ABC Austin, Tx 2015 European committee Report
When we set up the European committee the goal were to try and connect with as many ACA’s as possible. I started out with 3 or 4 countries and 23 email adresses and it grew from there today one year later I have around 250 email addresses and 26 countries on my list. And the list keeps growing.
There is 745 million people living in Europe and of these under 8,18% are speaking English as their native language, You might say what has this to do with our fellowship. I say everything. Many countries have our program and have developed an understanding without our literature. So we are not only facing the language barrier but also that members have their own understanding of our 12 step program, a program translated from other fellowship literature but addressing the Adult Children issues. We do not know how many countries we are talking about, because they choose not to be registered on our web page.My goal is to change that by offering the members a servicestruckture that indeed is European but a part of the WSO.
The board of the WSO did not have members from other countries two years ago. It was called World Service Organisation, but as all American the name was ahead of it self. Now it is WSO.
The demographics and cultural differences I so extremely varied in Europe. How do you word and translate concepts and terms that doesn’t exist in their local language. In Denmark we had to invent a new word for recovery because the word “recovery” was only used in the medical profession. How do you use the word recovery within adult children when the people forming the fellowship adult children of alcoholics and Denmark, addicts NA or alcoholics AA, and they have another understanding of the concept recovery from that of our program?
How do you explain the term freedom that we get from doing our program if freedom is not a concept you know because of political government in your county? I know there’s a big cultural difference within the European continent but I chose to look for the things we have in common the namely the dysfunctional family. Stating the obvious I just know when I answer questions I have to keep this in the back of my mind. I have to display more patience more empathy and more love when I’m speaking with members from for example eastern Europe.
For translations you not only have to be good at English but very good at your own language to capture the meaning of the terms and concepts. Understanding how to work the program.
Now having the BRB in English, and in spite of the difficulties with translations and shipping fees and lag of structure and founds, countries are joining us in a steady flow.
The year has been as follows;
Norway 4 meetings Sweden 71 meetings Finland 14 Meetings Russia 16 Meetings Denmark 47 meetings UK 16 meetings Scotland ? Meetings Ireland 7 Meetings Belgium 3 Meetings Netherlands 6 meetings Luxembourg 1 meeting Germany 6 meetings Austria 1 Meeting
3 reg. with WSO 1 Inter group
1 Inter group
1 Inter group
1 Inter group 25 years 1SGM no reg Inter group with WSO 1 inter group 25 years
non reg. with WSO
1 inter group?
4 reg. with WSO 2014
? none reg meetings 2014
Switcherland Poland Estonia Latvia Lithuania Hungary Chech Rep. Slovenia Romania France Spain
1 meeting 2014
4 meetings They applied to a contract to translate 2014 3 meetings 1 reg with WSO 15 years 20 members
3 meetings 1 reg with WSO
+ meetings they have an Inter group but none reg with WSO 3 meetings
meetings but none reg with WSO
Meetings but none reg with WSO a very small fellowship 2 meetings 1 reg with WSO
2 meetings Skype.
Norwegians: they were sent a large consignment of Danish BRBs, I sent a starter kit to Northern Norway who tried to get in contact with the Norwegian fellowship but failed. I communicated with the meeting in Tronhiem this weekend and have a good contact with that meeting.
Swedes are meeting the requirements for translation of the BRB, the fellowship is thriving and ACA is becoming a household name. They are doing a lot of H&I for the moment. I’ve been in contact with them on a monthly basis almost the entire year and by communicating with them and Swedish I found out a lot more because many of them speak poorly English
Finns; struggled with outside entity and politics that cost a lot of grief and problems in the Finns service structure, this was solved after a lengthy dialogue with me about traditions service concept and the safety of meetings.
Russians: iis working to complete their translation they have had structural problems and are trying to create more inter groups, this because their country is so large and the distance between the meetings are so huge. They had a huge problem understanding that the translation could not be distributed for free they thought they own the rights to the books when translated. I had a lengthy talk with them in Riga during the convention explaining the WSO. How we serve the fellowship and what kind of revenue we need to create possibilities to carry the message. A few members active in service on an international level. One member has joined us at the European committee and it’s working with us on the conference call every month.
Danes: Have had huge structural problems this year the members in charge of book sales just stopped so they were no way of buying books for months. From former five members of our Inter group FU we were at times only three people handling the service of ACA Denmark. A lot of arguments and discussions later the problem got solved and now it seems that the service structure is once more and place able to serve that members hungering for Danish BRB. We are about to make our second addition of the BRB. And also translating the meditation book.
The Brits: Members of the UK into group have helped me a lot with MPS questions I’ve been able to forward questions from members in the UK to the UK into group they have all so supported me by doing MPS for Ireland and Scotland. I especially want to express my gratitude to Martin C and Alex in the UK for helping me out, giving me advice, being there for me if I had something that troubled me. I know it is difficult for the integral to get the volunteers that they need. Two members working with me on the European committee and preparing the teleconference we have on Skype each month.
MPS Questions from Scotland and Ireland were forwarded to the UK
Belgians: had questions about sponsors, how to get them, “ Do we have a list somewhere?” I will follow up on their questions again and see how they are doing in terms of translation of the BRB It’s on my to do list.
