WSO World Service Office news

By | November 8, 2019

New: Stories from Inside Al-Anon Family Groups

Statement of Purpose
“Inside Al-Anon Family Groups” presents news, policy, and commentary from Volunteers, Staff and readers sharing experience through service. Please feel free to reprint these articles on your service structure website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.

The Language of Hope

By Sarah S., Director of Programs

In a few languages, my name translated means “princess.” As a young child, I would watch movies depicting a princess locked in a watchtower, hoping a prince would magically rescue her one day. I dreamed of what it might be like to be a real-life princess and experience the majestic nature of that reality.

Enter the disease of alcoholism. Cunning. Baffling. Powerful. From the time I was a little girl, the disease of alcoholism was very prevalent in our home, and its effects ripped our family apart. To protect myself and my siblings, I built a fortress around us so high it was unscalable. I locked my heart and mind in chains and hid the key away in a vault buried so deep it would never be found. Alcoholism caused so many promises to be broken that I believed I must be unlovable. I couldn’t imagine allowing myself to be hurt one more time. The fortress in my mind served as a means of survival. I often felt like my siblings and I were sitting in the watchtower, looking between the bars and seeing only sadness and despair, with no hopes of rescue.

In high school, my friend introduced me to Alateen. Through application of our Legacies and participation in service, slowly but surely, my chains came unlocked, one at a time. Eventually, I found my heart and mind free, vulnerable, lovable, and open to new ideas and possibilities.

Many years later, I found myself, along with fellow World Service Office (WSO) Volunteers and Staff, journeying to visit Al-Anon international service structures in Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Switzerland, and France. These structures—each in varying degrees of development—warmly welcomed the WSO team. Together, as trusted servants, we discussed service topics and attended recovery meetings conducted in the native languages. I had no idea what was spoken in the recovery meetings, but my heart and mind knew the message of Al-Anon was shared.

The journey concluded with a stop in London to host and attend the 2022 International Al-Anon General Services Meeting (IAGSM). London, England, is home to world-renowned buildings, architecture, and castles. What a gift of the program to see this landscape—which once represented hopelessness, sadness, and despair in my imagination—in its true form, suddenly beautiful and majestic. And yet there was more. The real magic permeated the meeting room as members from 18 General Service Offices from north to south and east to west gathered together, “Connecting Hearts and Minds Around the World” to ensure the message of hope is available to anyone, anywhere, who reaches out for help.

Adventure Awaits in Albuquerque at the 2023 Al-Anon International Convention (June 29–July 2, 2023)

Registration for the 2023 Al-Anon International Convention is open and this is the time to plan your 2023 summer getaway to the beautiful city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Or, you can attend virtually (see below).

In addition to celebrating Al-Anon recovery, unity, and service during four days of meetings, panel discussions, and workshops, you can enjoy all the adventures Albuquerque has to offer. Whether it’s floating through the skies in a hot air balloon, strolling along the historic Route 66, or just relaxing and gazing out at the beautiful Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque has something for everyone.

The celebration starts Thursday morning, June 29th, with the Day of Connecting, followed later that day with a Party in the Plaza featuring music, dancing, and food trucks galore! The fun continues on Friday with the first of three Big Meetings to kick off a full lineup that lasts all weekend. And while the Convention wraps up on Sunday, July 2nd, you may just decide to extend your stay and explore more of New Mexico and all its wonders!

Attend virtually!!

Registration is now open for virtual attendees to the 2023 Al-Anon International Convention. The registration fee is $145 US and includes access to:

-All three Big Meetings
-A slate of sessions (two on Friday and four on Saturday)
-The International Convention Event App to connect with members attending in-person and virtually around the world.

Register soon to secure your spot!

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Useful links

The following links are to our World Service Office Website, which may provide more information, particularly for Professionals.


How can Al-Anon help me?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Al-Anon for You?

Al-Anon’s Three Legacies

Information for Professionals

Membership survey results

Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism (magazine)

WSO News

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January 2019 Resume Solicitation Letter

At-Large Committee Resume Form

Audit Committee Guidelines

Executive Committee for Real Property Management

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Forum Editorial Advisory Committee Guideline

Public Outreach Committee Guideline


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