Membership of the association is open to all Igbos and to all persons of Igbo descent, living in France. Members generally register together with their families.
As its name indicates, the aim of the association is to cater for the welfare of Igbos in France. This includes enhancing the integration of newly arriving Igbos into French society, for instance, by helping them tackle the administrative hurdles inherent in staying in a foreign country.
In case of « bad event », like a member loosing a parent back home, the assocation ralllies around the member and supports him financially to enable him travel home immediately. It also offers moral support to such a member by organising a wake-keeping night at his house.
When a child is born, this is generally regarded as a « good event ». In this case, the association organises « Ile Omugwo ». This means that a day is set out for the association to go and « welcome » the new baby. This is generally a day of meriments, and an envelope is presented to the parents.
IWAF is equally a forum to promote and acquaint oneself with Igbo language and culture. Meetings are generally held in Igbo, but those who for one reason or the other are not very proficient in the language may talk in English or French. Younger members also learn Igbo manners and such sensitive aspects of Igbo culture, like as the breaking of kolanuts. Plans are under way to start teaching Igbo language within the framework of the association.
The association’s general meetings are held once a month, on the third Sunday of the month. Normally members host meetings at their house on a turn-by-turn basis but, with the ever-growing membership, meetings are now held in a hall provided by the French authorities…