European Committee (EC) Annual Report (2017) For the 2018 ACA WSO Annual Business Conference
Inception Date: May 2013 Sunset Date: Perpetual
Majbrit M., Denmark, Chair, and Member of the WSO Board of Trusteeseu@acawso.com
Jeffrey F., Czech Republic, Chair of Finance and Literature Subcommittees, and Member of the WSO Board of Trustees firstname.lastname@example.org
Tanya M, Czech Republic, Secretary European Committee eu- email@example.com
Website / Repository URL of meeting minutes / reports:
https://acawso.org/category/european-connection/ www.acawsoec.com http://acawsoec.com/meetings/monthly-teleconference-calls/
I. Statement of Purpose
Official: Our mission is to be the human face and local presence in Europe of the World Service Organization (WSO) for the Fellowship of Adult Children of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families (ACA). From a place of unconditional love, we pro-actively carry the message of the 12 Steps, by supporting the growth of the European Fellowship through a wide range of services that help build their own local service structures, facilitate the translation, local printing and distribution of ACA literature in their own language, understand our concepts of service, traditions, and the structure of the WSO. We are not organized for the private gain of any person, and function as an autonomous body for Europe, as part of the WSO.
Unofficial: We are the “Mighty Mouse” of the WSO. In November 2017 we became three committee members, still with very limited support, but together we speak six languages and do our best to serve a diverse and divided continent with more than 700 million people in 50 countries and 23 official languages. Fellowships in some of these countries tend to be much smaller and/or underdeveloped compared to the US, because of the need to first translate ACA literature before it can be distributed. As a result, much of our time is spent nurturing the often-fragile development of local translations and service structures, which have to replicate the ACA wheel (meetings, service structure and local literature) in their own language by themselves. Despite these overwhelming odds, we do make a difference every day, but miracles take a bit longer.
II. Bullet list of committee activities in 2017
1) Continued to raise the profile of the EC with increased communications…
which continue to include: an email newsletter, a teleconference call with local dial-in numbers for Europe, followed by a recording of that call posted on our new EC website (www.acawsoec.com) and minutes of the call posted on the WSO repository and the EC site.
2) Supported the launch of selling books in England on Amazon.co.uk…
which was a complicated process that finally went live in the spring of 2017. Now most of ACA’s major titles in English can be shipped to most countries in Europe through Amazon fulfilment. This drastically reduces the cost of shipping English-language titles from the US and further raises the profile of ACA in the UK.
3) Attended the following country events
a) February – Latvia
Jeffrey went to the 2nd ACA Latvia conference “How to find other adult children?” and spoke on the topic of “How to carry the ACA message into Hospitals and Institutions”. More than 50 people attended this event which was held in a resort town on the coast of Latvia just outside Riga. There was also a social event in the evening.
b) June – Norway
Majbrit went to speak about the “Service Structure of the WSO & EC”. With beautiful weather, the event was held in a church with approximately 60 attendees. It was a 1-day event with service meetings and workshops about sponsors and speaker meetings.
c) July – Belarus
Jeffrey went to Minsk to attend this fellowship’s second annual Summer Fest. He spoke on the topic of the event which was “Becoming your Own Loving Parent”. More than 80 people registered – including five newcomers. Attendees also came from Russia. Jeffrey gave a summary of the section in the BRB on the “Inner Child, Inner Critical Parent, Loving Parent”.
d) September – Spain
Majbrit, Jeffrey and Tanya attended the 4th annual European Meeting to deliver the newly printed Castilian Spanish Big Red Book and help the Spanish fellowship set up their service structure. About 80 attended with some coming from US, Czech Republic, UK, Denmark and Poland.
Prior to this visit extensive talks were also conducted on the phone regarding the Spanish service structure. This event was the first Spanish meeting to form an Intergroup, and as a result, the planned afternoon program in Spanish was cancelled so that a service structure could be created. Simultaneously, an English program was held with speaker shares and mini-workshops. Principals before personalities were applied to get a unified fellowship come together and sign an agreement to take possession of BRBs not sold at the event.
