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ESCA Paddle for CancerSupport, first launched in 2007, is an annual cancer awareness and fundraising event and brings together both the local and international communities to work together to help cancer patients and their loved ones directly. Cancer awareness is vital and can bring hope to what seems like an insurmountable challenge. The more that people are aware of cancer risks, the more likely they are to seek early screening, such as colonoscopies and mammograms. Early detection of cancer can dramatically increase survival rates. Awareness can also encourage people to adopt healthier lifestyles, reducing their chances of getting cancer.

Ramona Azarnia got involved in early 2018, "I decided to do volunteer work in the Geneva area and chose ESCA CancerSupport as I am acutely aware of the impact of cancer since witnessing a dear friend battle it. As I was searching for charitable causes, I came across ESCA CancerSupport. I admire and respect the people who have created this organization and are passionate to provide support to those who need and want it."

Benefits of getting involved
The main fundraising event for this assocation is the Paddle for CancerSupport Dragon Boat Festival. The money donated by each team goes directly towards supporting ESCA CS’s mission:

  • support clients who are undergoing the rigors of cancer treatment by professional counselling and trained peer support volunteers
  • offer help to patients’ loved ones
  • assist those in bereavement
  • provide information and resources
  • increase awareness by staffing stalls, giving talks, and representing ESCA CS at various community events


Volunteers are also very welcome!

Some of the most popular sections of the Know-it-all passport guidebook are those which relate to children’s activities, especially weekly classes and camps. Whenever we receive information on a new club, we like to post details on our Activities Calendar for Kids as soon as possible, and in all the excitement we sometimes forget to mention those clubs that have been with us for years!  

One organization, which has been operating in this region for over 50 years is the Geneva Girl Scouts. Originally known as “Troops on Foreign Soil”, this group now falls under the banner of USA Girl Scouts Overseas (USAGSO), and currently has about 200 Girl Scouts and volunteers.


The Geneva Writers Group (GWG) has just announced the launch of a new series of free workshops for teenagers, aged 13 to 18. The workshops will be held at Wall Street English on the Rue Michel-Roset in Geneva, and will take place monthly, on a Saturday from 10h to 11h15.

'Where do Ideas Come From?' will be the topic of the first workshop, which will be led by exciting new author, Nicholas Grey. A young adult fiction and fantasy writer, Nicholas has recently published The Wastelanders and The Lightbearer, as well as some short stories, and has a number of works in progress. Visit his website for more information : www.nicholasgrey.org.

Subsequent workshops will be taught by Nicholas and two other authors: Jason Donald, whose debut novel Choke Chain took the literary world by storm in 2009; and young adult writer, Katie Hayoz, whose books explore the paranormal.


The popular notebynote music center in Divonne-les-Bains, France, has just announced a series of new initiatives designed to make music more accessible to the international community of Geneva, Vaud, and neighbouring France.

Following its recent relocation to larger premises on the Rue Fontaine, the notebynote music center is now able to offer a much wider range of group activities for both adults and children, as well as private instrument lessons, which have been available at the centre for many years.

A professional musician in her own right, notebynote founder, Sue Lake, told knowitall.ch: “I’m really excited to be taking my school into the next phase of its development.  It started with just a few private lessons for children nearly 10 years ago, but is now growing into something that can serve the musical needs of the entire English-speaking community, both children and adults, at all levels from amateur novices through to experienced musicians.”


There are many services in this region designed to help expats integrate within their local communities – indeed many of them are listed in our Know-it-all passport guidebook!  Networking groups, for example, provide a wonderful opportunity for people to meet others and make the most of their time living in this region as expats.

One networking organization, which is benefiting from the global popularity of social media platforms is InterNations.  Set up in 2007 with the sole aim of making life easier for expats, InterNations now claims to be the largest expat social media platform in the world. With 1.4 million users, InterNations communities can be found in 390 cities across more than 195 countries – with 9 cities in Switzerland, including Geneva (about 15,000 members) and Lausanne (about 5,600 members). France also has a number of communities of which the two closest are in Lyon and Grenoble.

The best way to capture what InterNations does for expats is to give a brief overview of the services it provides for its members: