It may not be much of a website, but it is a great idea – Women Welcome Women Worldwide. When founder Frances Alexander’s children were teenagers, they exchanged hospitality with other young people throughout Europe.
She thought that women could have this opportunity too, and wrote about her idea and the network now numbers more than 3000 members in 70 countries. It has been going now for over 20 years and after 11 years in France’s house, it now has its own office and company structure, with trustees from around the world.
Women Welcome Women World Wide (5W) aims to foster international friendship by enabling women of different countries to visit one another. Members are of all backgrounds and from many parts of the world. Any woman may become a member, regardless of nationality, religion, home circumstances, etc.
5W is more than just a network of beds – it aims to foster international understanding by cross-cultural friendship. Members range in age from 16 to 80+ and come from all walks of life – housewives, students, retired, business, professional, artists, farmers, office workers, unemployed, etc, etc. They have one thing in common – a wish to befriend others from other parts of the world.
When you decide to travel, you write to the hostesses whose names you have selected from the membership list. We find the best friendships are made when members have taken time to correspond before travelling. We recommend that the first visit should be short, in case it is not what you expect: lifestyles can be very different from your own. The visitor should fit in with the hostess and be prepared to entertain herself during the day if her hostess is working.
There is no set subscription to belong to 5W, they realise that women in some countries are unable to transfer money easily, so the membership payment is a donation. The recommended minimum donation (RMD) is £35 per annum.
While they have a website (of sorts) they do not have email, but you can contact them at their UK address 88 Easton St, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP11 1LT