We are an international women's club based in Varese, Italy with approximately 100 members. Our purpose is to welcome women of all nationalities and help them make new friends. We are a non-profit and non-political organisation. The club was started in April 1985 and is run on a voluntary basis. A monthly coffee morning is our principal meeting time and is a great opportunity for members to catch up with old friends and to make new ones. We also have many additional activities of interest for our members throughout the year. One very important activity offered by Benvenuto is helping other people and local organisations through our charitable activities.
In April 2015 we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Benvenuto International Club of Varese. The first Board meeting was held in 1985, and some of the founding members are still active in the club. The Benvenuto was the brain-child of Ilby Dyboski, an English woman who had been a member of the Milan Benvenuto Club. The mission was to offer a warm welcome to all English-speaking women in the area. Today this has been extended to providing the opportunity for all local women of all nationalities, to meet and exchange ideas. The English-language library was set up in Bodio Lomnago in 2011, which is open to the public. Through its fund-raising activities the club has supported many organisations throughout the years.
After a year alone in Varese, I was lucky enough to be picked up by a friendly Benvenuto member at an English-language film show. She gave me information about this Club that I had never heard of. It was at this very first Coffee Morning where I met my current best friend. While involving myself in Club activities, I met hundreds of new people and had many interesting experiences. The club has remained a very important part of my life. Now I try to extend the same welcome that I received when I joined.
I'm Egyptian of Lebanese origin. I was born and grew up in the cosmopolitan country of Alexandria which had an international outlook. I missed my cosmopolitan world in those days. One day when I was bringing my children for lessons at the Ice Skating school of Varese, I heard a lady talking in English. I jumped out of my seat and ran to meet her. She was a member of the Benvenuto Club. I immediately decided to join and my life changed and the smile came back on my face.
As a member of Benvenuto, I have become involved in many new activities which normally I would never have the chance to do, such as visiting wonderful parts of the area and taking part in various workshops Before I joined the club, my life was was mostly family and work-oriented. Now I get the chance to mix with people from all over the world, enjoy their company and share different opinions. It gives me a different view on life and has helped me to come out of my shell.
The International Benvenuto Club of Varese is an association made up of women of various nationalities who live in and around Varese - Italy to promote conversation and friendship.