Mission

The International Women’s Club of Kyiv (IWCK) was founded in 1992 by a small group of expatriate women in the newly independent Ukraine.  The aim was to bring together women from all over the world to take part in a range of charitable, cultural, and social activities. Currently, we have over 220 members from different backgrounds and countries.  As our primary goal is to raise funds for local charities, IWCK is a registered charitable organisation in Ukraine.

 

While the language for club communication is English, many of our members speak other languages including French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian. We are happy to try and pair new members who aren’t confident with their English with a member who can assist with comprehension and communication!

Benefits of the Membership

IWCK offers many opportunities to learn and relax with others from different workshops to various interest groups that meet regularly.

IWCK is a great place to meet new friends. We organise lots of social events from lunch meet-ups to newcomers’ coffees and dance parties.

IWCK  hosts a number of major fundraising events throughout the year. These events fund the charity work and grants that IWCK awards to charity organisations in Kyiv.

Being an IWCK member has many benefits. IWCK is a network of local and expatriate women and men, so whether you are interested in charitable work, cultural events, or social activities, you are bound to make connections that will enrich your life in Kyiv. Through interest groups, you can use your hobbies, talents, and language as a way to connect. Join in on exclusive cultural events like Ambassador Luncheons to learn about different countries and cultures. And give back to the community in which you live by volunteering your time for IWCK’s charitable works. Additionally, check out the list of companies who give IWCK members special discounts and deals! (link will be here)

Partners

Soon we will publish a list of discounts from our partners here.

Join the club!
If you have questions about the membership, visit our FAQ page.
Steering Committe

IWCK is run by a group of volunteers on the Steering Committee. These members attend two monthly meetings to oversee the general business of IWCK. The Steering Committee is elected annually in May.  All members are encouraged to consider the talents and skills they can offer IWCK and stand for election in one of the twelve positions.

President
Elizabeth Kourkov
Elizabeth Kourkov

Elizabeth is from the UK, but she has spent 26 years in Ukraine and she is married to the Ukrainian author Andrey Kourkov. They have three children and, back in the late 90s, she was active in the Mums and Toddlers Groups.

Elizabeth always thought IWCK was a fantastic organisation, but, she admits, she thought that as someone who stood very much on the sidelines.  Well, now she knows from the inside that it is a fantastic organisation.  She was first elected as IWCK President in May 2014 and served another two terms since then.

It has been challenging, of course, but she certainly feels she has gained more than she has given.  She has learnt a great deal and benefited from the support of some wonderful IWCK folk with long experience of the Steering Committee. Most of all, she has had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of interesting and inspiring people, both IWCK members and people in partner organisations.

Vice President
Gabriela R. Walker
Gabriela R. Walker

Gabriela has been a member of IWCK for 1,5 years and feels the organisation has given her so much.

Gabriela is Bolivian by birth and a nationalised American. Her original degree and work experience are as a Geologist but she has worked through very exciting experience in disaster risk management and over the past decade as a climate change consultant. She has two kids, both of whom are living in the USA. She has been living in Kyiv with her husband Neal since October of 2014.

On experience in fundraising, Gabriela has worked with a group of friends that were members of a reading club and they raised money to help a group of displaced women. She has also been involved in several other UN charitable events in previous posts. At a personal level, she really enjoys making jewellery, reading and painting. She is always curious and excited to learn something different.

Treasurer
Olga Romanchuk
Olga Romanchuk

Olga is a proud Ukrainian!

She studied finance at Tarasa Shevchenko National University, and she has been at Porcelain dental clinic for about 14 years, responsible for marketing and growth. She has about 6 years of volunteer experience in different Ukrainian NGOs and coordinated a few grant projects, one financed by IWCK. As a grantee, she has realised the great opportunities that IWCK provides to people, and really wanted to be the part of it.

Being Treasurer and Charity Committee member three years, Olga has been impressed by IWCK’s dedicated and sincere members, doing great things for the country.

