From Vienna Babies Club to Vienna Family Network
When our thriving community was created in the early 90s and became an Association under Austrian law in 2009, its main purpose was supporting expat mothers, especially during their pregnancies and the first years of their children´s lives.
However, in its 25+ years of life the VBC has evolved and broadened its scope.
In addition to our traditional parent-baby groups, we created new groups based on the district of residence, on languages, on a particular hobby or a common interest. In 2015, we opened the membership to parents with children older than 18 months and created toddler, pre-school, and school groups.
We also opened up to fathers and we worked hard to offer new events that can be of interest for each family member in all different aspects of their lives (school, work, parenting, etc.).
The name „Vienna Babies Club“ has therefore become less corresponding to our identity and it has also triggered some misunderstandings. For example, a blogger who recently featured an article about our wonderful Club asked, “As the name is Vienna Babies Club, do you have to leave the club when your baby becomes a toddler?”
The same interpretation has been made by some members who thought they do not qualify anymore as VBC members as their children became older. At the same time, prospective members with older children have not considered joining VBC as they thought that our focus is only on matters concerning babies.
Due to the mentioned reasons and in the interest of our association, we announced in the 2016 annual general meeting the need of updating the VBC Statute as well as of changing our name.
To define a new name we thought about the following question: what has became VBC now?
VBC is a non-profit English speaking network supporting international families living in and around Vienna.
This is how we arrived at the name:
“VIENNA FAMILY NETWORK”
September 25th, 2017 – Education Night
We had a full house Monday evening at the VFN Education Night! Thanks to Ms Burger and Ms Straka of the Vienna Board of Education for replying to all our questions about the primary school system, from the enrollment process to Bilingual schools.
Thanks for the helpful “parents – insider” view and advice given from our panelists Nil Cetinkaya, Astrid Nordtveit, Katy Whitelegg, Karissa Laughter and thanks to our great moderator Anna Patterson for keeping the conversation focused, lean and enjoyable!
The presentation including useful links will be sent to all attendants and to all of you interested in the topic (please let us know by writing at firstname.lastname@example.org)
September 16th, 2017 – VBC Career Workshop “Rock your job Interview” with trainer Stasia Lewicka
It was a gloomy, chilly Saturday on Sept 16, but the atmosphere during our “Rock Your Job Interview” workshop was nothing like gray and boring!
A group of amazing ladies with the professional trainer Stasia Lewicka met to find out how can they recognize and present their skills and capabilities with confidence when looking for a job.
It is a challenging topic and it takes some courage to ask yourself certain questions. Even more to answer them honestly. But those “aha!” moments during the workshop were worth the effort! While talking about the biases and difficulties mothers experience on the job market the participants started a mental process to overcome them.
Stasia encouraged each participant to take a new perspective on her own capabilities, learn what makes a language more “professional” and “strong” and find out what is the current reality of recruitment process. The best part was the power of feedback and encouragement from the other participants!
March 9th, 2017 – Workshops “How to survive and flourish in a multicultural environment”
A new and exciting VBC Career Workshops “How to survive and flourish in a multicultural environment” took place on March 9th with the participation of member from both VBC and PWN – Professional Women Network (VBC and PWN have a fruitful cooperation since 2015).
Our speaker, Kubilay Balci, took us through a journey of varying definitions of culture, different perceptions of time, 6 dimensions of cultural differences, and the challenges with different languages. He also pointed out that on one hand it is very important to understand the different cultures, but on the other hand we are interacting with individuals and every individual is unique.
Kubilay not only shared his interesting approach but also promoted lively discussions among participants -each of whom has firsthand intercultural experiences from several countries.
Many of us have a fair share of experiences in multicultural environments but having an understanding of the main reasons behind all those cultural differences and getting guiding principles on how to handle them was very beneficiary for all of us. As one of the participants stated: it was a different experience from our day-to-day work trainings and we surely will use most of it in our daily lives.
Feb. 23, 2017 Workshop “How to raise optimistic children”
On February 23rd VBC had opened a new series of workshops under the umbrella: Positive parenthood.
