in January 2012 after months of careful planning. It has already become a popular program that attracts spouses/domestic partners who are seeking a job in the U.S. and who see its activities as a fruitful contribution to their efforts to land one. The C&V Team is highly professional in creating and maintaining this complex program. It will be reviewed in January 2013. Its promising start is owing to its founders and the drive of the participants. Another new group of volunteers that came together this year fostered the idea of a Knowledge Exchange Platform. Its purpose is to allow WBFN members to share and avail of the specific knowledge that they hold, through personal interactions on an electronic platform. The Knowledge Exchange Platform was approved as a pilot in the June 2012 EC meeting. It is in the early stages of development and its exiting launch will take place in the next fiscal year.

Outside partners Our relationships with our sister organizations, IMFFA and IDBFA, have been maintained throughout the year through the three Career Networking Events and Happy Hours, which attracted huge numbers of participants, and through the organization of another successful Teen Summer Program (TSP). It is amazing to watch how the demanding activity of the TSP comes to life each year, and many thanks are owed to the volunteers leading that process. In the past, these relationships with our sister organizations have been further strengthened through the organization of joint seminars and these will hopefully return in the future. Through the work of the C&V Program, WBFN members have benefited from presentations by and relationships with other nonprofit organizations, which hopefully has widened the job seekers’ perspectives on working in the U.S.


The WBFN Information Seminars rely on goodwill from various companies that allow their staff to come to WBFN as pro bono speakers to inform and educate our members in various areas of U.S. society and its laws in order to prepare them to navigate the complex rules and regulations that apply to the daily life of many WBG families. WBFN has again this year enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the Bank-Fund Staff Federal Credit Union (BFSFCU), which supports the work of WBFN in so many ways.

Relationships with the WBG WBFN’s relationship with the WBG continues to be outstanding, for which we are very grateful. Many changes have taken place in the WBG this year, but WBFN continues to receive solid support from the leadership as well as from the various units with which WBFN is in contact through its work. Working autonomously with the constant support of the WBG, WBFN promotes the wellbeing of families in line with WBG Human Resources. At the same time, WBFN maintains a platform from which it may challenge unnecessary stress on accompanying families and suggest policies and remedies to meet their needs where possible. This capacity serves the interest of families as well as the WBG at large: a happy family makes an efficient and happy employee.

List of activities planned and carried out in FY12: Executive Committee (EC) • 23 EC meetings, including 23 agenda meetings • 1 EC Retreat • 1 EC Alumni Meeting Core Volunteers • 1 Representative Council/Core Volunteer Appreciation Day Volunteer Training • • • • •

3-day FIGT conference about families in transition Facilitator training for online Family Budgeting course (Moodle) 1 Moodle introduction course Several training sessions in InDesign Several training sessions in the Member Management System


Welcoming • • • • •

12 Welcoming Coffee and Information Sessions 12 Get-Togethers (in private homes) 5 Spouse/Partner Orientation Program full-day workshops 3 Surviving Culture Shock full-day workshops 21 presentations at WBG New Staff Orientations

Members Abroad Team • Ongoing communication with members abroad and Global Staff Mobility (HRSGM), via email, phone calls, and videoconferencing • 10 presentations at the HRSGM Overseas Assignment Briefings Career & Volunteering (established in January 2012) • 2 C&V Orientations • 8 Thematic Sessions • 6 presentations at the HRSGM “Jump Start your Job Search” seminars Spouse Issues Committee • 40 strategy meetings and meetings with the World Bank Domestic Abuse Prevention Program Coordinator • 10 meetings representing WBFN on the World Bank Domestic Abuse Prevention Task Force • Administration of the Barry McIsaac Fund for emergency help to victims of domestic violence Publications • • • • • • • •

10 issues of Mosaic, WBFN’s monthly newsletter 10 mid-monthly @-a-glance electronic newsletters 10 monthly editions of MosaicPlus, the online version of Mosaic Preparation of volunteer job descriptions for website Update of Welcoming Kit (in progress) New website platform and design (in progress) 40th Anniversary Publication (in progress) Posters, flyers, and programs for WBFN activities and programs


• Photography and video-making WBFN Art Exhibits (WBFN Gallery) • 4 exhibitions by members Special Events • • • • •

3 Office Gatherings 2 Potluck Picnics 1 Children’s Holiday Party 1 Annual Membership Meeting 1 Annual Dinner

Multi-Organization Events (WBFN, IMFFA & IDBFA) • 1 Teen Summer Program (three weeks, coordinated by WBFN) • 3 Career Networking Events and Happy Hours (WBFN hosted 1) Education (fee-based) and Free Seminars • • • • •

6 Information Seminars 2 cycles of English Classes (3 levels) 1 Communicating in Business Class 3 Financial Literacy Classes 6 Computer Classes

Members-to-Members Activities • Intermediate French, Advanced Spanish Conversation, Advanced English/Intro to Literature Courses • African, American, English, French and German Book Groups • 2 Bridge Clubs • Mahjong Group • International Cultural Group • International Cuisine • Beer Club • Parents and Tots Groups: DC, VA, MD, and MD Spanish • Investment Club



To function, throughout the year WBFN conducts meetings of its leaders where they review the various activities and policies of the organization, make decisions and determine the future course.



VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP Executive Committee and the New Leadership Model The WBFN Executive Committee (EC) provides leadership to ensure that WBFN services and programs reflect the changing needs and interests of the World Bank Group families. The EC consists of the WBFN President, President-Elect, Secretary, Nominating Chair, and between three and eight other members. The EC meets at least once a month at the WBFN Office. The FY12 EC members were: Annemarie Brink Olsen – President Fiona Oliphant – Secretary Sandipa Thapa Basnyat – Nominating Chair Jennifer O’Riordan – Welcoming Chair (July – November 2011) Florinda D’Eugenio – Welcoming Chair (as of December 2011) Amy Chamberlain (as of November 2011) Karen Clarke-Stange Karin Metz Johannes Tonn Amber Van De Genachte Inela Weeks Hilary Welch Charlotte Jones Carroll (MMMF Representative, non-voting) Zena Soudah (Book Project Representative, non-voting) Gilda Dadush (Advisor, non-voting) In October 2011 the WBFN President asked the EC to examine potential new leadership models for WBFN in light of the challenges experienced in recruiting for the position of President-Elect for the year 2011-2012. A small working group of EC members was formed to devise and propose a more effective leadership model. The group deliberated over the following issues: • The changing characteristics of the WBFN membership.


• The required commitment of a total of two years’ service for both the President and President-Elect. • The roles and divisions of responsibilities between the President, President-Elect, office staff and the EC. The group concluded that WBFN needed to adjust its leadership model to align with the new reality of membership demographics, to be efficient and effective, and to make the leadership roles less time-consuming and therefore more attractive to volunteers. A report of these findings and a proposal for a new model were presented at the EC retreat in January 2012. The group used feedback from the retreat to modify the proposed model. The final proposal involved the creation of two new leadership positions: President and President (Operations). The two positions were designed to do away with the hierarchy inherent in the original model and to function more as a team through close collaboration. Detailed job descriptions were established for both positions, ensuring a clear division of responsibilities. Furthermore, the job descriptions specified that both roles could be performed effectively with less than full-time presence in the office. It was proposed that terms for each position should be limited to one year, although both the President and the President (Operations) could be re-elected for one additional term by securing renewed endorsement from the EC. The new leadership model was adopted by the EC on March 1, 2012. The model, together with the bylaw changes that would be necessary in order to implement it, was then introduced to members via the WBFN website, email, and the Mosaic newsletter in April, and presented formally for membership approval at the Annual Membership Meeting on May 10. The new model and bylaw changes were approved through a vote and came into effect on July 1, 2012.


Nominating Committee The Nominating Committee (NC) consists of WBFN members voted onto an official committee by the current Executive Committee (EC). The NC is responsible for identifying potential and capable candidates to fill any vacant EC positions, as well as the NC positions for the subsequent year. The FY12 NC members were Sandipa Thapa Basnyat (Nominating Chair), Philippe Futa, Maaike le Grand, and Florinda D’Eugenio. The NC’s tasks for the year began with identifying candidates for the positions of Welcoming Chair and President Elect. Florinda D’Eugenio was selected and voted in as the Welcoming Chair in December 2011 and she subsequently stood down from the NC. The position of President-Elect was much harder to fill, however, leading to the development of the proposed new WBFN leadership model. Also this year, the EC mandated the NC to begin a review process of the Nominating Guidelines, which will be further elaborated by the FY13 NC. In early 2012, the NC began to identify candidates for the FY13 EC and NC. As per the WBFN bylaws at the time, the NC had to propose a slate composed of a President, PresidentElect, Nominating Chair and Secretary, together with a minimum of three and a maximum of eight additional members. During the search, the NC also considered the two new leadership positions (President and President (Operations)) that would need to be filled if the new leadership model was to be approved at the Annual Membership Meeting, as well as the proposed bylaw change that would require a minimum of five general EC members rather than three. The NC actively promoted the idea of inviting the broader WBFN membership to consider applying for any of the open positions, and a call for candidates was distributed via email, Mosaic and postal mail. Applications were combined with nominations received from EC members and from NC members themselves. Candidates were interviewed in person and briefed about the roles and responsibilities of the positions they were interested in. A slate of proposed candidates was presented to the EC in May 2012 and endorsed. The candidates were then presented to the general WBFN membership at the Annual Membership Meeting on May 10 and voted in unanimously.


Annual Membership Meeting Each year, WBFN members are invited to come together at the Annual Membership Meeting to discuss the achievements and new initiatives of the past fiscal year as well as the projects and challenges ahead. At the Meeting, members are given the opportunity to vote on the proposed incoming Executive Committee (EC) and Nominating Committee (NC) slates and the gavel is passed on to the incoming President. On Thursday, May 10, 47 WBFN members gathered together for the 2012 Annual Meeting. The ensuing conversation showcased members’ and volunteers’ thoughtfulness and commitment to WBFN. The meeting was called to order with a welcome and opening remarks from WBFN President, Annemarie Brink Olsen. Annemarie presented a snapshot of the varied programs and activities that took place in the office and in members’ homes during FY12. Annemarie also described 2012 as a year of change, as demonstrated by a new WBFN office, the proposed structural changes to the leadership, new Office Gathering events, the establishment of the Career and Volunteering Program (C&V), the new Welcoming Call Center, new topics for Information Seminars, and two new WBFN chapters in Argentina and Kenya. Annemarie concluded by giving a well-deserved “thank you” to all of the members and volunteers who contributed to these accomplishments. Following Annemarie’s report, Johannes Tonn presented an overview of the new C&V program. Fiona Oliphant then presented WBFN’s proposed new leadership model and the corresponding bylaw amendments. The membership voted on the proposals and both the leadership model and the bylaw changes were passed. The meeting ended with a farewell to outgoing EC members and the presentation of the nominated FY13 slate of EC and NC members. The membership unanimously voted in the EC and NC nominees. Annemarie passed the gavel to FY13 President Hada Zaidan and President (Operations) Sandipa Basnyat. All present then celebrated WBFN’s 40th Anniversary with cake and champagne. It was an enjoyable and successful meeting, and WBFN sincerely thanks all those who attended!