Secretary
Helen Birtwistle Garbuz
Helen Birtwistle Garbuz

Helen is American and has lived in Kyiv since 1998.  She has been a member of IWCK since 2009 and has been Interest Group Leader for the Baby and Toddler Group and now for the Mahjong Group.  In June 2015, she joined the Steering Committee as Head of Membership.  Since February 2016 she has served as Secretary.

Prior to joining IWCK, Helen was Program Hub Director in Kyiv for the FLEX Program, a US government-funded high school exchange program.  While working for the program, she was able to travel to almost all Ukrainian Oblasts and met several thousand talented young Ukrainians.

Helen is both a Russian and Ukrainian speaker and lives in Kyiv with her Ukrainian husband and two children.  In addition to the family, her other main occupation is organic gardening at her cottage in Poltava Oblast.

Head of the Fundraising
Valerie Stulikova
Valerie Stulikova

Valerie’s motivation to work as a steering committee member is to return to the club, what is has given to her when she was new to Kyiv. IWCK helped her to make her feel in Kyiv like at home, it helped her to find friends and activities, and it helped her to develop professionally.

Head of the Charity Committee
Tatiana Sakharuk
Tatiana Sakharuk

Tatiana has joined IWCK in January 2015. It is her pleasure to be a part of IWCK and try to help people in Ukraine, being a Ukrainian citizen. In January 2016 she was honoured to become a Head of Charity in IWCK.  As a part of IWCK Charity committee, Tatiana has got a chance to acknowledge with many charitable organisations in Ukraine and see what an important role they play in our society. Being a part of IWCK she has a great opportunity to communicate with people from all over the world widening her knowledge and views.

Tatiana is Ukrainian. Originally she is from Crimea region but also had a chance to live in different parts of Ukraine. She graduated from the University in Kharkov with the Law Degree. She lived in Donetsk. Now she lives in Kyiv. In 2002 she has got an LLM degree in Chicago Kent Colledge of Law. She participated in different international projects, such as Civic Education Project, Petro Yasyk Program, UN Global Compact, etc. She also took part in lots of international conferences in different countries: Spain, Hungary, Latvia, Russia, USA, etc. In 2006 she got her PhD in Ukraine. Since 2006 Tatiana has started her practice as a lawyer.

Head of Hospitality Committee
Nathalie Hirshi
Nathalie Hirshi

Nathalie Hirschi arrived in Kiev in July 2014 with her husband Hanspeter. They are Swiss and have lived in many different countries. They have two grown-up daughters living in Switzerland.

As Nathalie had nice help from IWCK when she arrived, she was happy to replace Yolanda Bennekers when she asked her if she was interested in being the new Head of Hospitality. She hopes to give everyone an opportunity to attend interesting events, to meet one another and to have a lot of fun together!

Membership Coordinator
Francoise Dumel
Francoise Dumel

Francoise is French, aged 60, and have lived in Kyiv since 2015 with her husband Philippe who works for a French bank.

They have 5 children (25 to 29  y.o.), 4 living in France and one in Australia.

Francoise is a mining engineer by formation and worked for 20 years for an oil company, mostly in contracts negotiations and assets management. She ceased working to follow her husband in a previous expatriation (Milan, Italy). Francoise was an active member of the French expatriates association there, “Milan Accueil”, where she was responsible for discovery visits, and took part in fundraising for charity actions. Back in France after 2008, she participated in an association promoting help to the homeless.

Francoise is a Head of Membership of the Steering Committee since 2016. In this position, she hopes to contribute to a better knowledge of our members, in order to encourage contacts and friendship between them according to their personal inclinations, and help promote activities in accordance with their wishes and their talents. She is also a member of the Charity Committee.

