Christmas spirit at IWA Bazaar

The IWA Recipe Book with recipes from around the world
With the annual charity fund-raising Christmas Bazaar in mind, members of the International Women’s Association (IWA) Johor Baru held cooking classes earlier this year to share recipes from their home countries.  This was not just for food and fellowship but also to select recipes to compile into a recipe book that will be published for sale at the Christmas Bazaar. 
“We are very proud of our IWA Recipe book which is filled with more than 60 recipes from 20 different cuisines,” said IWA President, Caroline Davis, who explained that the recipes were garnered from the members’ countries of origin.  Simply entitled, “Recipe Book – Recipes from around the world,” about 100 copies were sold at RM30 each.  “Besides the shoppers, our own members have also bought extra copies to take home to present as Christmas gifts,” she added. 

Useful handicrafts for sale at the Christmas Bazaar
On Nov 15, the IWA kept their tradition of holding the annual Christmas Bazaar with the support of KSL Hotel & Resorts.  From 10am to 4pm their hotel lobby was lined by stalls with a variety of products ranging from freshly baked cakes and cookies, handicrafts, jewellery, household items, wines and interesting knick-knacks, set up by members from nations like Belgium, Finland, Germany, India, Korea, Netherlands, England, Scotland, the United States, Singapore and Malaysia.
Johor Area Rehabilitation Organization (JARO), promoted their products created in rattan, paper and beautiful batik fabric by the physically disabled trained in various handicraft skills in the basketry, book-binding and tailoring sections of their sheltered workshop.

Shoppers buying freshly-made festive cakes and cookies
“All funds raised by JARO in the sale of their products goes back to them while 10% of the sales of items from the other stalls in the bazaar will be contributed to IWA’s charity fund,” said Davis, who hails from Kentucky, US.  The funds from this bazaar and other fund-raising events will be contributed in material goods to various charities like JARO, Care Haven for less fortunate children and HOPE animal shelter. 

With the stalls gaily decorated in Christmas colours to sell a host of specially designed handmade products that are suitable for gifts, the bazaar was filled with a spirit of goodwill as shoppers browsed around to find unique Christmas gifts.  Many members volunteered to bake and made special sweets, particularly those from Korea, Italy, Finland, US, Japan, Hungary and Spain.  In fact, one of the most popular stalls was the one for homemade cakes and cookies.

Quality handicrafts will make unique Christmas gifts!
“I liked very much that our members could show off their unique products and gave us many good ideas for Christmas presents,” said IWA Vice-President, Anna Magyar who was just a volunteer last year but this year as one of the organizers, she was more involved with the preparation.  “I really felt the Christmas spirit at the bazaar!” declared Magyar, who comes from Hungary. 

While IWA is helping expatriate women adjust to living in a foreign country, it is also a non-profit charity organisation established in May 1999 to organise fund-raising social events to contribute towards healthcare, education and other social needs in Johor Baru.  

Wine and spirits were sold from this stall
Festive cakes, cookies and sweets were available from this stall
Since its incepation, IWA has raised funds to support various causes including the children’s welfare home in Saleng, the Rotary Dialysis Centre and several Tamil schools in Kulaijaya.

IWA JB invites women from the international community in JB to join them as members.  Membership queries should be sent to email:

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Streets Johor on 25 Nov 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment