The 32nd annual charity bazaar of the Korean Red Cross (KRC) was held at the B1 Hall of COEX in Samseong-dong, Seoul on Oct. 13, 2015 with the participation of Mrs. Choi Ji-yeong (wife of the prime minister), Mrs. Sung-joo Kim (president of the KRC), Mrs. Kim Sun-hyang (vice president of the KRC), Chairman Kim Yoon-hee the Women's Advisory Committee for Volunteers of the KRC, Mrs. Amal Lahlou (wife of the Moroccan ambassador and chairperson of the Ambassadors Spouses’ Association in Seoul [ASAS]) and Mrs. Lee Bok-hee (chairperson of the KRC Women's Advisory Committee’s Golden Team of the wives of the government ministers and state-run business CEOs).
The bazaar was organized by the KRC Special Advisory led by Mrs. Kim Yoon-hee, which was formed with the wives of the government ministers and vice ministers, leaders of banks and state-run organizations and chief executive officers of private businesses and various other organizations.
A total of 90 different sales booths were set up and managed by these wives where they donated their goods. In the case of Chairman Lahlou of ASAS, the donated items included some of the art works she had personally painted.
The items on charity sale included clothes from top-brand companies, cosmetic articles, organic food materials, seafood materials, special local products and daily necessities.
The donated goods were sold for 40 to 80% of the actual price and therefore they drew many visitors. This time an estimated 20,000 persons are known to have visited the bazaar to buy the donated things.
Chairperson Kim Yun-hee of the Advisory Committee said, “The members will personally make gift packages in November with the proceeds from the bazaar and deliver them to a total of over 7,000 needy families.” Then she said that the other recipients are the grandparents raising their grandchildren, senior citizens who live alone, needy multi-cultural families and refugees from North Korea.
tire amount of the proceeds from the bazaar are given to various needy people who include grandparent-grandchild families, senior citizens who live alone and multi-cultural families who need help.
Last year, a total of 650 million were raised from the KRC bazaar and were given to many needy people.
The booths run by the members of the ASAS were among the most popular because the goods on display were exotic to the Korean eyes and were mostly Myeongpum (top-brand goods).
In front of the booths with popular merchandises on display were seen long queues of people wanting to buy them. As if to control them, there was a sign reading: “Only three items are available to each person.”
Speaking with Korean reporters, Mrs. Amal Lahlou (wife of the Moroccan ambassador and chairperson of the ASAS) said, “I have taken part in charity bazaars in many countries but the Korean Red Cross bazaar is the largest and most interesting.” Chairperson Lahlou said that she had been participating in the bazaar for the past six years in Korea since she came to Korea and that she collected some goods in Morocco during her last visit home so that she could offer them at the Red Cross bazaar.
With her, there were wives of the ambassadors of 12 other member countries taking part in the charity bazaar. Their countries were Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Iran, Japan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia and Senegal (in Alphabetical order).
Some of the wives were accompanied by their ‘chaperoning’ husbands who included Governor Ham Young-joo of KEB Hana Bank. He was quoted by Korean-language media as saying, “My wife has been taking part in the Red Cross bazaar for the past six years and I am pleased that this year the bazaar is the largest with the participation of the wives of the executives from the KEB Hana Bank formed as a result of merger between Korea Exim Bank and Hana Bank.”