Executive Committee Alumni Meeting Taking place every two years, the Executive Committee Alumni Meeting is a gathering of current and past EC members to discuss a pre-defined theme. Past EC members offer their insights on the bigger WBFN picture and possibilities for WBFN going forward. On Friday, March 9, 2012, 23 EC alumni met in Gilda Dadush’s home. The theme for this year’s meeting was “Advocacy and Fundraising: How, When and What to Do?” This theme was particularly relevant given WBFN’s changing demographics and needs over this past fiscal year. The discussion included some examples of past advocacy, suggestions for future action points and recommendations on how to determine future advocacy topics as determined by members. The first part of the discussion focused on the discrepancy between what prospective staff are told about professional development opportunities for their spouses/partners and reality. Consequently, the group discussed advocating for professional development trainings that could be administered by the WBG or units such as Global Staff Mobility. The group then moved on to discuss advocating for more family-friendly policies and a healthy work-life balance. One example of such a policy would be to decrease the frequency and duration of mission travel. A couples’ workshop/retreat was also suggested as a way to enhance relationships stressed by work. The EC alumni then discussed how to assess members’ needs and prioritize WBFN’s advocacy efforts accordingly. Some suggested that it was time to administer the member survey again, although those present acknowledged that it would be extremely labor-intensive to analyze the survey results. Another suggestion was that WBFN should conduct member focus groups or a town hall meeting to consult members about their needs. Such initiatives may help WBFN to determine its advocacy efforts for the next few years, where advocacy should be appropriately related to the WBG’s aims and presented as a value-added benefit. Finally, those present discussed the possibility of new programs being financed by leveraging pro bono services from outside of the Bank or possibly by creating a “fund”.


Core Volunteers Appreciation Outing Each year, WBFN invites the Representative Council—consisting of the coordinators of all the WBFN social and cultural groups, leaders of WBFN programs and events, and the WBFN Executive Committee—to enjoy an informal day together outside the office. Usually, a cultural event or outing is arranged and lunch is provided. In recent years, the Appreciation Outing has grown to include those people WBFN refers to as “core volunteers”—individuals who during the year have given their time and energy by volunteering in WBFN activities in an extraordinary way. This year the Appreciation Outing took place on June 14. Twenty-four volunteers attended and enjoyed the day in each other’s company. The day started at The National Museum of Women in the Arts, where two enthusiastic guides showed visitors the marvelous collection of works—historic as well as contemporary—by female artists. It was an extremely interesting and satisfying morning. After the museum visit, the volunteers strolled through downtown DC to Carmine’s Italian family restaurant where a delicious lunch was served. The afternoon of conversations was lively and, following the WBFN tradition, each volunteer was presented with a certificate of appreciation for their contributions by the WBFN President.


OFFICE MANAGEMENT Around the Office Even after all these years of doing what we do, there is never a dull year at WBFN! FY12 kicked off with our arrival in the new office, and, of course, a good few weeks of “where’s my…?” questions as we settled into our new surroundings. Just as we thought we were settled in nicely, the office was shaken up—quite literally!—during the August 2011 earthquake. A shock for some of us, but an ordinary occurrence for others, the earthquake prompted a smooth evacuation, and gave me my first chance to wear my beautiful red arm band and perform my Emergency Warden role by safely and orderly ushering staff and volunteers out of the building, including babies in their strollers! Further shaking us up this year was the news of our dear Mimi’s second pregnancy—a little brother or sister for Heldana! At the time of writing, Mimi is taking it all in her stride and I imagine she will continue working until the very last day of her pregnancy (and for the sake of the office, I hope so!) As always, my gratitude goes to Mariela, our eternal Monday office assistant. Entering the office bright and early every Monday morning, always in a sunny mood and with documents to share and great stories to tell about her trips, Mariela takes on tasks that keep the wheels turning here in the office. Gracias, Mariela!! A big thank you and a sad farewell to Tania Gnesdilova, our beloved computer class instructor and Member Management System (MMS) manager, who will be leaving us early in FY13 to return to her home country of Russia. Incredibly patient Tania has nursed and nurtured the MMS over the past 15 years and I can honestly say I don’t know what we would have done without her! The good thing is that she should be back in a couple of years and, in the meantime, she will keep working with us, via telecommuting… This year, “my girls” Mimi and Christinne continued their epic partnership as the “first faces” of WBFN. Without them, I could not function, and WBFN could not exist! I have no words to tell them how much we all appreciate all they do. Amazing! Finally—and I don’t know where to even start with this—this year we waved (a partial) goodbye to our darling Louise Shimizu, our walking WBFN history book, and her literally endless


hours of precious guidance and assistance. Whether it was 4 o’clock in the morning or 11 at night, Louise was always ready with an idea or solution that no one else would have thought of. Her positivity and optimism calmed many worries over the years and her diplomatic nature…well, there’s nothing like it! While she does continue to work her magic behind the scenes here and there, we are thrilled that she finally has the time for herself that she so truly deserves after all these years. Louise, we miss you terribly and you know that if you are ever bored…there’s plenty here for you to do!!!


Member Management System Since 2009, WBFN has used a Microsoft Access database to keep track of all members and their personal information. The Member Management System (MMS) is maintained by the WBFN office staff, IT Specialist Tania Gnesdilova and WBFN volunteers. FY12 saw a number of developments in the use of the MMS: • As the Welcoming Team adapted and developed their welcoming procedures, new functionalities were included in the MMS to allow team members to keep track of who has been welcomed and how, and to reduce paper use. • The necessary interface and tools were established for the Members Abroad Team to make use of MMS. • Data about the Teen Summer Program from 2008-2011 were inserted into the database. Tools to handle this data were developed and volunteers were trained in their use. • Data relating to the Annual Dinner and the Annual Meeting from 2003-2011 were inserted, and tools were developed to allow the WBFN office staff to add to this data each year. • The membership handling system was improved, making it easier to verify “active member” status. Despite this progress, a lot of work remains to be done. For example, the Members Abroad area of the MMS can be expanded and improved. The Welcoming procedures could be further refined, for example by improving the management of the “willing to volunteer” data to ensure that WBFN reaches out to all members that are interested in getting involved. There is also a need for WBFN to receive and manage additional data from WBG HR through SharePoint about duty station changes among staff. The regular presence of an experienced Access user in the office would also be useful, and the MMS Manual should be available and used on a daily basis. Finally, in the next fiscal year, it will be necessary to plan and prepare for the online status of the MMS.




WBFN programs form the core of the organization’s tasks. They aim to welcome, guide, support, and inform WBFN members. Volunteers are the cornerstone of these programs, with support from the WBFN office.


WELCOMING Welcoming is the oldest program at WBFN, celebrating its 40th year this year. The Welcoming Team is responsible for organizing and executing Welcoming Coffees, Get-Togethers, the Spouse/Partner Orientation Program (SOP), and the Buddy System and Call Center. FY12 has been a particularly significant year in terms of the motivation of new team members. Welcoming Coffees this year were first presented by Johannes Tonn, and then by Ruth Bull. With her lovely British accent, Ruth patiently led increasingly interactive sessions with varying numbers of participants, and gave newcomers the crucial information and sense of confidence that is required during the first days in DC. Participants also benefited from presentations by Global Staff Mobility and Cope. Get-Togethers continued to be held each month in members’ homes, giving newcomers and long-time members an opportunity to make new friends and to share experiences and information, creating a reservoir of resources. With the host providing delicious food and beverages from their national tradition, the Get-Togethers continue to be a favorite among the members of the Welcoming Team. This year, Maaike Le Grand and Sandipa Thapa generously facilitated five SOP sessions, during which spouses and partners were given important information about the WBG and its history, U.S. visa issues, WBG benefits, and many other topics. These sessions also gave participants the opportunity to meet staff from the WBG departments Global Staff Mobility, Bank-Fund Staff Federal Credit Union, Health Services, and Security Operation Services, to whom WBFN is extremely grateful for their collaboration. During the May SOP, the Welcoming Team bid a fond farewell to Maaike Le Grand, one of Welcoming’s most significant contributors during the past eight years, who returned to her home country in summer 2012. She will be sorely missed at WBFN. One of the main achievements this year has been the Team’s ability to reach new members before they even arrive in DC, thanks to Global Staff Mobility’s sharing of its Global Mobil-


ity Relocation Intake Forms with WBFN. Through this new system, all onboarding spouses/ partners receive an email from the Welcoming Team to let them know there is a community awaiting them when they arrive. Between January and the end of June 2012, a total of 60 onboarding spouses/partners were contacted before arriving in DC. A further development in FY12 was the beginning of a long and complex process of updating and rationalizing WBFN’s Welcoming Kit with the aim of producing a more concise and manageable document that will mesh with the informational structure of the new WBFN website. At the time of writing, this process is not complete, but continues to progress. The spirit of the FY12 Welcoming Team is the same as that of its predecessors. The secret? To never forget the feeling of uncertainty that comes with those first days in DC and the relief of being welcomed so warmly by WBFN. • 12 Welcoming Coffees held, with a total of 131 attendees • 5 Spouse/Partner Orientation sessions held, with a total of 136 attendees • 10 Get-Togethers held in members’ home, with a total of 62 attendees


Surviving Culture Shock Workshop The Surviving Culture Shock Workshop is designed for those who have arrived for the first time in the DC area and for those returning to DC after some time away. Workshop participants learn about and discuss the challenges that WBG spouses/partners face, including the losses and gains involved in moving from country to country and in changing cultures, as well as the psychological aspects of moving, the process of change and U.S. values and culture. During FY12, Surviving Culture Shock Workshops were co-facilitated by Nancy LeBaron and Yvonne Quahe. Three workshops were scheduled: two were held and one was cancelled. The two workshops took place on October 24, 2011 and February 13, 2012, with a total of 30 participants. The feedback received in FY12 rated the workshops as being extremely valuable to participants and their families' adjustment to the U.S. and the DC sub-culture and contributed to their understanding of the WBG. Participants felt that the principal benefit to them was the realization that they are not alone and that others are facing similar challenges. After many years of invaluable service, Nancy announced that she would no longer be able to facilitate the Surviving Culture Shock Workshops. She will be greatly missed and WBFN wishes her all the best in her future activities.


