By now, you may have read our two prior posts, “Supporting Al‑Anon Internationally,” Parts One and Two, about our Team North and Team East trips to Europe last year. Since our visits concluded in October 2022, we have held regularly scheduled meetings with over 40 international structures. This update will highlight some of what the World Service Office (WSO) has been doing from a global Al‑Anon standpoint to support two of the countries we had the honor of visiting, Latvia and the Netherlands.
The Al‑Anon structure in Latvia has been supporting local meetings and service work and is aiming to become a more evolved structure similar to an Al‑Anon Information Service (AIS). While Latvian is the primary language, there are many Russian speakers in Latvia. This presents unique challenges for acquiring Conference Approved Literature (CAL). The WSO understands the dire need to make CAL accessible to members worldwide and is working on more viable solutions to ensure CAL is available everywhere and to every member. Presently, Latvia has approximately 20 Al‑Anon groups. It is exciting to see the groundswell of support for Al-Anon in Latvia.
WSO Staff have also met with trusted servants from the Netherlands several times since last October. Al‑Anon has a long history in the Netherlands and has both an AIS and a General Service Office (GSO) in the country. As we have seen across the world, Al‑Anon Netherlands is actively focusing on rotation of service, accepting electronic groups, and conducting effective and targeted public outreach to increase awareness about how Al‑Anon can help families and friends affected by someone else’s drinking. Trusted servants in the Netherlands are fostering unity within their structure and working to keep Al‑Anon thriving for members there. The Netherlands has both English- and Dutch-speaking groups.
Stay tuned for Part Four, coming soon!
In The Loop, October 2023