This ensured that the distribution of the Castilian BRB would be taken over by the newly formed Spanish IG.
e) September – Russia
Jeffrey attended the 6th Moscow ACA Convention the week after the 4th annual European Meeting. The topic was “Progress not Perfection” and 264 people attended. There were 61 people from 30 cities in Russia including 13 members from Saint-Petersburg. People also attended from Belarus, China and the Czech Republic. The key historical moment of the entire event was the presentation of the newly printed Russian Big Red Book and honoring those who served the fellowship over a seven year period to translate and put together this labor of love.
f) October – Sweden
Majbrit attended the October annual business meeting in a stunning setting in Karlstad, with high levels of recovery. There are 2 such business meetings held annually in Sweden with ballots. They also run concurrent meetings such as meditations and workshops. They wanted to learn more about the WSO Service structure and how they could provide international service. In Sweden the service structure is flat with great strength from the 28 meeting representatives who are all members of the service that constitutes the group conscious of their Business committee. An outcome of this business meeting was that Sweden sent in a bid to host the 2019 ABC which will be held in Europe. This bid has now been accepted.
g) November – Netherlands/Belgium
Majbrit attended a meeting of the Benelux InterGroup (Holland, Belgium and Netherlands). It was held in Belgium and there were consistency in the graphics on the flyers, posters, signs and program, keeping the attendees informed and amused using words and great pictures to engage the Inner Child. A table for creativity was set up and a whole room was dedicated for serenity and meditation in case anyone was triggered. Simple language was used with concurrent programs in Dutch and English. Approximately 80 people attended and 13 countries were represented – Scotland, Ireland, UK, US, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, South America, Belgium, Poland and The Netherlands.
By attending country events, European Committee members also share about the structure of the WSO, how we work, and how it is guided by our traditions, funded by 7th tradition contributions and the sale of ACA literature. This also helps us get to know national fellowships. Trusted servants of their service structure, and speak about the need of having a service structure in Europe and how we make this happen. See reports on the new website at www.acawso.org
Number of meetings 2014#18 and actual listed with the WSO
2 2 3 3
18 4 13 10 3 13 14 ? 7 10 3 0 1 1 13 12 7 0 . 1 Russia 16 46 (2 IG/ 1. RE) 21
Austria 1 3 Belarus 0 26 Belgium 0 6 Czech 3. 9 Denmark 26 55 Estonia. 4 4 Finland. 14 40
Germany Greece. Netherlands Norway. Hungary Ireland
6 10 2 3 7 13 4 12 ? ? 7 8 6 10 3 9 3 ? 1. 1 1 1 7 13 4 12 7 50+ 0 0 0 1
Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands. Norway Poland Portugal Romania
Spain 6. 9
5 13 2 4
28 Incl.Ireland 4
Scottland 4 Turkey 0 3
71 90 1 2
Sub total 215 meetings 483
These meeting are verified from the local country web sites
4) Continued to grow one-to-one support calls to Service Members …
with various calls weekly, sometimes several calls a week, with key service members in countries seeking advice and best practices when setting up service structures in their own country, especially Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, UK, Greece, Norway and Switzerland.
5) Confronted the copyright violation of ACA literature in Germany…
that had been years in the making. This progress was due to the development of a local service structure in Germany and the on-the-ground support of EC Committee/Board members who could also communicate in German.
III. Tasks Completed in 2017
1) Revised our budget (for 2018) which should be approved by the Board at the 2018 ABC.
257 WSO registered meetings.
2) The free teleconference line with local numbers in Europe now has approximately 10 regularly joining our EC call. Recordings are available and the Minutes also posted on the EC website and the new acawso.org website.
3) Continue to write and send a monthly email/newsletter with updates and announcements relevant to the EC’s work and the fellowship in Europe.
4) Continued to add to the EC website (www.acawsoec.com) communicating and connecting more efficiently with the European fellowships asking for their updates for country pages in English about meetings, history of their fellowships and links to their local websites in their local languages.
5) Continued to engage with existing EU Countries and invite and support new Country Representatives from Romania, Belarus, Lithuania.
6) Attended the 4th annual ACA European Meeting that was held in Madrid, Spain.
7) Sent an EC member to national events in Latvia, Norway, Belarus, Spain, Russia, Sweden, Netherlands, and Belgium.
8) Started solving two major literature problems in Europe by selling English language literature from Amazon UK and printing local language literature in Europe.
9) Welcomed a new Secretary (Tanya M.) to help with the EC’s regular and growing communication needs, which will include upgrading our database and email communications.
10). Welcomed Charlie H., Literature Chair from WSO, to help the EC with localizing literature into foreign languages. This also helps him understand the cultural differences and challenges the fellowship faces in Europe, and to act as another voice for the EC on the WSO.
11) Continued to support the fellowship’s needs on a case-by-case basis per country.