Head of the Interest Groups
Yumi Terajima
Yumi Terajima
Head of the Communications
Maud Joseph
Maud Joseph

Maud Joseph is French and has lived in Kyiv since September 2013. In her former life, she was living and working in Paris where her last position was Head of Communication at France Télévisions Publicité. She loved her job but decided to follow her husband in his professional adventure in Ukraine. This gave her the idea of writing a blog about her discovery of the world of expatriation. She called the blog expatriatehousewife.com and it has allowed her to romanticise a little her new life and dedicate part of her time writing which is one of her passions (along with pastry making, which is a more calorific passion, unfortunately).

In Kyiv, she really wanted to find an activity so she decided to learn Russian intensively: 3 hours a day, every day (yes, you read that right).

She managed Kiev Accueil, the French branch of IWCK. She will not forget that it was Kiev Accueil which welcomed her in Kiev, which guided her in her first steps as an expat woman. And living 100 meters from Maidan, she will not forget the hard events of 2014. Physically in the heart of this revolution, she feels the need to help the Ukrainians through this difficult time in their lives… and to give a little of her time to an organisation that can help them, it is finally her way to help her adopted country.

Member of the Board of Overseers
Eve Brun
Eve Brun

Eve Brun is 58, has 4 children, is Swiss and worked in younger years as programmer and project manager in market research. In 2009 she followed her husband to Kyiv (Swiss Defense Attaché in Kyiv) and worked since 2010 for IWCK in the food delivery program. During her whole family life, she participated in local charity projects, especially for single mums and elderly people and for more than 10 years was a supervisor of schools in her hometown.

“Because of my social background, I joined IWCK for the food delivery program. I got part of the people of this Country and I wanted to give back something to them.” – Eve 

Member of the Board of Overseers
Elitsa Zaimova
Elitsa Zaimova

Elitsa is originally from Bulgaria, but have lived for a short time in Pamplona, Spain since her parents decided to relocate there 13 years ago. She has a twin sister, Rosie, that works in the development sector in Uganda and Brazil.

Before moving to Kyiv, Elitsa lived in Washington DC for 5 years and worked as a Consultant at CEB (management consulting company). At CEB, she was responsible for consulting Chief Marketing Officers at Fortune 500 organisations how to gain market share and train their staff. Additionally, she volunteered at a NGO that aimed at helping homeless children with preparing their homework.

She has always enjoyed volunteering and being part of charity programs that support women, disabled people and children. Therefore, when she moved to Kyiv (January 2016), she joined IWCK right away. Since then, she has been an active member taking part and organising several initiatives: IWCK Charity Committee, Start-up Hub and Technovation.

“I have truly enjoyed being part of the Steering Committee as an Advisor and helping run the organization in a more effective way and ultimately making IWCK a great membership for expats to socialize and help the local community.” – Elitsa

FAQs about the membership

Who can join IWCK?

IWCK Membership is open to anyone, regardless of nationality, background and gender. Our membership is comprised of people from the international community and we also welcome Ukrainian citizens who have social and cultural links within the international community.

When should I join IWCK?

You may join IWCK any time.  Our membership year runs from September to June, although many of our Interest Groups continue to meet throughout the summer.

How much does it cost?

The annual fee for the 2016 -2017 was 2000 UAH (~75$).

The fee for the 2017-2018  season will be decided at the end of August 2017. Your membership dues cover costs of General Meetings and general office needs.  Any surplus from membership dues goes to our charity fund to support projects in Kyiv.

How do I join IWCK?

You can join IWCK at a General Meeting or at the IWCK Office.  Simply fill out a Membership form (link will be here) and bring it by our office with your membership dues.

What if I’m not sure I want to join IWCK?

Unsure if IWCK is for you?  We invite you to attend one General Meeting and one Interest Group meeting of your choice for free before deciding whether to become a member.

Press

Journalists who need information or an interview with the International Women’s Club of Kyiv can expedite their inquiry by providing details regarding the nature of their request in via email. This information will make it easier to quickly answer your questions or connect you to the right spokesperson. Please send your email to our Head of Communication at communication@iwck.org or to the Coordinator at coordinator@iwck.org.

Press Release 1 (link will be here)

Press Release 2 (link will be here)