The Cluj International Women’s Club (CIWC) has a rich history. Elizabeth Mates, the wife of a US Information Officer in Cluj, gathered a group of women at the Quo Vadis Café on September 22, 2004, for a get-acquainted and organizational meeting. During that meeting, those present signed up for various activities (Book Club, Craft Group, Bowling, Ladies Bible Study, Lunch Bunch, Orphanage and Soup Kitchen Volunteers, and Art Club). The first newsletter (Xerox copies hand-delivered to members) was published in December 2004 and dues back then were 500,000 lei per person! Many of the original members moved by the summer of 2005 and so most of the Club’s official activities were on hold….
… until February 2007 when Jan Mix and Kalika Sinha, who had moved to Cluj in 2006, got together a group of women for a coffee with the theme “Bloom where you are planted.” Sixteen enthusiastic women were present that day and ideas flowed freely! The Club was informally run but quite active: we had a Garage Sale and greeting card campaign to raise money for charities; volunteered with Habitat for Humanity; continued with some of the original activities; etc. As more women moved to Cluj and became involved in CIWC, it became necessary to move from an informally run Club to one having more structure. In 2010, Bobbi Swinford was elected the first official President of CIWC and began the process of moving the Club forward. In 2011, Mary Ginter continued that process as we implemented dues, a monthly newsletter, launched a website, and wrote Statues and Operating Procedures.
On June 22, 2012, CIWC was officially registered with the Romanian government, thus becoming a legal entity in Romania.