SIWA to hold major bazaar philanthropy

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SIWA to hold major bazaar philanthropy

The Seoul International Women’s Association (SIWA), the nation’s largest nonprofit run by female expats, will stage its traditional, large-scale bazaar this month to raise money for underprivileged people.

The 34th annual SIWA and Diplomatic and Community Bazaar will take place on Nov. 13 at the Seoul Museum of History, central Seoul.

More than 40 embassies, several charity groups and other vendors will take part in the largest international fund-raising event in the capital and sell various items - homemade food, antiques, handmade crafts, clothing and other treasures from around the world.

Last year’s bazaar was also a big success, attracting approximately 3,000 visitors, according to the organization.

In an effort to distribute profits from the bazaar to those in serious need, the association’s newly-formed Welfare Committee members said they have visited local charities and facilities in order to determine what they really need.

As of last year, the organization said it has raised over 2 billion won ($1.83 million) from its past fund-raising events and donated the proceeds to local charity groups.

Marking the association’s 50th anniversary this year, the welfare committee said they set a new goal - improving the quality of life of underprivileged people, not just supporting their living expenses.

“In the past, when there was not much government support, most of our aid was limited to helping with living expenses,” Eugenie Lee, SIWA’s public relations chair, said.

“However, now we mainly assist their activity programs and equipment which makes them happier as their basic living necessities are satisfied by the government.”

By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]
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