In honor of our 50th anniversary, the WBG Family Network kicked off 2022 by retelling its story. The article, Shakespeare, Moliere & WBGFN eloquently described our 1972 starting point, and concluded with the prescient message that the basic needs of a family do not change. Looking towards the future, we can expect a fast-paced changing world, but the Family Network with its solid yet flexible foundation will continue responding to the community needs. The “How” and the “What” change constantly but the “Why” remains the same.
The “Why” does remain the same. Our longstanding mission is “To welcome, support and advocate on behalf of WBG Families worldwide” such that:
- Each WBG family can thrive in its environment, having the opportunity to belong to a globally mobile worldwide community that provides support in every WBG office location and results in a social and professional network.
- No WBG family should be left struggling alone.
To better reflect ‘What’ we do, we have updated our motto. While we will always strive to be ‘Your Home Away From Home”, “Your People, Anytime, Anywhere”, our new motto “Empowering Global Families” succinctly focuses on the reality of our mission in today’s world.
We are also looking at our changing membership base*. At the end of 2022, we find that
- 80% of members are parents with children under 18
- 60% of members are female, with a 10% increase in male membership since 2020
- 40% of members want to receive job announcements
*Source: WBGFN database, data are rounded estimates
Our data and other input are pointing to emerging themes for 2023 and beyond. ‘What’ and ‘How’ we offer Welcome, Support and Advocacy that empower global families, can be informed by these themes:
- Focus on raising Global Families
- Programmatically address needs of male members
- Further the visibility of WBG Family Network in Country Offices
- Deepen partnerships within WBG
- Support in-person social activities
- Contemplate partnerships with ‘like’ orgs and external charities.
Our WBG Family Network represents a highly resilient and resourceful membership body. In the past year, we’ve seen our Islamabad Chapter deliver essential relocation support to WBG families relocating from Kabul’s office, and our Vienna Chapter deliver relocation support to WBG families relocating from Kyiv’s office. We’ve seen our global families move through the pandemic ‘new normals’ to complete family relocations, set up school situations, participate in child development seminars and join new communities. We’ve seen our worldwide members use the CareerLab to pursue global career transitions, and we’ve seen our male membership find value in programs tailored to their needs. Our WBG Family Network volunteers and staff are privileged to be part of your journey, your community, your lives. Together as one Network -- members, volunteers and staff -- we effectively empower global families. And together, we will take what we’ve learned over the past 50 years, to empower global families into the future. Starting now.