Call Center and Buddy System Through the WBFN Call Center, WBFN members who have been living in the DC metro area for a while use their experience to offer a warm welcome by telephone to new WBFN members who have arrived in the past three months. In some special circumstances, through the Buddy System, one-on-one support is provided to newcomers by members who come from the same country, speak the same language or have similar backgrounds. FY12 saw a number of developments for the Buddy System and what is now known as the “Call Center”. At the beginning of the fiscal year, the Welcoming Team was keen to look for ways to improve and systematize the process of making initial welcoming phone calls to newcomers in the DC area. As a result, a new WBFN Call Center was created to ensure that future newcomers would be contacted soon after their arrival in a more organized way. Launched in January 2012 and supported by the Membership Management System (MMS), which makes the process more accurate and manageable, the Call Center has generated encouraging results so far. Forty-nine percent of newcomers arriving between January 2012 and the end of the fiscal year were successfully welcomed by phone within three months, and another 5% did not require a welcoming call, having already attended a Welcoming Coffee or Spouse/Partner Orientation session. It remains a problem that many newcomers are unreachable due to the lack of a valid/up-to-date telephone number or email address. In parallel to the development of the Call Center, the Buddy System was also incorporated into the MMS, making it simpler to assign buddies to newcomers who may have particular difficulties with their relocation, and to track this process. There is still much to be done but the continuous flow of fresh ideas and suggestions from volunteers maintains the Call Center and Buddy System as a critical area of WBFN’s Welcoming activities.


CAREER AND VOLUNTEERING PROGRAM WBFN’s Career & Volunteering Program (C&V) supports spouses and partners transitioning into their new environment in the Washington, DC metro area by concentrating on the nexus between careers and volunteering opportunities. Through C&V, WBFN is able to keep up-to-date with career-related concerns emanating from the membership. In the first half of FY12, a team of five volunteers developed a C&V strategy. The team benefited from input and advice from past and present EC members and WBFN volunteers in other programs. The strategy was approved by the Executive Committee in November 2011, and the program was operationalized in January 2012. The C&V strategy calls for an explicit evaluation of its usefulness prior to continuing the service in January 2013. The program offers four key services and is built to provide supplementary offers as additional resources become available. Thus far, C&V offers: 1. Orientations: Two-hour orientations introduce participants to the cultural significance of volunteering in the U.S. and explore volunteering opportunities related to participants’ interests and careers. The main purpose is to expose participants to concrete volunteering opportunities. 2. Thematic Sessions: Bi-weekly, two-hour sessions provide an opportunity for participants to engage with presenters to improve their understanding of the workforce and their profession in the U.S. 3. Professional Groups: These groups allow WBFN members to build a lasting network with other members from similar industries. Participants support each other through the job-seeking and career development process, by sharing experiences and suggesting relevant resources and opportunities. Groups also take on capacity-building projects that support C&V and other WBFN programs. 4. Google Group: Participants who attend three or more C&V events have the opportunity to join a C&V Google Group, using email to share career-related information and resources. C&V is run by a volunteer Management Team with support from the WBFN office. The Management Team meets bi-weekly and coordinates via email. In order to strengthen WB-


FN’s engagement with members who have day-jobs, Orientations and management meetings are held in the evenings, while Professional Groups usually choose to meet during the day. In FY13, C&V intends to continue to grow their current services and expand into new areas, including extending outreach and serving members abroad, improving C&V’s links with other WBFN programs, and engaging with more external organizations. Since its launch in January until June 2012, C&V has achieved: • • • • • • • •

60 regular C&V members 90% of participants attend three C&V events or more 30% of attendees are men The engagement ratio of members taking on responsibilities has been evenly split between men and women 4 external organizations engaged with C&V 3 Orientations held 10 Thematic Sessions held 3 Professional Groups established by members (Finance, Social Media and International Development).


COMMUNICATIONS Mosaic Mosaic is WBFN’s monthly newsletter, distributed to over 4500 members, in printed form and/or as a pdf by email. A more in-depth version is also available online in the form of Mosaicplus. Mosaic keeps members informed about WBFN events and issues of relevance to WBG families, and gives members an opportunity to write and share their experiences. Ten issues are published each year (September – June). FY12 has been a year of transformation and evolution for Mosaic, as almost every year is. In September 2011, the Mosaic Team waved goodbye to its longtime editor, Vidya Rangan, and welcomed Amy Chamberlain. Following the expected learning curve, the Team—together with the invaluable support of the WBFN office staff—found its feet. More streamlined administrative processes followed, making it easier for new volunteers to get on board. After many months of planning and refining, volunteer designer Eva Calonder and Publications Coordinator Gilda Dadush launched a completely new look for Mosaic in October 2011. Cleaner, simpler and more professional, Mosaic’s new design drew a lot of positive feedback from readers. Over the year, as team members came and went, the Mosaic Team strived to distribute workload between office staff and volunteers in a manageable way, although much work remains to be done. Going forward, Mosaic will continue to evolve by finding ways to survey the interests and needs of the readership.


Electronic Media In the last few years, huge progress has been made in electronic media and WBFN is acutely aware of the need to update its electronic means of communication to better meet the needs of its members. This past year, a number of groups were formed to work on developing a new WBFN website, with a number of aims: • To restructure and redesign the current website to offer an easier and more intuitive navigation experience; • To identify the best platform to make future updates and site maintenance easier; • To enable interactive communication with and among members, therefore allowing members to contribute more actively to the community. In FY11, WBFN was considering using the Moodle platform to develop the new website. However, after a lot of work and thought, it became clear that Moodle is better suited to online classes such as WBFN’s Financial Literacy Classes, rather than a full website. Wilson Magaya’s input was instrumental in the final decision to use the Drupal platform, a Content Management System (CMS) that will help reach the goals above. Marie-Anne Chambonnier, Cristina Elena Ospino, Mishi Mirza and Mawussi Zevounou began by helping to create a new content structure, and Matt Donguk Cho, Ruby Shamayleh, Shalu Nariani and Meg Walker have been working on actual content development with Wilson. At the same time, new WBFN members Alain Cornet, Cecilia Neher and Pedro Saa came up with the idea of an interactive Knowledge Exchange tool that would allow WBFN members to share common interests and information online. This effort coincided with the World Bank’s development of an e-tool—eScoop—that happens to provide the functionalities required. The project was approved by the EC and should be rolled out as a pilot during FY13. During the past year, WBFN continued to distribute the e-newsletter, @-a-glance, every month except July and August, although there is a plan to send July and August issues this coming summer in order to update and remind members about our summer events and programs. Going forward, WBFN will also further explore social media such as Facebook to communicate better with members.


Finally, WBFN is aware of a serious need to coordinate the look and feel of all publications and communications—the website, @-a-glance, Mosaic, posters, etc.—so as to create an easily identifiable image for the organization. Work has already begun on developing a WBFN branding strategy and this will continue in FY13 thanks to WBFN members with marketing backgrounds: Florinda D’Eugenio, Cecilia Neher, Olga Nazarko-Jesus and Pedro Saa. WBFN has been extremely lucky this past year to be able to rely on very talented new volunteers, writers, web designers, programmers, marketers… and as always the invaluable critical and knowledgeable input of Louise Shimizu. Furthermore, no regular updating could be achieved without the work of our office staff.


40th Anniversary Publication The year 2012 marked the 40th anniversary of WBFN. By summer 2011, the process of planning a celebratory anniversary publication highlighting some of the organization’s major achievements over the past four decades was underway. In September 2011 a carefully structured plan of action was developed and some 16 volunteers eagerly stepped forward to conduct research about WBFN, to write and edit chapters, to identify photographs for inclusion, and to create a suitable and innovative graphical design. The team has tried to identify major themes and impacts of WBFN and to present these in a way that would be appealing to newly arrived members. Although there was no lack of enthusiasm and energy amongst the team, several issues emerged that slowed down and, ultimately, forced a re-think of the publication’s design and structure. Volunteers’ personal and professional obligations made it difficult to ensure continuity in the workflow. Facts and details related to the organization’s history and achievements were at times difficult to discern from the available written documentation, and relying on personal recollections became difficult. These challenges forced the team to move away from attempting to produce a full history of WBFN and focus on creating a shorter, booklet style publication. June 2012 saw a changeover in the team heading this project as well as in the WBFN leadership. It is hoped that the publication will be available to the membership in FY13.


MEMBERS ABROAD The Members Abroad Team aims to enhance WBFN’s outreach to members moving to or living at WBG Country or Field Offices around the world and to create stable and efficient ways to communicate with them wherever they are. The Team provides information to spouses and partners about other WBG families in Country Offices, shares contact information, and offers advice on how they can form their own communities once incountry, among other things.

Continuing last year’s good work In winter 2011 the Members Abroad Team, headed by Karin Metz, made an extraordinary effort to finalize and widely distribute a document to help WBFN members posted at Country Offices establish their own WBFN chapters, which had been worked on in FY11. The final document, entitled “Ideas for Welcoming Newcomers and Forming a Spouse/Partner Group at your Country Office”, was publicized through Mosaic and uploaded to the website for all members to access in November 2011, and proved to be inspirational. Also a continuation from FY11, the Members Abroad Team began FY12 by working on the development of a platform to help WBFN members at all Country Offices to communicate with each other electronically. Through the work also taking place on revamping the WBFN website as a whole, an appropriate platform—Drupal—was discovered, which will allow for the international interactivity desired by the Members Abroad Team.

Forming a new team Before leaving the Team, Karin identified an enthusiastic and capable volunteer to take on the role, as well as some new team members to support her. At the beginning of 2012, Aisha Kashif and the new Team hit the ground running by making their presence felt at Overseas Assignment Briefings, Welcoming Coffees, etc. and putting together an outline of their work and goals for the rest of the year.

Connecting with Regional Mobility Assistants In January 2012, the IFC invited the Regional Mobility Assistants (RMAs) from various Country Offices to Washington, DC. WBFN met with the RMAs and presented the scope of its work and the Members Abroad Team shared information about how it reaches out to


members at Country Offices, which was positively received. As a follow up to this event a formal letter was sent to the RMAs, reiterating the Members Abroad Team’s interest in forging and maintaining a productive partnership. In order to keep our partners informed about WBFN activities, PDF versions of the Mosaic newsletter are now emailed to the RMAs and to the World Bank Relocation Focal Points each month. The Members Abroad Team has also held video conferences with RMAs, Global Staff Mobility, and spouses in Country Offices—namely Buenos Aires and Accra—which have proved to be very useful. The Team looks forward to further connecting with RMAs and maintaining fruitful working partnerships with them.