Dutchmens; 2 out of 6 meetings is struggling to keep their doors open. They are also in need of translated Tri-folds for drawing in members. D.D. is working on the European Committee, He was one of the first reporting back to me after I had sent around 35 emails asking member to report back to me, how their fellowship were doing, and how I could be of help and service to them.
Luxembourg 1 meeting 2014 we turned the light on for the very first time.
Germans; I’ve had a few MPS meetings about a meeting in Berlin, but none got back to me on the question about how the fellowship were doing. Today I’m working with a member from Munich on the European Committee he has become the secretary of the EC.
Austria 2014 we turned the ACA light on for the first time in Vienna, Their might have been a meeting years before but as in many cases it died out.
Switcherland 1 meeting 2014 we turned the ACA light on for the first time.
Polen is working on their translation they have a large fellowship and I think it’s about 10 or 15 years old. There’s a large Polish population in London and members of the translation committee lives in London. There’s also police speaking meetings in London and they are listed on the Aca with page of the UK. The Polish are doing a lot of outreach one of which were an AA Convention where they gave out 300 Tri-folds about Aca is… and sold a few BRB.
Estonians; they applied for a translation agreement into 2014 and although there is only one meeting registered with WSO there’s more meetings in Estonia. They turned up at the Riga convention with more than 9 participants. Their fellowship is a young one. They are still struggling with the aftermath of being in the Soviet union but giving them hope through the program has making them realize that they can draw I am a lot more people with the BRB translated.
Latvians; They took upon themselves to create the first ever European convention in Riga outside of the WSO. I took upon myself to work with them over a few months to meet their needs and to tell them what we expected of them, it being a WSO supported event. We chose to support this convention because it was way of bringing the European fellowship together in one place. The convention were three days and it was awesome (I took a lot of pictures of the old city of Riga).
On the second day I lectured about the WSO, What it means to be a member and what it means to have a contract with the WSO for translations, talking about the only revenues we have to create an income so that we can further our business of getting the message out there. I talked about in infringements. I talked about copyrights and distribution. And it became apparent that every country in Europe is struggling with the extremely high shipping fees from the United States.
It was also decide to repeat the success by having a new convention 2015 this time in Helsinki Finland the main topic being sponsorship and communication.
I want to place a special thanks to Gunta who were a great inspiration to work with and her meeting who managed although they’re only 20 members to do well organized convention.
Lithuanians; They got inspired by the things they heard at the Rikke convention and are on the verge of applying for translation agreement as well. They are a small fellowship but well organized and they were richly represented on the review convention.
Hungarians; they don’t have any meetings registered on the WSO webpage but I know they have an Inter group. I have a contact on my list. But I actually do not know how many they are and how big their fellowship is? But this is on my to do list.
Czechs; I’ve done a lot of MPS work for them and now a member responded to my request of participation at the European committee level and today I’m working with a member from Prague on our monthly European committee teleconference.
Slovenians: I’ve been able to connect the Slovenia’s with the Czechs due to the fact it used to be one Country. Having said that I’m sure that they will gain a lot from working together. Slovenia has no meeting is registered on the WSO webpage and I don’t know how big the fellowship is but I know it’s there and I know that I’m at ease because they’re working with members from ACA of the Czech Rep. sure I’ll get to know them in the future.
Romania has a small fellowship. None of which this registered at the WSO
French; hope to have better news for friends in the future friends is a big country and in spite of that they only have two meetings and the one in Paris and this one is really struggling if not close down at the moment the other one is in Nice by the Mediterranean and that one is in English.Handled by one of my Danish girlfriends
Spaniards; their meetings are far apart and I know that having as Spanish translation of the BRB will really dry and a lot of people in Spain as well so I hope it’ll be ready soon
Italians: are struggling very hard to get people to do service. They are working feverishly to be able to get people into the translation committee so that they’re able to translate the BRB.
Greeks; They have again turn on the ACA light here in 2014. They had a fellowship which died out in 2006 due to lag of literature. Today they have one Skype meeting and one F2F meeting in Athens. I’ve been contact with they helping them getting their wing, I’ve invited to Speak/Share at the meeting and in the process getting my first international sponsee.
Setting up the European committee made me realize that what needed is a well functioning structure that supports the growth of the European fellowship. So I send out a lot of emails asking for people to participate in the European committee and the service work of getting a structure in Europe. Six members stepped up and we are now full and the European committee as a committee for the first time having sky conferences the first Saturday of each month at 14:00 CET. This has made us aware of forming a region and we are on the verge of forming a region in Europe so that we might benefit of the different books eating programs. But also giving us the revenue to fund a central location or aware house you might say where we were able to ship our literature from. The need to be self-sufficient as a region is eminent. We need to be able to support the growth of Europe and right now it is simply exploding. Members not necessarily supported the American continent are now coming forward and would like to donate 7th tradition to us. When we get the structure we need and my workload is cut down I’ll be able to do what I said out to do doing a lot of H&I attending conferences passing out our literature/BRB making the professionals aware of our program. I know this will create a ripple effect and we have to have a structure in place to support what is going to happen an exponential increase in members all over Europe.
I live you with this thought the European fellowship is something to be reckoned with make no mistake we are growing and we’re growing fast
This concludes my European report Thanks for letting me be in service
Majbrit M, Denmark
Chair of the European Committee Trusted Servant of the Board of the WSO Member of the MPS Committee