Article by: Sonia Ribeiro
Photos: Maggie Martinho and Marsha Turner
On Saturday 17th September, I was privileged to attend the Commemorative Cocktail to celebrate the 25th anniversary of IWP (International Women in Portugal) at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Monte Estoril. A most fitting venue: it was there that the inaugural meeting was held.
New members had the opportunity on this happy occasion to hear stories of the origins of the organization from some of the founder members, the early meetings and difficulties that had to overcome to make their dream come true. A few senior members gave their testimony and related the importance and impact that IWP have had on their lives.
It was moving to remember Pat Westheimer, one of the most active and dedicated founder members whom I had the honor to have called a friend. I felt that she was there among us.
For those who are not familiar with IWP, we are a non-profit organization which has the sole purpose of supporting and helping women of all nationalities to integrate, gain knowledge of local culture, make new friends and participate in activities including lunches, visits to museums and cultural tours. Regular activities range from sport, health, fitness, photography, languages, Qi Qong and nutrition to so many others that it is impossible to list them here. We are also very proud of our mums and toddlers group. The organization exists because of volunteer work from our kind and dedicated members.
I love IWP because it is a place where everyone has a chance to speak, to learn, to grow and above all to participate. We look forward to newcomers and to new ideas. That is what keeps this wonderful organization alive and its core beating stronger, 25 years after its creation.
I think I speak for all members by saying, “Thank you, indeed, Founder Members”!
For information about IWP visit the website: www.IWPportugal.org