Establishing WBFN chapters overseas In the past few years, many members have spearheaded small groups in Country Offices that get together at informal gatherings, where all or most of the attendees are WBG spouses and partners. WBFN has been supportive of their interests and endeavor of providing informal advice and information to relocating families. This year, two of these groups formally decided to come under the WBFN umbrella. The Members Abroad Team provided the in-country spouses with support and guidance in the form of ideas, some information on rules, and their own email addresses. Thus, WBFN Kenya and WBFN Argentina were established. In a short amount of time, these two groups proved to be outstanding in their achievements by conducting meetings, collecting information about newcomers, and making their presence felt within the community by reaching out to Country Office management and others. Since its formation in early 2012, WBFN Kenya has welcomed 55 members, and continues to experiment with online forums, outings and coffee mornings. WBFN Argentina’s main aim is to actively advocate to make it easier for spouses and partners to find work, given certain difficulties in applying for work in the country. One spouse has also formed a United Nations Local Expatriate Association (UNLESA) in Buenos Aires and is looking into creative ways to partner with UN spouses and partners as well. Meetings, video conferences and phone calls have also taken place with members who have expressed an interest in forming WBFN chapters in Accra, Ghana, and Istanbul, Turkey. As always, the Members Abroad Team has strived to provide them with all necessary information and encouragement, and our Global Staff Mobility partners have also been engaged in the process.


These growing local WBFN chapters are shining examples of outreach, welcoming, and advocacy—all of which are WBFN ideals to live by.


SPOUSE ISSUES COMMITTEE The primary function of the Spouse Issues Committee is to advocate on behalf of spouses, partners and family members of WBG staff to the WBG. In addition, the Committee provides support to spouses and partners of WBG staff who are experiencing problems in their relationship, providing information or directing them to sources of information. Members of the Spouse Issues Committee in FY12 were Fiona Oliphant, Hilary Welch and Annemarie Brink Olsen. The nature of the work does not require a large committee, but support from Catherine Mathieu, WBFN Coordinator, and the WBFN office staff is important, as they are, from time to time, the first point of contact for WBFN members seeking help. This year, the Committee continued to work with and support the WBG DA Prevention Coordinator Elizabeth Legrain, as well as working with COPE Inc., the provider of professional counseling services for spouses and partners via The Family Counseling Service and for those experiencing abuse in their relationships via The HUB. The Committee is grateful that technology has made it possible to retain a productive connection with Malahat Baig-Amin from the Middle East. The Committee generally meets weekly to consider issues where WBFN might work to improve WBG policies and practices that disadvantage our members, and then with the DA Prevention Coordinator to review any situations where the committee might be able to provide more immediate, individual and particular help. The Committee chair and one other member represent WBFN on the WBG Domestic Abuse Prevention Task Force. Membership of the Task Force has afforded us the opportunity to meet and work with staff from Bank departments including Security, Ethics, Health Services, and Legal, all of whom can assist in cases of Domestic Abuse. The Staff Association is also represented. Lawyers from DVLeap as well as counselors from COPE are members of the Task Force. The Committee is particularly grateful to Fons Marcellis, HRSCO, Chair of the Task Force, who continues to champion this important cause.

Advocacy The work on the procurement process for a third party vendor continued from last year with the technical evaluation taking place in November. The contract with COPE Inc. was renewed.


The Committee established a regular reporting schedule with COPE and as a result of ongoing suggestions is now seeing good quality documents charting and analyzing the caseload. Statistical reporting is beginning to allow trends to be identified, and an increase in the number of approaches made to The HUB by WBG employees in Country Offices is already evident. While this is likely a consequence of the increasing number of staff members being relocated to Country Offices, an effective protocol for providing support has yet to be put in place. After considerable information gathering and review, it became evident that the changes in the Pension Plans the Committee was seeking to protect older spouses in divorce would not be made. Instead, the Committee has been developing an information sheet for spouses and those representing them in divorce to alert them to the challenges of securing financial security for spouses after divorce, as the WBG plans do not conform to U.S. federal and state law. Changes in personnel and delays in filling roles in the Bank have caused some of the policy changes the Committee has pushed for to stall. Committee members have helped individual spouses experiencing practical difficulties such as with completing forms (where English is not a first language), finding health insurance, and locating legal and other services. Members provide the direct help of a ‘friend’, but will not give advice or counseling.

Prevention The Spouse Issues Committee continues to look for ways to raise awareness about the availability of counseling services and the very difficult topic of Domestic Abuse. The series of monthly articles in Mosaic to inform members was ongoing this year and the Committee helped get the word out about the events of the DA Awareness Month and other speaker events. We have been pleased to share our experiences with friends at IMFFA who have been keen to grow and seek support for their efforts in advocacy and combating domestic abuse at the IMF. Requests for help keep coming and the Committee will continue to support and advocate for all spouses and partners where possible.


INFORMATION SEMINARS Since 1985, these seminars, arranged by Monika Sergo, have been providing information geared to help WBG families better understand how U.S. laws and WBG regulations apply in areas where foresight and careful planning can significantly influence the outcome of various difficult situations. The seminars focus on topics such as Work Authorization, Permanent Residence in the U.S., Estate Planning, and Inheritance Tax and Income Tax in the U.S. All seminars were well attended and much appreciated. Attendees benefited greatly by having this opportunity to get valuable and reliable information and clear answers to their many questions presented to the experienced and professional guest speakers on a range of important issues. The following seminars were offered in FY12: • • • • • •

Work Authorization for Spouses with G-4 Visas How to Qualify for Permanent Residence and other U.S. Visas U.S. Income Tax—Preparing and Paying Preparing for the Unexpected How to Buy Health Insurance as an STC WBG Pension Plan—Why Planning Ahead is so Crucial

New for this year was the “How to Buy Health Insurance as an STC” seminar, a truly valuable resource for those without WBG benefits, as well as a seminar entitled “Preparing for the Unexpected”—a new approach to planning for future life events. Furthermore, WBFN was pleased to welcome two new speakers from new partner organizations to the series this year, at the “How to Qualify for Permanent Residence and other U.S. Visas” and “U.S. Income Tax” seminars.


WBFN’s activities are educational, social, cultural, professional, or all of these! From annual picnics, children’s parties, and dinners, to language classes, art exhibits, and book groups, WBFN activities cater to adults and children alike.



SPECIAL EVENTS Annual Potluck Picnic The Annual Potluck Picnic is a long-running tradition at WBFN, bringing WBG spouses/ partners, staff, and families together for a day of fun and food during the fall. Each guest is asked to contribute a plate of food to share, and games and activities keep children entertained for the afternoon. 170 adults and children attended WBFN’s 2011 Annual Potluck Picnic on October 15, held at the Bretton Woods Recreation Center in Germantown, Maryland. Families got involved in playing games and Men@WBFN volunteers coached soccer for children and adults alike. While most of those who attended were seasoned members, the organizers were pleased to welcome among the newcomers one family who had arrived in DC only two days before! Difficulties in recruiting volunteers for the day left a small group of volunteers with a great responsibility on the day, which they managed with patience and skill. Their willingness and effort made the picnic enjoyable for all those that attended. Following the 2011 Fall Picnic, the Executive Committee decided to test the concept of holding the Annual Picnic in the spring rather than the fall. As a result, the first Spring Picnic was organized for Saturday, April 14, 2012. With its “African safari” theme, the Spring Picnic attracted around 250 attendees who spent the afternoon sharing and enjoying delicious food, playing games, and taking part in numerous activities led by WBFN volunteers. Given the success of the Spring Picnic, it was decided that, going forward, the Annual Picnic will always be held in spring.


Children’s Holiday Party The Children’s Holiday Party (CHP) is an annual gathering of WBFN members and their spouses/partners and children to celebrate the winter holiday season. The party usually takes place in the Atrium of the WBG’s MC building. Attendees enjoy light refreshments, games, entertainment, and much more. This year, the CHP was attended by 636 parents and children and the atmosphere was fun and welcoming. The theme was The Polar Express, shown through impressive decoration all over the MC Atrium. This year’s entertainment was again provided by Barry the Magician, who never fails to delight the children. The spread of party food was very popular and there were almost no leftovers to deal with at the end. As in previous years, a check of the money raised by ticket sales was presented to the Children’s Law Center (CLC), this year for $3000. This money was used to brighten the holiday season for 15 local children. This year it became clear that it would be more effective to present the check to the CLC just before the magician’s show rather than afterwards, as more people are present. A new system of timed tickets to see Santa was implemented this year. Upon arrival at the party, each child received a ticket with a set time for their visit to Santa. This system helped to reduce the size of the line and meant that there was no line left by the time the party ended. This year, the party was lucky to have seven face painters. The larger number of face painters meant that they could rotate and each take a break. One challenge identified was that the team had difficulty communicating with each other during the party itself, and it was suggested that some walkie talkies should be purchased for next year’s party (and other WBFN events).


Annual Dinner WBFN’s Annual Dinner is a time for all members and their spouses/partners, as well as WBFN’s partners in the Bank, to come together, reflect upon the past year, acknowledge the hard work of the volunteers and staff, honor the MMMF recipients, and thank our WBG partners and supporters. This year’s Annual Dinner, attended by 106 people, took place on May 15 in the 12th floor Gallery of the MC Building. The gallery was elegantly decorated by volunteers, and particularly Sadeem Munirahmad Alkadi, who created wonderful centerpieces using single vases with tulips. Guests were delighted to take the vases home as a gift from our organization. A projected photo slideshow provided an attractive backdrop to the dinner. Carefully prepared by Gilda Dadush and Louise Shimizu, the photos showed WBFN volunteers “at work” on various programs and activities, giving volunteers the recognition they deserve for their continuous commitment while also showing what WBFN is all about. As an engaging Master of Ceremony, Johannes Tonn introduced the keynote speaker, Caroline D. Anstey, WBG Managing Director. Caroline underlined WBFN’s most impressive achievements from the past year and, above all, recognized the important role played by WBFN in improving the welfare of WBG families. Annemarie Brink Olsen, outgoing WBFN President, then gave a speech wrapping up the year’s events and thanking the volunteers for their collaboration. Further highlights included an introduction to the 19 MMMF recipients, as well as the presentation of the new WBFN Presidents and Executive Committee members. To create an enjoyable and relaxing environment, a family-style Moroccan dinner was served and the night ended with a performance by Nirathi Rao Kalavapudi from the Rhythmaya School of Dance. The sounds of Bollywood-style music spread through the gallery and many guests tested their dance skills under Nirathi’s guidance. It was an enjoyable evening and guests gave positive and encouraging feedback.


Office Gatherings Office Gatherings are a new activity introduced at WBFN in FY12. They are social gatherings that take place in the WBFN office, normally with some finger food and drinks provided. They take place during work hours or after—whichever is most convenient for the invitees. A Gathering may be held for all WBFN members or for specific groups of members, for example all of the Parents and Tots groups. WBFN’s friends and partners from within the Bank are also often invited, depending on the occasion. In July 2011, WBFN moved to a new, open, and spacious office in the J building. This new space inspired WBFN to open the office for regular social gatherings for members, partners and friends. Naturally, the first opportunity was to arrange a Move-In Party to welcome all new as well as seasoned members to warm up the new WBFN base. Held in the evening, it was a great success with more than 100 members and their families, and WBFN friends and partners in attendance. It was a joy to see the diversity of members engaged in conversation with one another and with WBFN friends and partners—a great networking opportunity. The next event came at the beginning of 2012 with a New Year’s Gathering, also a huge success with nearly 100 attendees. This year’s finale was inspired by an email conversation with the coordinator of the Virginia Parents and Tots Group, Louise Touber. The result was a chance for all of the parents and youngsters from the Virginia, Maryland, and DC Parents and Tots groups to come together in one location for a day of relaxed talk, food, play, and fun activities. Staff members and older children were also invited, given the timing of the gathering during the summer vacation. The volunteers involved in organizing these three events had fun and found the gatherings very rewarding.