As already stated, the European Committee is unique in that it needs to support fellowships in many foreign countries that need to replicate much of what the WSO has already done in the US and to think outside of the box when facing challenges not yet experienced by the WSO. For this reason, funding and finances plays a more important role for this committee. At the time of submitting this report the 2017 budget had not been reconciled, due to accounting for income in foreign currency from the 4th European Meeting. An updated version of this report with the 2017 budget will eventually be posted on the European Committee’s website: www.acawsoec.com
2) 2017 7th Tradition Contributions.
7th Tradition Contributions from Europe continues to grow. Although contributions are down for 2017, this is because many fellowships in Europe wait until the end of the year or beginning of the next year, before making such a contribution from their budget. This
explains why 7th Tradition contributions for 2018 are already at more than USD 4,500 which is nearly a 40% growth rate on the 2016 figures published last year.
2013 – USD 2,597
2014 – USD 2,757
2015 – USD 2,692
2016 – USD 3,277
2017 – USD 2,099
2018 – USD 4,500 (at the time of submitting this report)
3) 2017 Literature Sales.
ACA Literature (in English and foreign languages) continues to be an important component of the recovery process for adult children in Europe. And 2017 marked the long-awaited launch of two key improvements in this area for Europe:
a) Selling ACA books (mainly in English) on Amazon UK – This began in May 2017 and for the year more than 300 books were sold for £5,872.00 which is approximately USD 8,070.
b) Printing foreign language ACA literature in Europe – This is the first time the WSO has ever printed its literature outside the US. Thanks to the policy groundwork that was laid in 2016 this first year of printing accounted for total gross sales of about EUR 32,405 or approximately USD 39,373. (The figure in EUR is not actual since the Russian BRBs were transacted only in RUB.)
5,600 pieces of foreign literature were printed in five different languages. Of which: 2,000 Swedish Newcomer booklets (first time in print and one reprint)
500 Finnish Yellow Workbooks (first time in print)
500 Castilian Spanish Big Red Books (first time in print) 1,500 Russian Big Red Books (first time in print)
550 Danish Big Red Books (first reprint in Europe) 550 Danish Yellow Workbooks (first reprint in Europe)
c) Intergroups in Europe also continue to purchase books – These are bulk orders shipped from the WSO in Signal Hill, California. At the time of submitting this report the 2017 Sales to Europe from Signal Hill was not yet available. An updated version of this report hopes to include these figures and will eventually be posted on the EC’s website: www.acawsoec.com
V. Goals for the year ahead
1) Our plan and budget for 2018 has been submitted and is awaiting approval by the Board after the WSO ABC/AWC in Toronto in April.
2) Add more support to our EC committee. As it is part of service to rotate roles, the EC is desperately in need of English speaking members who love to write, have an interest in Europe, and want to do service by helping us create and disseminate a large variety of information through various communication channels such as reports, newsletters and our web site. If you are interested in helping your own growth and doing service, please contact us.
3). Translation Committees for different languages are needed. Translation committees are a slightly different dedication and commitment and the committees say that the work has helped their recovery immensely because it helped them to understand and apply the concepts. We invite enthusiastic members keen to join an Intergroup and to do 12-Step work, which now has a DropBox and back-up system.
4) Continue selling ACA books on Amazon in Europe, starting with England, and then eventually extending to Spain (for the Castilian Spanish BRB) and other countries.
5) Continue printing ACA literature in Europe in different languages as they become translated or stock runs low on existing titles.
6) Hold our 5th annual European Meeting to engage more members to participate in service with the European Committee and grow the fellowship. More participation will help the European service structure to become more organized.
7) Organize and set up a database using MailChimp connected to our website and actively build a list to communicate with as regular outreach to members for information, inspiration and support.
8) Continue educating members in Europe (through our “to-be-organized” database of contacts and web site) on the importance of 7th Tradition contributions.
9) Continue to develop an accurate overview/balance sheet of finances for Europe, based on all sales of literature (to and from Europe) and 7th Tradition contributions originating from Europe, along with expenses incurred by the WSO to support EC operations and activities.
10) Add more content to our EC website so that it becomes an even more valuable international communications tool and platform for members in Europe.
The growth of the ACA fellowship in Europe continues to be exponential. As a result of the work of the EC, the possibility of having their own literature printed in Europe motivates local fellowships to complete their translations at a faster pace. This in turn can encourage the growth of service structures. As the message spreads the fellowships grow and a healthy circle of service ensues.
The EC will continue to follow our traditions to help unify the European fellowship for the good of all adult children out there who are not yet a part of our ACA family.