Jugera Ibrahimi, pictured, wants the BLC to be more diverse and inclusive
Photo: LaLa La Photo
Since it was founded some 49 years ago, the British Ladies Club has seen many changes whilst also maintaining some long-held traditions. Chair Jugera Ibrahimi explains how the club offers something for everyone.
In 2019, the British Ladies Club will mark its 50th anniversary in Luxembourg, and this year is the 25th anniversary of its ever-popular car boot sale (this year hosted on 2 June).
Jugera Ibrahimi took over as chair of the club in 2017. Having previously worked on a variety of projects in her native Albania, Ibrahimi had the organisational experience and knowledge necessary to take on such a challenging role.
“As soon as I arrived in Luxembourg, I threw myself into volunteering, doing projects with the Red Cross through the American embassy,” she explains. “As I saw the position of chair advertised, it came very natural to put myself forward without hesitation. More than just ideas, I had a clear vision of how I saw the club evolving in the future to be even more diversified and inclusive.”
The BLC committee is currently made up of 12 volunteers representing the international community in Luxembourg. Indeed, whilst the term “British” may be in the club’s title, it has always presented itself as an international club for people who want to network in English.
The club currently has approximately 400 members, made up of over 30 nationalities. The members are of all ages, have a variety of different interests and are located throughout Luxembourg, so the aim is to offer something for everyone.
“On any given week, there is always a variety of activities planned to cater for all tastes,” Ibrahimi explains. “If we look at the coming week, there is a newcomer event, a coffee morning, several lunches and a movie night. In fact, sometimes there are several activities planned daily.”
Children’s activities, including “Pipsqueaks”, are held at members’ homes or at Zigzag in Bertrange, which is a recent partnership. A team of dedicated volunteers organises regular events for children aged between one and six, including singing, story time and holiday parties. “It’s a great opportunity for both the children and parents to socialise,” says Ibrahimi.
The BLC also raises money each year for two selected charities; one in Luxembourg and one in the UK. This year, monies raised will be split between Parkinson Luxembourg and Maggie’s Centres in the UK.
“We already organised a sponsored walk last year to raise money for the charities, followed by a brunch, and many other fundraising events. Our members are very dedicated to the charity work we do,” says Ibrahimi.
For Mousumi, the club was just what she was looking for when she moved from Bangalore in October 2017. “I went to one of the newcomer meetings and started to get to meet people and expand my social activities. The events occur on a weekly basis, so it really helped me integrate and make friends. Now, my husband jokes that I have a bigger network than him.”
“I think the diversity and frequency of our events make the club very interesting for members,” adds Ibrahimi. “Being a member of such a group, you naturally feel more relaxed and comfortable, you socialise and create special relationships that last more than just a coffee or dinner. And, of course, we offer events allowing the whole family to get involved.”
Non-members are welcome to attend three networking events before they decide whether or not to join the club, when a small annual membership fee is applicable.
This article was first published in the February 2018 edition of Delano Magazine.