Art Exhibits All WBFN members and their immediate relations are welcome to display their creations at the WBFN Gallery in the WBFN Conference Room. The Gallery enjoys a large variety of work, including fine arts, jewelry, photography, ceramics, drawings and textiles. The artists are encouraged to have an opening reception and to inform WBG staff of the event by posting flyers. The artists can promote or sell their work during special events such as the opening reception, and they are asked to donate 15 percent of the sales to the MMMF or the Book Project. Exhibits display for approximately one month. From December 2011 to the end of January 2012, the Gallery hosted a collection of paintings by WBFN member Marie-Dominique Bondet de la Bernardie, entitled "Vision". From February to mid-March 2012, WBFN member Susanne Kasielke displayed her series of paintings, "Abstract Insights". Susanne makes use of a Picasso quote to explain how abstract art helps her to see more clearly: "Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life". From mid-March to mid-April 2012, WBFN member Mabel Cabezas exhibited her collection of silk paintings. Mabel first developed an interest in silk painting 15 years ago, and she appreciates the versatility of the technique, which gives space to improvisation. Her love of painting led her to research pre-Columbian culture and how to interpret it through her medium. From mid-April to mid-May 2012, the Gallery featured an exhibition entitled "She and Herself", by Pritthijit (Raja) Kundu. Raja, an architect by profession, enjoys fine arts and photography as ardent hobbies. In this exhibition, Raja explored a number of moods and emotions of women through visual concepts.


Career Networking Events and Happy Hours Career Networking Events and Happy Hours are networking evenings organized three times a year in turn by WBFN, the Inter-American Development Bank Family Association (IDBFA) and the International Monetary Fund Family Association (IMFFA). The aim is for attendees to mingle, share, connect, network and learn from each other primarily for career-related purposes, but also for social endeavors or projects. In FY12 WBFN had a dedicated team of six organizers putting in a tremendous number of hours to make the WBFN Happy Hour a success. The organizers split into four teams: overall coordination and programming, communications and media, registration and internal logistics, and catering and external logistics. Volunteers from all three organizations stepped in to make the event possible and they welcomed about 200 attendees in the World Bank C-Building. WBFN invited speakers from various organizations, including Charlotte Jones-Carroll, the President of the MMMF, Debbie DeChambeau, an independent consultant and career networking coach, and Annemarie Brink-Olsen, the WBFN President, to speak on the topic of volunteering, networking and their combined added value when pursuing a career.


Teen Summer Program The Teen Summer Program (TSP) is an annual educational program for 16 to 18 yearold children of WBG, IMF and IADB staff, organized by the family associations of the three organizations. Around 32 teens spend three weeks visiting the WBG, IMF and IADB to watch presentations, listen to lectures, participate in workshops, volunteer, and most importantly, learn about the cultures of the international organizations in which their parents work. Celebrating its 6th year, the TSP hosted 32 teens selected from 63 applicants, from June 27 to July 14 2011. The WBFN segment of the program was coordinated by volunteers Luisa Lopes, Karen Clarke-Stange, Guili Zhou and Rosmarijn Sales, who spent many months in preparation, showing their commitment and proving that the dedication, motivation, and teamwork of a few volunteers can go a long way. Numerous WBFN chaperones were also crucial to the success of the program. In FY12, a slightly higher fee of $150 was charged for each teen. Each year, at least 50% of this fee is donated to charity while the rest covers the cost of materials and food. This year, the teens spent time learning how the uppermost levels of the WBG function by taking part in a mock Board meeting in the WBG Boardroom, as well as discovering the WBG project planning process by simulating their own project. The teens were also treated to an interactive presentation at the IFC, as well as visits to the WBFN Book Project and a half-day with the WBFN Mosaic Team. During their time at the IMF the teens enjoyed an interactive workshop on communicating across cultures, an art activity to create a logo facilitated by IMF communications staff, a workshop on developing interviewing skills, and a mock mission. The IADB portion of the TSP introduced the teens to the Mary’s Center, a local charity at which they spent the day volunteering. Presentations about development furthered the teens’ knowledge of the IADB’s work, and a workshop entitled “Theater for Better Communication” sharpened the teens’ communication skills. Feedback from the teens was very positive overall, and the interactive sessions, volunteering projects, and simulations proved to be particularly popular.  


FEE-BASED CLASSES English Classes Responding to requests from WBFN spouses/partners for convenient and relatively inexpensive English courses, WBFN, in consultation with professional English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) teachers, created its own unique English language program to serve its members in 2008. Three levels of instruction are offered, to cater to WBFN members’ varying abilities. In FY12: • • • • • • •

Over 2,000 hours of English instruction provided 51 students, new or returning Courses divided into 3 levels of ability 2-hour classes held twice a week Average of 25 students attending per semester Individual class size of 8-9 students 40 hours of class time for each student per semester, with some continuing for 2 semesters.

In FY12, each student was interviewed and placed in the appropriate classes; an opening coffee for teachers and students was held each semester in the WBFN office; potluck lunches were arranged each semester; and after-class lunches with fellow students and teachers were shared in the cafeteria. Modest fees for books and tuition were charged, and the three teachers were hired as shortterm consultants. Sarah Brau and Carmela Cosans continued as teachers this year, while Michele Schimetat left after the first semester for an overseas posting. Anu Mishra joined the teachers in her place. With an emphasis on acquiring language through community-building, the impact of this WBFN program has significantly enhanced spouse/partner language and coping skills and quality of life for family members and staff. The classes are also a significant intake point


for new WBFN volunteers, as students recognize the value of WBFN’s outreach efforts and already feel part of its community. There is a plan to increase in fall 2012 the length and number of classes to create more of an immersion approach to learning English. Although this will increase tuition and other expenses, demand for quicker development of English skills for job searches and other areas of life has increased. This pilot would test the waters for this level of involvement.  


Business English Classes Business English classes offer an overview of the full range of spoken business communication skills, including cultural differences, overviews of meetings, and presentation and negotiating skills. Teaching methods used include case studies, group and individual presentations and peer critique, as well as the more traditional methods associated with language learning, such as grammar and usage exercises and pronunciation. During FY12, the WBFN calendar included one of the same offerings for Business English as were offered the previous years: Communicating in Business. The full series includes a course on Business Presentations and another on Business Negotiations. These were not offered this year due to lack of instructor availability. The Communicating in Business course involved 24 hours of classroom time. Both the instructor and the students needed to spend a minimum of 1-2 hours preparing outside the class in order to maximize the utility of class time for all concerned. Enrollments in the course were 13 in number. Although there was a structured content outline for each class, an interactive approach to learning directed the sessions towards the learners’ needs and drew on their professional and life experiences. Thus, although these were primarily language courses, participants developed and applied business skills, including problem solving, teamwork, and business relationship building. These skills are easily transferable and vital to individual success in a U.S. business setting. Feedback from participants has been very positive and it is anticipated that the full series of Business English courses will be offered in FY13.


Computer Classes WBFN Computer Classes have been running since 1994 and were originally designed to introduce WBFN members to the basic functions of computer software and systems. The number of computer classes being offered has deliberately been reduced each year due to decreased demand for introductory level classes, which are gradually being replaced with advanced level sessions. Recently, classes in Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Dreamweaver have been introduced. On average, one new class is developed per year. In FY12, 12 classes were offered, although only eight were held: • • • • • •

Advanced MS Excel (October 2011 and February 2012) Adobe Dreamweaver – Part I (December 2011) Adobe Dreamweaver – Part II (December 2011) Adobe InDesign (November 2011) Adobe Photoshop Elements (November 2011 and March 2012) Microsoft Access (April 2012)

The average number of attendees at each course was 4-5. At the end of FY12, instructor and WBFN IT-support Tania Gnesdilova and her husband were posted to Moscow for a 2-3 year assignment. After Tania leaves DC in winter 2012, the computer classes will be discontinued until a new instructor is found. Tania and her expertise will be sorely missed at WBFN.


Financial Literacy Courses The purpose of the financial literacy courses is to introduce participants to the financial world and equip them to make informed financial decisions about spending, saving and investing. This knowledge empowers families and is essential learning for every family regardless of nationality or age. Three core courses are offered: one seminar, “Money Matters”, as well as two online courses, “Budgeting: Developing a Financial Road Map” and “Savings and Investments”. Two other seminars supplement these core courses: “Getting on with Money” and “Time Management”. All face-to-face seminars are Washington-based, but WBFN welcomes participants from around the world who happen to be visiting the Washington area from a Country Office at the time. For the tenth year, WBFN sponsored a face-to-face seminar, Money Matters. Held twice a year, this seminar introduces spouses and partners to the financial vocabulary and concepts needed to understand and use the benefits offered through the World Bank Group and to explain the importance of pension plans. Money Matters took place on October 18 and 19, 2011 and again on February 21 and 22, 2012. 19 participants signed up, including members visiting DC from overseas. An online course, Budgeting: Developing a Financial Road Map, is offered to Washington and Country Office-based spouses/partners twice a year. This course teaches the essential backdrop for savings and investment decisions: setting up efficient recordkeeping, creating a budget, tracking expenses, getting out of debt, setting financial goals and determining net worth. The November 2011 and February 2012 courses involved 20 participants. The Savings and Investments course, also online, was not offered in FY12 as it is currently being revised and updated. Getting on with Money also did not take place due to insufficient registrations. The Time Management seminar was held on October 20, 2011 and had nine participants, including members visiting DC from overseas. The benefits of these courses are many, some of them unexpected. Participants report enhanced interest in finance in general and this manifests in some joining groups learning about stock markets and investing in a personal portfolio. They report better communication in


the home with their spouse or partner and they report increased savings and lowered tension about money matters in general. In addition, the online courses bring people from various global regions into contact through the financial chatrooms facilitated on the e-platform.


MEMBERS-TO-MEMBERS Languages Advanced English/Introduction to Literature This class, taught by Helen Maybury, meets once a week for two hours at Helen’s home in Falls Church, Virginia. Members take turns reading short passages, with occasional breaks to clarify difficult vocabulary. Helen provides a brief biography of the author under discussion as well as a lexicon of the more difficult words. Classes conclude with light refreshments. This year, the class read American short stories selected from the anthology “The Oxford Book of American Short Stories”, edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Helen spent an average of 3-4 hours each week in preparation for the classes, and the most rewarding aspect was forming friendships with women from many different countries. At the beginning of the year, seven or eight WBFN members expressed an interest in joining the class, although only five began to participate regularly. Helen looks forward to repeating the class next year.