The first workshop “How to raise optimistic children” was held by Elena Padurariu, systemic psychotherapist, and was very well received. Here is what she says about this experience:
“The idea for the workshop “How to raise optimistic children” came from my wish to make a contribution to the community of expat mothers living in Vienna. Being myself a mother of two, I could totally feel I can make an impact by bringing my knowledge with my personal and professional experience together. When VBC gave me this opportunity, I took it without hesitation.
The main focus of the workshop was on emotional intelligence, positive emotions and creativity as means to give both children and parents tools to find creative solutions to problems when they appear, or shortly: to approach life with optimism. The intention behind was to give a theoretical overview and to give parents an impulse to cultivate more positivism in their kids lives.
I really enjoyed the open atmosphere in the workshop and mostly, the discussions and experiences that were exchanged and I hope that VBC will offer more such workshops.
I thank VBC, Vienna Expat Center and all participants who honored me with their time and attention, it was a great experience!”
VBC plans to continue on this pattern and will offer very soon new exciting workshops!
New Location and Registration for the Open Houses Starting January 2017
The VBC monthly Open Houses takes place in a great new location starting in January!
Where? At Mini & Me in the 9th district: here parents can relax and unwind as their “minis” explore the six custom designed play spaces. The VBC Open Houses take place on the first Thursday of the month from 10:00 to 12:00. We welcome parents to join us for coffee and cake and a chat about what the VBC can offer families in Vienna.
Due to high interest and a limited number of spaces available, please register for the Open Houses at email@example.com. We also welcome prospective members on the day without pre-registration.
Mini & Me
The Open House dates for 2017:
Christmas Party 2016
On December 4, 2016 the VBC celebrated Christmas with a fabulous party at the Prater. It was a fun day filled with laughter, smiles, and Christmas spirit!
Fun activities offered by two wonderful, VBC-run companies, such as Engineering for Kids and Gymboree. While parents could enjoy a drink, delicious food and a lovely chat with fellow expat families, fun stations with face painting, cookie decorating, Xmas crafting, carol singing and Santa Claus in person entertained our children.
Thanks to the charity raffle with incredible prizes donated by generous local businesses and to the homemade goodies brought by our members, we could collect over 700 Euro for the the VBC Charity of the Year helping refugee to settle in Vienna (https://gogetfunding.com/help-refugees-in-traiskirchen-and-vienna/).
We thank all our volunteers for the great organization and all people that donated their time and resources to make sure we all could have a wonderful time together!
If you couldn’t make it this time around, there is always next year! We hope to see you there!
This year we are very grateful for the following businesses that donated services and/or products to our raffle:
And Soy, facebook.com/and.soy.homemade.joy/
Andrea’s Twinkle Stars, facebook.com/andreastwinklestars/
Atelier Caren Dinges, www.dinges.at
Beawer Breving Company
Bliss by Iman, facebook.com/blissbyiman, www.blissbyiman.com
Carrousel Kids, facebook.com/carrouselkidsvienna/
Christine Benally Peranteau Photography, facebook.com/benallyperanteauphotography/
Dobos Bistro, facebook.com/dobosbistro
Dolls von Mars, www.facebook.com/dollsvonmars/
Dreamhair, facebook.com/joelsdreamhair/, www.joelsdreamhair.at
Familiencampus Döbling, facebook.com/Familiencampus
Gustl Kocht, facebook.com/GustlKocht
Hard Rock Cafe, facebook.com/hrcvienna/
In Good Shape
JUMIO Coding, facebook.com/jumiocorp/
Kussmund Wien, facebook.com/kussmund.wien
LEEDINA Creative Portrait Studio, www.facebook.com/leedina.studio, www.leedina.com
Metropole – English Magazine, facebook.com/metropolevie, www.metropole.at
Neha Chatwani, www.theworkplaceatelier.com/index.php/offer/individuals
Nora Varga Photography, www.vargaphoto.com
Playbrush, facebook.com/playbrush/, www.playbrush.com/en/
Simcha – Wir feiern Geburtstag, www.facebook.com/simcha.kindergeburtstag, www.simcha.at, www.kinderparty.at
Tiny Feet, facebook.com/TinyFeetVienna/