© Powered by Bade
The 16th Annual Charity IWC (International Women's Club) Bazaar took place from 11.30am until 5pm on Sunday, December 5, at the Inter Expo Centre in Sofia. Visitors had the unique chance to purchase foods, drinks and handicrafts from more than 45 countries. Vietnam and Malta were first-time stallholders this year.
Guest of honour was Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova who "cut the ribbon". Sofia municipality had also expressed an interest in having a stall at the bazaar.
The 2010 Charity Bazaar drew nearly 5500 visitors, excluding children under the age of 12 and more than 1000 volunteers. More than 1500 people contributed their services to the event. A total of 57 countries with two new entries (Vietnam and Malta) were represented with 67 stalls, compared to 49 countries, 59 stalls and about 5000 visitors in 2009. Besides the IWC, many charitable foundations also set up independent stalls. About 250 donors sponsored the stalls and approximately 150 000 EUR was raised by the event
For the second consecutive year GIP-Sofia successfully participated in the bazaar as a volunteer at the Tombola stall, which raised as much as 1500 EUR.
The IWC yearly Bazaar raises funds for the IWC Charity Foundation which supports a variety of charitable projects throughout Bulgaria.
One of the most notable current good causes is the baba (grandmother) project whereby women from the areas where orphanages are located are paid to devote themselves to two children each, four hours a day. The IWC Charity Foundation supports five programmes involving a total of 30 babas.
Aside from the baba programme, the IWC supports several other important charitable causes, including de-institutionalisation and transition homes. Several charitable organisations, which are supported by the IWC, were represented at the bazaar. These organisations sold handmade artwork including Christmas cards, candles, candle holders, embroidery, produced by residents of several transition homes and participants in vocational training workshops.
Another important project supported by the IWC since its inception in 2002 is The Social Kitchen. The scheme, initiated by BNP Paribas in co-operation with Sofia municipality, consists of the provision of a daily lunch for elderly, poor citizens and people with disabilities every winter. The 2009/2010 Social Kitchen has provided meals for 1750 people at 12 distribution points in Sofia, and one in Varna.
Among the innumerable projects supported by the IWC is the Hospice Milosardie. This facility offers comprehensive care to terminally ill people, assists elderly people in their homes and operates a soup kitchen throughout the year.
The Initiative Pastra, implemented by Concordia Foundation, is another worthy operation that aims at improving the living conditions of 80 adult men with mental health problems, living in Pastra Home near Rila.
Anelia (GIP-Sofia) and Daniel (Spanish student at the American college in Bulgaria) volunteer at the Tombola stall.