Intermediate French The Intermediate French Group meets weekly. Classes develop participants’ French language skills. The group continued to meet throughout FY12, getting together every Thursday from 10:00am to 12:00 noon. Catherine Gouarne continued as the group teacher.

Advanced Spanish Conversation The Advanced Spanish Conversation group has been meeting for over 20 years with the same coordinator and the same core members. The group reads short stories written by well-known Spanish-speaking writers and articles from newspapers and magazines. Each year, the group organizes a Christmas party and a picnic, to which spouses/partners are invited.


In FY12, the group met every Friday from 11:00am to 1:00pm—except during the summer—at various members’ homes. Of a total of 13 members, each meeting was attended by an average of eight. As in previous years, the group organized additional activities such as trips to the theater, the movies, museums, and concerts.  


Book Groups African Book Group The African Book Group has been meeting on the third Monday of the month for over 30 years. The group meets from September through June and the December meeting is an evening potluck event, to which spouses/partners are also invited. The African Book Group has always been a self-selecting group of women with some connection to Africa, often through birth or work. Meetings take place in the participants’ homes, and light refreshments are provided by the host. FY12 was a good year for the group, with 8-14 participants attending each meeting—the perfect numbers for discussing books. The group chose to read the following books by authors from as many different African countries as possible (brackets show the country of origin of the author and the host of the meeting): • • • • • • • •

Pieternella, Daughter of Eva, by Marlene Matthee (South Africa, Binny Saker) Cutting For Stone, by Abraham Verghese (Ethiopia, Monica Schott) Slave: My True Story, by Mende Nazer (Sudan, Vim Maguire) The Devil That Danced On Water, by Aminatta Forna (Sierra Leone, Melitta Carter) Absent: The English Teacher, by John Eppel (Zimbabwe, Veronica Murphy) Mighty Be Our Powers, by Leymah Gbowee (Liberia, Ileana DeGeyndt) Poor Mercy, by Jonathan Falla (Sudan, Mary Kay Smith) House of Stone, by Christina Lamb (Zimbabwe, Nandini Lal)

This year, the African Book Group’s June meeting was also a potluck event, organized jointly with the English Book Group and hosted by Vim Maguire in her lovely garden. During FY12, two coordinators shared the administrative duties, with Debra Byam researching the author and keeping track of attendance and the books read, and Melitta Carter keeping the group organized and communicating with the WBFN office and Mosaic. At the end of FY12, Melitta passed this function on to Alison Ordu, who has been a member of the group since the 1990s.


American Book Group The American Book Group, established in FY11, concentrates on reading books only by American authors and discussing American culture in literature. Meetings are generally held on the third Thursday of the month at a cafĂŠ, La Madeleine. The American Book Group continued to meet during FY12, and saw a change of coordinator when Michele Schimetat left the U.S., with Carmela Cosans taking up the role. Meetings generally had between 2 and 4 participants. Going forward, the group hopes to make WBFN members more aware that the group is continuing, mainly through spreading the word among other WBFN group organizers and the WBFN English teachers.


English Book Group The English Book Group has over 20 members who meet monthly to socialize and discuss a book they have read for the occasion. Books are mainly fiction, range from classics through recent publications, and are chosen by consensus from member suggestions. The main criteria are high quality and the potential for stimulating discussion of topics such as love, war, art, religion and politics. Members take turns to host meetings. A Holiday Potluck (including significant others) and a Summer Potluck (together with the African Book Group) are also held, and the latter has a theme or invited speaker. The group has existed for more than 20 years. Over the past fiscal year, members enjoyed a series of eight book discussion meetings, as well as a few extra cultural events. The works that provided fodder for ever-lively discussions were: • • • • • • • • •

Sea of Poppies, by Amitav Ghosh Even Silence has an End, by Ingrid Betancourt Incendiary, by Chris Cleave The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, by Kate Summerscale Cakes and Ale, by Somerset Maugham The Hare With Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver The Summer Potluck included a viewing of The Happy Movie.

Through no-holds-barred discussions, strong friendships have arisen. Membership has been stable. Changes included Elsa van Wersch’s return to the Netherlands, from where she remains in touch, as do several other former members now also living permanently overseas. Barbara Cackler took over from Sabine Tourreilles as co-coordinator with Myra Jacobs in summer 2011.


French Book Group The French Book Group has been running for over 20 years and approximately 10 members form the core group. Due to frequent travels and personal commitments, the monthly meetings are usually attended by 6–8 participants. Members take turns to host the twohour meetings at their homes. The French Book Group read the following books between September 2011 and June 2012: • • • • • • • • • •

Clara Malraux, by Dominique Bona L'evangile selon Pilate, by Eric Emmanuel Schmitt Une si longue lettre, by Mariama Ba Le philosophe nu, by Alexandre Jollien Une femme, by Annie Ernaux Le remplaçant, by Agnès Desarthe Une poignée de gens, by Anne Wiazemsky Les croisades vues par les arabes, by Amin Maalouf Un ange cornu avec des ailes de tôle, by Michel Tremblay Lettres persanes, by Montesquieu

For the most part, all of this year’s books—even Le philosophe nu, which was unanimously considered to be the most arduous to read—have been fairly well received and have provoked a lively discussion. For the past few years, two or three volunteers have taken turns to order between 6 and 8 copies of each book in advance through However, the group has experienced some difficulties in receiving all the books on time from Amazon. For that reason, the group has decided that starting in September 2012, before each quarter, each member will be responsible for handling his/her own order of three or four books that will have been unanimously pre-approved for discussion by the group.


German Book Group The German Book Group meets every third Wednesday of the month for two hours. The group concentrates on reading contemporary German literature from German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland); they also read and discuss contemporary books from other European countries that have been translated into German. During FY12, the German Book Group continued to meet on a monthly basis, discussing a number of different books during each session, as only one copy of the books to be discussed during the year is ordered. Group members took turns to host discussion sessions in their homes, and each was followed by a luncheon provided by the host.


Parents and Tots Groups Downtown Babies Established over two years ago, the Downtown Babies group (DC) provides a social network for new and established DC mothers and their preschool children. The group meets every Wednesday in members’ homes or child-friendly locations around DC. The Downtown Babies group continued to meet weekly during FY12, with a small but strong core of mothers and babies/toddlers attending each week, and up to eight mothers attending at a time. The group also met with other moms who could no longer attend the Wednesday meetings, to maintain as many links as possible. Outings in FY12 included visits to parks, museums, pools, the zoo and the Playseum, providing the children with a range of activities and socializing opportunities that met their needs. Email exchanges provided a forum in which group members could ask for advice about babysitters, schools, and non-child related issues. In FY12, a number of pregnancies and international moves meant that the group coordinators decided it would be necessary to expand the coordination team for the next fiscal year. The group also hopes to make the meetings more sustainable by increasing the number of members.


Maryland Parents and Tots The Maryland (MD) Parents and Tots group is a playgroup for WBG and IMF parents and their children aged 0-4. Meetings take place on Tuesdays from 10:00am to 12:00 noon, usually at a member’s home. The group enjoys a "Moms’ Night Out" every two months and a family picnic twice a year, as well as occasional summer outings. The playgroup’s main form of communication is its own webpage, BankFundKids (http://groups. All members of the playgroup have access and can post announcements for play dates, photos of events, useful information or comments. The group has 19 members with a total of 27 children, although not all members attend every play date. During FY12, the playgroup arranged its usual play dates and events such as “Moms’ Night Out” and the family picnic, as well as a baby shower. This year there were two main changes in the group. First, the play dates moved from Wednesdays to Tuesdays following a vote, as many parents were engaged in other activities on Wednesdays. Second, in December 2011, Adriana Ferreira handed the coordinator role over to Monica Nermark and Veronia Montfort, although she continues to support them whenever needed. Monica now primarily coordinates the “Moms’ Night Out” and family picnics, while Veronica coordinates the weekly activities as well as extra summer outings, welcoming new members, and updating the website. The MD playgroup is an excellent way to engage and enrich the intercultural learning experience for Bank/Fund children and their parents. Parents exchange information and experiences while socializing and sharing common reflections on a new international setting.


Virginia Parents and Tots The Virginia (VA) Parents and Tots playgroup is an opportunity for parents and their babies or toddlers (up to the age of four or five) to get together. The parents discuss, share information and tips and enjoy a sympathetic ear, while the children get to play with others of the same age, often from different cultures. The playgroup meets once a week on a Thursday morning from 10:00am until 12:00 noon at members’ homes or a park. Over the past year, five people contacted the coordinator for information about the group, and three of those attended fairly regularly. The number of participants at each meeting varied from two to eight, with more attending when there was a special event. The playgroup enjoyed two baby showers in March and April 2012. In May 2012 the group celebrated a birthday in Maryland where parents and children from the Maryland (MD) Parents and Tots group were also present. The playgroup also attended a parents and tots event at the WBFN office in June 2012. The parents and children were delighted to attend this event organized by WBFN volunteers and staff, which connected even more parents from other WBFN playgroups and established a closer link with the WBFN itself. The group took a trip to the Wolftrap Theatre-in-the-Woods in July 2011 and hopes to arrange a similar trip next year. The playgroup now uses a Shutterfly Share site to upload photographs of events and to keep track of upcoming events using a calendar and automatic reminders. The initial setup of the system took some time and energy, but the playgroup is generally satisfied with its performance.


Duplicate Bridge Wednesday Bridge Group The Wednesday Bridge Group, in existence since before 1973, meets on the third Wednesday of each month from 10:00am–2:00pm for duplicate bridge and lunch. The group continued to meet throughout FY12, with 8-12 participants attending each session. However, the number of WBG spouses affiliated with the group has gradually decreased over the years.

Friday Bridge Group The Friday Duplicate Bridge Group gets together at different members’ homes on Fridays, from 9:30am‒2:30pm. The group continued to meet on Fridays throughout FY12.


Beer Club The Beer Club was born in December 2010 when seven men “re-invented the wheel once more” and decided to come together every Wednesday to enjoy a cold “mid-week beer”, network amongst each other and learn what is going on in DC. From the very start, the “founding fathers” of Beer Club knew they did not want an exclusive group. They would welcome both men and women, spouses/partners and Bank staff, newcomers and long-settled WBFN members, friends and neighbors, family and colleagues, consultants and folks with no link to the Bank whatsoever. Indeed, one of the ideas behind the Beer Club is precisely to get out of the Bank bubble and get to know other Washingtonians and network outside the established and most easily accessible circles of friends and colleagues. This year, the Beer Club has thrived on its philosophy that anyone is welcome anytime with no obligations and no need to RSVP. New members have been signing up using the bclub@ email address. The Beer Club has been meeting every Wednesday from 6:30pm onwards at James Hoban’s Irish Pub, Dupont Circle. The Beer Club in numbers: • • • •

Total of 80 members 8-20 participants each week Average 2 beers per capita New members welcome any time!


