Sonia Shehryar, IWC president
Sonia Shehryar, IWC president

My dear IWC members and friends,

It was with great anticipation that I took over the role of president for the International Women’s Club of Belgrade in May of 2021. I have led women’s groups in the past, in my husband’s previous postings, but this is the first time I’ve headed an organization of truly international women. And it’s proving to be a very enriching experience to meet women from so many different countries and such varying backgrounds.

When I moved to Belgrade, I luckily met some amazing women who helped me familiarise myself with the city and they introduced me to the International Women’s Club of Belgrade. I joined this group to discover more about Serbia and the IWC gave me that opportunity and much more. With time I’ve come to realise that my closest friends here, local or international are all IWC members. The IWC has also given me the wonderful opportunity to contribute to charity work in the country I'm living in. Charity is something close to my heart and I’ve been involved with this work in other countries as well. The IWC work has taught me so much about the charity selection process and how funds are best distributed since taking over as President in May 2021. This has strengthened my resolve to continue contributing in the future.

As president of IWC, I want the club to be a welcoming organization, a place of support and encouragement for women coming to Belgrade from places across the globe. And it gives me great pleasure to welcome all these new members, many of whom have joined in the last few months. I hope it’s a trend that continues. As a diplomatic spouse, I find that other diplomatic spouses and expat women better understand the intricacies of adjusting to a completely new environment. I have found support and encouragement from these friends invaluable.

I also hope that, despite these times of a global pandemic, we can continue to raise charity funds that can be distributed to worthy projects aiming to provide assistance to underserved communities across Serbia. Even though it’s only been a few months into the new club year, I’ve been very impressed at the creativity, commitment, and hard work displayed by our volunteer members in coming up with fundraising ideas and bringing them to fruition.

During my time as president, I intend to continue to strengthen the club, following in the footsteps of all the IWC presidents who have come before me. I want to see the club thrive and to serve its mission and I hope that I leave behind a legacy of friendship, generosity, and service, values that the IWC stands for. But while I’m here, I will enjoy the relationships that I am forming, bonds that will forever leave their stamp on my heart and I wish the same for you.

Sincerely,

Sonia Shehryar