By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Vice Chairperson Cho Kyung-hee
The Seoul International Women’s Association (SIWA) and Diplomatic Community are jointly hosting is holding the 2019 Annual Charuty Bazaar at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on the upcoming 18th of November this year. According to Chairperson President Veronica Koon of SIWA, the SIWA-Diplomatic Community charity bazaar has been organized annually since the foundation of SIWA in 1962.
Last year, says Chairperson Koon, more than 1,000 people attended the Bazaar and over 80 international and national institutions participated. Some 70,000,000 Korean Won was raised through the event. The SIWA Bazaar gives a good opportunity to find and acquire unique products, foods and craft from around the world, many of which may be difficult to find in Korea at a good value. “All of the proceeds from the Bazaar,” says Chairperson Koon, go to Korean charities that are carefully selected, evaluated and monitored by the SIWA Welfare Committee.”
“We feel tremendous gratitude for the continuous and generous support of our participants in the Bazaar, which allows us to keep on providing the funding needed by these charities.” Koon told The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean media outlets, including www.koreapost.com and www.koreapost.co.kr. Chairperson Koon, among Koreans, is often referred to as ‘Kwan Wan-ryeon Yeosa’ (or Lady Kwan An-ryeon in Korean phonetic of the original Chiense characters 管婉聯).
Since 1962, SIWA has been a place where women from around the world could meet, forge friendships, learn about Korea and other cultures, contribute their talents and ideas, and help improve the lives of those in need. “As many ideas so often are, SIWA was formed around a kitchen table by individuals who were looking to connect to their community and make a difference as they did,” said Chairperson Koon. She said: “That spirit is as vibrant today as it was more than five decades ago.”
The members know that there is always something exciting happening at SIWA and a way for them to get involved--whether it is by connecting with fellow members through their weekly or monthly tours, interest group activities, SIWA Socials, or by contributing their skills (building new ones) to help run the organization and plan fundraising events. The SIWA Bazaar is the largest international fundraising event in Seoul, and it is now going to its 57th edition. It has been organized since the foundation of SIWA in 1962. This is also Seoul’s premier international women’s organization with a rich history.
“We feel tremendous gratitude for the continuous and generous support of our participants in the Bazaar, which allows us to keep on providing the funding needed by these charities.” says Chairperson Koon. Ms. Sunghwa Han, the Welfare Chair, states that at this year's Bazaar “we will host more than ten charitable organizations, including our own Philanthropy Project's past and current recipients: ALS (All Love School) and KUMFA (Korean Unwed Mothers' Families Association). Through this project, we are proud to commit ourselves to a long-term and more impactable giving, as well as building collaborative relationships with the charities.”
Last year more than 1,000 people attended the Bazaar and over 80 international and national institutions participated. Embassies, international clubs, welfare organizations, sponsors and local vendors showcased a diverse range of products and food. Embassies arranged goods and delicacies from their own countries. Restaurants, charities, local clubs, and businesses displayed their trademark items. Raffles were held using prizes donated by SIWA’s sponsors. “We believe this is a win-win kind of event, because the participants enjoy the opportunity to find and acquire unique products, foods and craft from around the world, that may be difficult to find in Korea at a good value. And behind this day of shopping and fun you know that you are contributing to a good cause,” says Ms. Melina Bandeira, special event’s chair at SIWA. This year, the event expects the participation of 40 embassies and expat clubs, 10 charities and 20 vendors. Dwight School will be sponsoring the Bazaar together with other institutions.
Throughout the years SIWA - Seoul International’s Women Association has been an independent institution that promotes friendship, enrichment and charity. SIWA is the largest and longest-running international women’s organization in Korea!
Since 1962, SIWA has been a place where women from around the world could meet, forge friendships, learn about Korea and other cultures, contribute their talents and ideas, and help improve the lives of those in need.
It involves now over 300 members all formed by multicultural women from 40 nations, including Korea. It is a volunteer based institution, in which each one of the SIWA’s leaders work as volunteer, dedicating their time and expertise to the women’s association.