International Cuisine Once a month, members of the International Cuisine group get together at a participant’s home for a cookery demonstration. The group discovers and enjoys meals from a different national culinary tradition each time. Every individual present receives a copy of the recipes presented in the session. All members contribute a participation fee of $20 per session, except for the host and the one in charge of preparing the food. From July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012, the group had the pleasure of enjoying the following demonstrations: • September: First meeting, during which the schedule and menu for the upcoming year was discussed and decided upon. • October: Russian cuisine—borscht (beetroot soup), salmon koulibiac (fish pie), vatrushka (pastry with cottage cheese), and Russian apple pie. • November: no demonstration; two demonstrations given in December. • December 2: Moroccan cuisine—chicken pastilla (sweet/savory meat pie), shrimp and fish pastilla, and fruit salad. • December 16: Gingerbread house and German Christmas cookies, with homemade panini for lunch. • January: Potluck evening, to which spouses/partners were also invited. • February: Indian cuisine—stuffed tomatoes, tandoori shrimp, tandoori chicken, tamatar toor dal (tomato lentil soup), and baked bananas with coconut and jaggery (sugar cane). • March: Thai cuisine—spicy tomato soup, Thai salad, Thai corn cakes, chicken and peanut panang curry, and black sticky rice pudding. • April: Finnish Cuisine. • May: Moroccan cuisine—mechouia salad (grilled vegetables), chakchouka (vegetables with poached eggs), and chocolate pear charlotte. • June: Spanish cuisine—gazpacho (cold tomato soup), and paella (rice with seafood).


International Cultural Group The International Cultural Group meets whenever an educational or culturally interesting place, activity or event is identified in the greater DC area. There are no fixed dates for meetings and the number of events per year is also flexible. During the past year, the events were: • A visit to the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens (May) • A tour of the Hillsborough wine-making facility (October)


Investment Club The Wandering Winners Investment Club (WWIC) was founded in June 2001 by 25 WBG spouses, all WBFN Financial Literacy students taught by Cary Clark. Most new members since have been graduates of the same courses. WWIC provides weekly opportunities to further financial awareness, develop investment skills, and enhance friendships. Members of the WWIC own a joint portfolio of securities, governed by a set of bylaws (Partnership Agreements) managed by elected officers. WWIC is registered with the National Association of Investors Corporation (NAIC), which provides information, networking opportunities, and training. WWIC works with a broker and holds weekly study sessions for interested members to research new securities, discuss weeding and feeding the portfolio, and learn together. Decision meetings are held once a month on second Fridays from 10am to 12pm at the WBFN office with up to 25 partners present. In 2011-2012, though the world economy fared slightly better than the year before, it was still a challenging year. Yet the WWIC was fortunate to have had a winning year, with its portfolio beating the S&P500 once again. This was achieved by relying on the lessons learned from the 2008 recession: use the down market for hidden gems; conduct broad sector studies for information; pay attention to defensive stocks that can weather recessions, and invest in companies that do business in countries that have a relatively robust economy. WWIC approved a total of 20 securities transactions this year, including purchases and sales, with a focus on the financials, energy and beverages sectors. WWIC members and guests organized and/or attended the following educational activities in FY12: • Seminars: “Understanding Balance Sheets and Ratios” (in-house by member, Patricia Caicedo); “The China Conundrum” (World Bank seminar); “Market Overview and Portfolio Review” (Mr. Ozgur Karaosmanoglu and Mr. Aydin Tuncer, Vice Presidents and Investment Wealth Management Specialists at the Global Wealth Management Group Raymond James and Associates: “Economic Outlook for 2011”) • NAIC: WWIC portfolio review, networking and exchange with other NAIC clubs • Book Review: “The Big Short” (in-house by member, Jeanne Haji) • 10th Anniversary Keynote Address by Cary Clark.


2011 was also WWIC’s 10th anniversary and several events provided opportunities to celebrate. In March, members participated in a NAIC Club Anniversary event and presented its portfolio for critique to over 50 investment clubs from around the Greater Washington area and beyond. The portfolio received due recognition for its picks and good diversification, as well as helpful feedback and pointers. In May, WWIC also celebrated at the WBFN Annual Membership Meeting, followed by an in-house celebration with WWIC alumni members.

Mahjong Group Mahjong is a Chinese game played using ceramic/bamboo tiles in sets of suits and winds and dragons, which helps to promote memory. A number of WBFN members started a Mah Jong group in April 2012. So far, the group has received a great deal of interest. Four to six people meet weekly at the homes of regular members from 10:00am until 12:30pm. The participants hope to expand the group in order to make the sessions more interactive. The camaraderie of the group has worked well so far. As an international group, the participants were used to playing different versions of the game, so following a specific book—The Mah Jong Player’s Companion, by Patricia A. Thompson and Betty Maloney—has helped everyone to play by the same rules. The group looks forward to memorizing more games in the future.



In 1982 and 1983, World Bank spouses started the Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund and the Book Project. Today, WBFN volunteers continue to manage these two charities, which support the education of women and children in the developing world: the Front Line of Development.


THE BOOK PROJECT Established in 1983, the WBFN Book Project is an all-volunteer non-profit run by family members of World Bank/IMF staff and retirees from these organizations. Its mission is to support education among young people in the developing world through book donations. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the WBFN Book Project, as it continues to make an important contribution to the education of young students in the developing world. With this significant landmark, a new assessment tool is being developed to gain insight into the organization’s impact on the level of education at recipient schools, beginning in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. In these two instances, the people facilitating the distribution of the books at their final destination—who are Bank staff— have agreed to take it upon themselves to provide questionnaires to the recipient schools and ensure their return to the Book Project. The crux of the Book Project’s success is the ongoing support of DC area counties who donate their textbooks and the dedication of those who have committed hundreds of volunteer hours. In spite of the introduction of e-books in some counties, donations continue at a healthy pace with a significant increase in the number of dictionaries and encyclopedias. Although several long-time volunteers returned to their home countries this year, several new and very committed volunteers joined the organization, not to mention a number of very capable high school and college students who opted to fulfill their community service hours by volunteering for the Book Project. The end result for the year was the donation of three large shipments (approximately 90,000 books) to schools and community libraries in Papua New Guinea, Philippines and India. An additional four small shipments were sent to Lesotho, South Africa, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire (approximately 7,000 books). • 30 years of history • Total of more than 3 million books sent to over 100 recipient countries in the developing world • Approximately 97,000 books shipped just this year


THE MARGARET MCNAMARA MEMORIAL FUND The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMMF) selects women from developing countries to receive educational grants that will help further their education and build leadership skills so that they may ultimately work to benefit women and children in developing countries. To do this, MMMF raises funds through its annual crafts fair and through soliciting donations from individuals, while prudently managing its invested savings. It maintains its public non-profit status and governs through a volunteer Board of Directors, with many other volunteers carrying out fundraising and selection processes. In FY12, MMMF selected seven grantees from South African universities and 12 from U.S. and Canadian universities to receive grants totaling $172,000. Grantees gathered in February in Pretoria and in May in Washington to share their goals and professional focus with supporters of MMMF programs. Funds for the grant programs were successfully raised through the MMMF International Arts and Crafts Fair. The Fair was held earlier than usual in October 2011, so the total revenue was down from the previous year but still satisfactory. Despite that, customers were inspired to do holiday shopping because of the variety of carefully selected vendors. It is truly an occasion where the Board and other MMMF volunteers are united in working towards success. The annual solicitation to Friends of the MMMF was converted to a largely email solicitation, with letters sent to a fraction of the Friends for whom no email address was known, as well as to recent Bank retirees. MMMF successfully raised funds through the IMF’s Helping Hands community campaign and has been approved for the U.S. Government’s Combined Federal Campaign and for the World Bank Group’s Community Connections Campaign starting in Fall 2012. The MMMF benefited in 2012 from a generous memorial donation from the family of the late Leila Zlaoui. All of these developments will expand MMMF’s capacity to give grants. To support both fundraising and general outreach, MMMF developed a brand-specific set of communications materials, and used these for the first time at the May 2012 Forum and related events. The promotional video developed during summer 2011 was launched on the MMMF website this fiscal year, and has been used frequently at exhibits (e.g., IMF, WBFN Career and Volunteering events, 1818 NGO Fair) to attract attention to the stories of


MMMF grantees. Another momentous publication was the MMMF’s 30-Year History book, prepared completely by volunteers and launched in November 2011. As a new initiative, in June 2012, MMMF launched a pilot program with universities in five Latin American countries, with the aim of increasing the number of women grantees from that continent. The MMMF Coordinator changed this year, as Martina Adank left for graduate school in Switzerland. The Board recruited Aparna Zaveri from among 40 excellent applicants to replace her. New officers were elected for the MMMF Board of Directors for FY12-13: Andree Wynkoop takes over the presidency from Charlotte Jones-Carroll; Kristine Martin becomes the new Vice-President as Sarah Brau retires from the Board, and Andrea Anayiotos takes over from Jayati Datta-Mitra as Treasurer. Long-time Board member and founding Friends Chair Dominique Lallement also completed her Board service.




An organization such as WBFN cannot exist except by virtue of those who volunteer their talents, services, and above all, their time, so willingly and unsparingly. We gratefully thank all those whose names appear in the following pages and sincerely hope that none have been inadvertently omitted.





Florinda D’Eugenio (July – December 2011)


Volunteer Leadership Executive Committee President: Annemarie Brink Olsen Secretary: Fiona Oliphant Nominating Chair: Sandipa Thapa Basnyat Welcoming Chair: Jennifer O’Riordan (July – November 2011); Florinda D’Eugenio (as of December 2011) Amy Chamberlain (as of October 2011) Karen Clarke-Stange Karin Metz Johannes Tonn Amber Van De Genachte Inela Weeks Hilary Welch MMMF Representative (non-voting): Charlotte Jones Carroll Book Project Representative (non-voting): Zena Soudah Advisor (non-voting): Gilda Dadush The New Leadership Model Team Sandipa Thapa Basnyat Fiona Oliphant Johannes Tonn Inela Weeks Hilary Welch


Nominating Committee Nominating Chair: Sandipa Thapa Basnyat Philippe Futa Maaike le Grand

Annual Membership Meeting Chair: Annemarie Brink Olsen Executive Committee Alumni Meeting Host: Gilda Dadush

Office Management Around the Office Office Assistant: Mariela Eberhardt Member Management System: Tania Gnesdilova

Programs Welcoming Welcoming Chair: Jennifer Riordan (July – November 2011); Florinda D’Eugenio (as of December 2011) Buddy Coordinator: Karen Manzanilla SOP Facilitators: Sandipa Thapa Basnyat, Maaike le Grand El Batoule Alaoui Elizabeth Arden Ruth Bull Jose Dinglasan Maaike le Grand Gulya Ishmuratova Dafina Kelmendi Saadia Latif Noha Abedel Masih



Samalie Nambuuya Vilaykham Phomsouvanh Tunc Samli Laura Smaldone Rachida El Yadari Mawussi Zevounou Marta Zonta

Career and Volunteering El Batoule Alaoui Gulira Alieva Andre Carletto Matt DongUk Cho Francisco Gonzalez-Cos Florence Kando Carol Kiernan Elena Kuznetsova Anu Mishra Cecilia Neher Tunc Samli Johannes Tonn Amber Van De Genachte Meg Walker Inela Weeks Helle Willumsen



Mosaic Editors: Amy Chamberlain, Vidya Rangan Designers: Eva Calonder, Gilda Dadush, Louise Fraval Ruth Bull Deepika Shrestha Meg Walker

Electronic Media Webmaster: Gilda Dadush Website Team: Eleni Ashine Marie-Anne Chambonnier Matt Donguk Cho Wilson Magaya Mishi Mirza Shalu Nariani Cristina Elena Ospino Ruby Shamayleh Louise Shimizu Meg Walker Mawussi Zevounou Alexis Massenet Knowledge Exchange Team: Alain Cornet Cecilia Neher Pedro Saa Graphics Team Miguel Barreto Eva Calonder Margret Kroyer Mishi Mashudah Duina Reyes Photo Team Alain Cornet Annemarie Brink Olsen Ibrahim Turk Rachida El Yadari Marketing Team Florinda d’Eugenio Olga Nazarko-Jesus Cecilia Neher




Pedro Saa 40th Anniversary Publication Project Managers: Juliet Namaganda, Mishi Mirza; Inela Weeks (as of September 2012) El Batoule Alaoui Eileen Barrett-Whitehead Annemarie Brink Olsen Amy Chamberlain Carolina Correa Gilda Dadush Faezeh Foroutan Maaike le Grand Aisha Kashif Varnita Kohli Alva Kretschmer Mishi Mirza Louise Shimizu

Members Abroad Coordinators: Karin Metz; Aisha Kashif (as of March 2012) Linda Kaufman Silvia Kirova Isabelle Moullier Louise Shimizu Serena Tommasino

Spouse Issues Committee Fiona Oliphant Annemarie Brink Olsen Hilary Welch

Teen Summer Program


Karen Clarke-Stange

Guili Zhou Rosmarijn Sales Luisa Lopes


Information Seminars Coordinator: Monika Sergo Hilary Welch

Surviving Culture Shock Workshop Nancy LeBaron Yvonne Quahe

Activities Special Events Annual Potluck Picnic El Batoule Alaoui Gregg Angeles Marie Elisabeth Aubry Henrietta Bakarr Florinda D’Eugenio Florence Kando Fravel Giovanni Fantasia Philippe Futa Noha Abedel Masih Tope Olanrewaju Annemarie Brink Olsen Pierre Rogy Ruby Shamayleh Amber Van De Genachte Rachida El Yadari Xaio Dong Wu Guili Zhou



Marta Zonta Children’s Holiday Party Coordinators: Johan Bohta, Amber Van De Genachte El Batoule Alaoui Ruth Bull Mabel Cabezas Florinda D’Eugenio Arnaud Diguet Maddalena Farina Philippe Futa Gulya Ishmuratova Nicolas Legrain Elizabeth Legrain Mashudah Mirza Anuradha Mishra Rosario Navarro Olga Nazarko Joana Peta Ning Poopech Ruby Shamayleh Dafina Kelmendi Tahiri Kalterine Shabani Vremezi Rachida El Yadari Guili Zhou Marta Zonta Annual Dinner Sadeem Munirahmad Alkadi Sandipa Thapa Basnyat Gilda Dadush Florinda D’Eugenio Fiona Oliphant


Office Gatherings Annemarie Brink Olsen Florinda D’Eugenio Marta Zonta


Art Exhibits Coordinator: Na’ava Feder Exhibitors: Marie-Dominique Bondet de la Bernardie, Susanne Kasielke, Mabel Cabezas, Pritthijit Kundu Career Networking Events & Happy Hours Umid Baratov Christina Espinosa Cecila Neher Tunc Samli Johannes Tonn Maki Yanagimoto

Fee-based Classes English Classes Teachers: Sarah Brau, Carmela Cosans, Anuradha Mishra, Michele Schimetat Business English Teacher: Frank Sterrett Computer Classes Instructor: Tania Gnesdilova Financial Literacy Courses Course Designer and Facilitator: Cary Clark Organizer and Facilitator: Sally Macartney


« Members-to-Members Languages Advanced English/Introduction to Literature Teacher: Helen Maybury

MD Parents and Tots Coordinators: Veronica Montfort, Monica Nermark, Adriana Ferreira

Advanced Spanish Conversation Teacher: Isabel Moreno

VA Parents and Tots Coordinator: Louise Touber

Book Groups

Duplicate Bridge Marlene Bolze Laila Nelson Kathryn O’Brien

American Book Group Coordinators: Michele Schimetat, Carmela Cosans English Book Group Coordinators: Barbara Cackler, Myra Jacobs, Sabine Tourreilles French Book Group Coordinators: Dalila Benchenhou, Phi Fostvedt, Lenore Oblitas German Book Group Coordinators: Ursula Revuelta, Sigrid Blobel


Downtown Babies Coordinators: Aminata Bojang, Nadine Kurger, Nicky Lumb, Christine Mougin

Intermediate French Teacher: Catherine Gouarne

African Book Group Coordinators: Debra Byam, Melitta Carte, Alison Ordu


Parents and Tots Groups

Beer Club Johannes Tonn International Cuisine Coordinator: Catherine Labaste Hosts: Maria Alcaver Sirpa Eerikainen Mireille Lapeyre Martina Luzuriaga Brinda Dayal-Prakash Madina Seydi International Cultural Group Coordinators: Vim Maguire, Shirley Scheyer, Pat Streifel



Investment Club Past President & Auditor: Brinda DayalPrakash Vice President, President: Karen Cannon Treasurer: Patricia Caicedo Assistant Treasurer: Felicia Taylor-Lewis Secretary: Lois Khairallah Assistant Secretary: Vanita Venugopal Parliamentarian & Auditor: Sally Macartney Assistant Parliamentarian: Sonja Khun Archivist: Tessa Ravry Mah Jong Group Coordinators: Barbara Barbu, Alison Ordu

WBFN Outreach Book Project


President: Zena Soudah Donation Coordinator: Pushpa Pherwani Packing Room Coordinators: Laura Byerlee, Suniti Bhand, Tessa Ravry Secretary: Tessa Ravry Shipping Coordinator: Doina Olievschi Treasurer: Vilaykham Phomsouvanh Elleni Ashine Marie Forget Sofia Kaneko Henry Kerali Antje Liese-Muentinga Wilson Magaya Aggie Nuval Nargis Rahman Shubi Rele



MMMF Officers President: Charlotte Jones-Carroll Vice-President: Sarah Brau Treasurer: Jayati Datta-Mitra Secretary: Kris Martin MMMF Directors Nadereh Chamlou Joanne Garrity Andrea Gianoviades Anayiotos Dominique Lallement Kathleen McNamara Suman Mehra Talaat Moreau Elna van Greuning Monica Vidilli Hilary Welch AndreeWynkoop MMMF Selection Committee & Panel, Africa Chair: Debra Byam Co-Chair: Melanie Jaya Maria Alcover Mehrunnisa Bashir Tembi Chikosi Corrie de Blocq van Scheltinga Madeleine de Kock Khetsime Dlamini Cecile Ferri Peta Hellmann Patrick Kabuya Nalinie Kouame Francine Last




Elizabeth Medina Tata Phindile Ngwenya Binny Saker Selene Sopelana Loyo Elize vander Linde Judy Wolf MMMF Selection Committee & Panel, US/ Canada Chair: Madeleine de Kock Co-Chair: Reiko Niimi Maria Alcover Betsy Alley Claudia Alvarez Glaucia Fernandes Gabrielle Herderschee-Hunter Lori Jacobson Ada La Forgia Samalie Nambuuya Dorine Otieno Jacqueline Rivero Swati Srivastava Judy Wolf Juan Zhang Marcia Yu Alex Wellsteed Toyin Adeniji Ana Maria Oviedo Isabel Chatterton MMMF Selection Committee & Advisors, Latin America Chair: Maria Alcover Co-Chair: Miozotis Florez Patricia Acosta

Fatima Andrada Vivian Avalos de Familiar Charlotte Jones- Carroll Dominque Lallement Ledda Macera Rosario Navarro Sanchez Yolanda Quintero Elizabeth Solorzano Elna van Greuning Ana Zuniga-Aguilera MMMF Friends Chair: Nadereh Chamlou Financial Secretary: Christine Stover MMMF Fair Co-Chairs: Georgine Ahmad, Caroline Berney, Kris Martin MMMF Advisors Georgine Ahmad Caroline Berney Gilda Dadush Jean-Louis Sarbib Hada Zaidan MMMF Honorary Members Charlotte Conable Sukriye Karaosmanoglu Patsy Preston Carla Scearce Ruby Wingate Hanna Woicke Elaine Wolfensohn





Honorary Advisors Sigrid Biobel Lois Khairallah Priscilla Linn Harriet Baldwin Investment Advisor: Ozgur Karaosmanoglu (Raymond James and Associates) Legal Advisor: Barbara Kirschten (Wilmer Hale) MMMF International Arts and Crafts Fair Maria Alcover Betsy Alley Claudia Alvarez Busharah Azhar Barbara Barbu Pooja Bhatia Sigrid Blobel Debra Byam Elide Cabello Lauretta Consenza Madeleine de Kock Florinda D’Eugenio Glaucia Fernandes Miren Fernandez Ana Jubiz Yvonne Kendall Liliane Kew Lois Khairallah Catherine Labaste Vim Maguire Sakin Mohammed Samalie Nambuuya


Rosario Navarro Dorine Otieno Mari Parker Cristina Perez Ning Poopech Louise Shimizu Mei Siek Jette Skadhauge Swati Srivastava Christine Stover Zane Stuggings Ela Tomris Ilkgelen Khady Toure Elna van Greuning Hilary Welch Andree Wynkoop Yoko Yamamoto & Japanese Spouse Group Barbara Yurivliker Hada Zaidan Mawussi Zavanou Aparna Zaveri ...and other volunteers Office Volunteers and Interns Lisa Schimetat Ling Yan Chen Gisele Happi Emmanuel Ahimbisibwe Clarisse Julia History Project Busharah Azhar Barbara Catherwood Gilda Dadush



Viola Gnocchi Dharana Nepal Louise Shimizu Deepika Shrestha Ana Maria Zuniga Monica Vidili


WBFN Annual Report Editor: Amy Chamberlain Assistant Editor: Christinne Secrest Designer: Gilda Dadush



The FY12 WBFN Annual Dinner

Annual Report 2012  

World Bank Family Network (WBFN) Annual Report 2012