The Annual Exhibition was held March 16th to 18th this year. The purpose was to create awareness in Sticky note the World Bank community of the Family Network and the work it does and to make the activities and outreach under the Networks’ umbrella visible to all its members as well as to Bank staff. Invitations to exhibit also went to Bank units that also serve WBG families. This year, Global Mobility, HIV/AIDS Prevention for Families, HRS Corporate Operations and the Credit Union co-sponsored and participated in the exhibition. The Pangea Artisan Market at the IFC was also invited to take part in the event, as were individual WBFN members who wanted to display their artistic skills and talents.

Every year a great number of volunteers make it possible to organize and carry out the Exhibition, which takes place in the Atrium Hall in the Main Complex of the World Bank. They set up booth displays, man the WBFN booths, create the ambiance, and hand out information about their specific activity. The volunteers also design vivid banners (this year in bright lemon and metallic grey) to guide visitors to the various booths. And on the closing day, they dismantle it all again.

If you are not familiar with the Annual Exhibition, take a few minutes to read through this summary of the event, or if you attended, recall the memories as you read along.

You could have seen the African Fashion Show or heard the WBG-IMF Chorus sing, have joined the Tai Chi class or the Japanese Tea Ceremony, received a beautiful Henna design painted on your hand or cheek, or even listened to a free insightful consultation. And this is just to name a few of the workshops and events that took place during this particular exhibition.Annual Exhibit 2

WBFN and its Activities

At the WBFN booth, a prominent pictorial display of members in action told the tale of the Network’s various activities. A stand-alone display carried personal hand-written notes from members of how they had benefitted through WBFN. Volunteers at the booth helped register new members, informing visitors about the organization and its activities. At the Quilting Group booth a beautiful green quilt was displayed and visitors gathered around to watch group members while they added finishing touches to another quilt in progress. Teachers of the WBFN English classes informed visitors about the courses offered. The Wandering Winners Investment Club held a meeting-on-the-spot and encouraged visitors to join the very useful and informative financial literacy classes offered by WBFN.

Outreach – the Book Project and the MMMF

The Book Project volunteers provided information about their outreach to schools and libraries in developing countries. It was a very busy booth with lots of visitors browsing the second-handbooks on display.

The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMMF) displayed pictures of all their grant recipients from 1983 till now. It was impressive. The booth also advertized the MMMF Recipients Forum, scheduled for May 18, and introduced the 2009 recipients from the overseas program for Africa. Information was also available on the Tracer Study launched by the MMMF Alumni Committee.

Special Events

Tai Chi—On the first day of the exhibition, Monday around noon, everyone present was invited to join the Tai Chi demonstration by experienced Tai Chi instructors, Bank staff member Kurt Nemes and IMF staff Nan Wang. Several people came to the floor and tried both the Tai Chi and the Sword Tai Chi. It was a fun experience that elicited a lot of interest. It was hilarious to watch as everybody tried to keep their balance while they performed slow moves. The instructors’ introductions had made it seem really easy, but we found it otherwise!

WBG-IMF Chorus—Tuesday, the second day of the exhibition, was the time to lean back and enjoy the music of the impressive WBG-IMF Chorus. The Atrium resonated with such a well-orchestrated choral sound that it was difficult to believe that this talented group practices only once a week.

Fashion show

Kenechi Fashions—On the third day, Wednesday, several volunteers were enlisted as models for Kenechi Fashions and entertained everyone with beautiful creations of African cloth and leather. Exquisite materials in bold patterns and colors were shaped into a fusion-fashion, highlighting the African tradition in a new style. The models were gorgeous and reminded us that there is no end to the versatility of our members!

Tea Ceremony—In one corner of the Atrium, costumes from various parts of the world were displayed representing the cultural diversity of the WBFN members. The tranquil Japanese Tea Ceremony also took place there. The master of the ceremony, dressed in a Japanese kimono, introduced the diverse visitors to the Japanese ceremonial way of serving tea, inviting them to kneel down on the mat and enjoy the tea she so graciously and gracefully served. It became a very popular corner over the three days. Even after closing hours, you would see a small group on the ceremonial mat emptying their tea-bowls in front of the beautiful tea-kama (kettle) and the Japanese hostess.

WBFN artists and counselors—Individual WBFNAnnual Exhibition members exhibited their arts and crafts. Jewelry was made on the spot and hung along side hand-knitted scarves. Oil paintings and 3D-arts, along with white porcelain painting, were created and displayed then and there. An interior design firm brought in samples of its materials, and one of the WBFN members gave insightful counseling. Lots of visitors enjoyed the work going on in these stands, and the questions were many.

Last but not least, WBFN member Carlos Winder entertained the visitors on all three of the days. He sang and played popular songs on his guitar in many different languages.

 

“Being a part of the WBFN Annual Exhibition is a great experience. It provides you with information about the various WBFN activities, and it gives you a chance to pose questions. If you were not a part of the exhibition this year, we hope that you will be able to join us around the same time a year from now.”

Annemarie Brink Olsen

The Annual Exhibition was possible thanks to 78 WBFN volunteers, 6 non-members, and 5 partner units from the WBG. They all did a tremendous job and WBFN wants to applaud them. We especially want to recognize WBFN volunteer Amy Bojang. Without her dedication and management of the planning during the two months prior, the event could not have been the success that it was.