IWA's first Summer Bazaar in JB

The Johor Baru International Women’s Association (IWA) held its first Summer Bazaar on June 16 with some 15 tables set up to sell quality handicrafts, useful souvenirs and freshly baked cakes, cookies and pies.

IWA members, [Left to Right] Pauline, Ineka, Poonam,
Margaret, Bee and Ann, selling a range of baked items
Shoppers who dropped by from midday, swelled to a crowd who enjoyed browsing around the bazaar and bought up all the items from the bake table.

The idea for a Summer Bazaar with a two-fold benefit is aimed to raise funds for charity and enable the members in Johor Baru’s international community to shop for quality gifts and souvenirs.

While the IWA annual charity Christmas Bazaar aims to give shoppers more gift ideas for Christmas, the Summer Bazaar allows foreign residents in JB to find something beautiful and useful to present as souvenirs when they returned to their home countries for their summer holidays.

A section of the Summer Bazaar held at the White Box, DCM
IWA Charity Coordinator, Lorraine Stanley identified the Puspanesam Home for underprivileged children in Ulu Tiram, Johor as the charity of their choice and after visiting the home, the IWA decided to focus on contributing to them for the year.  Proceeds from table rentals and the bake table will go towards this home.  Recently the IWA shared their goodwill with the home when they took 18 children aged between 3 and 14, for an outing to the Ulu Tiram Water Theme Park.

Janet Leah and Laura Rodgers from the UK, who were among the nine IWA ladies who accompanied the children to the water park commented that they were well behaved kids.  The ladies enjoyed the outing as much as the children and Rodgers also said she plans to conduct swimming lessons with the children.

Avril Martin with a range of Moniko products,
created from vintage kimono fabrics
“We are grateful for the partnership of JB PAC for sponsoring the use of the space in the White Box in Danga City Mall,” said IWA Social Coordinator, Anna Magyar, who’s Hungarian and have lived in JB for the past three years.  “We have many unique items for sale and even set up a kids’ entertainment table to keep children entertained with arts and crafts while their parents browsed around,” she added.

“It was a good fund-raiser for IWA and some vendors had good sales too.  This is a positive start for our first Summer Bazaar,” said IWA President, Caroline Davis as she commended the members who contributed to the success of the Summer Bazaar.  The participating members represented nations like Japan, India, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Finland, France, UK, US, Honduras and Singapore.

“The tropical heat may not be conducive for an outdoor bazaar so this air-conditioned indoor space is ideal for both vendors and shoppers,” said Pat McGrath, a volunteer with Johor Area Rehabilitation Organization (JARO), a charity that runs a sheltered workshop for people with disabilities, that had quality handicrafts for sale at the bazaar.

The kids' table where children are occupied with art and craft projects while their parents shop at the Summer Bazaar

The IWA is a non-profit charity organization established in May 1999 to organise fund-raising social events to contribute towards healthcare, education and other social needs in JB.  For more info about IWA events and membership, please visit website: www.iwa-johorbahru.org and email to: iwa.johorbahru.m@gmail.com
A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 19 June 2015

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