Another year, another Hanoi International Women’s Club’s Annual Charity Bazaar (HIWC) — but wait, this time around, everything is refreshingly distinctive. On Sunday, November 27, when a Winter Wonderland unfolds at St. Paul American School between 10am and 4pm, the campus grounds will have an organic layout, calling to mind a grassy field of small, connecting alleys. It will be easy to traverse and find a cozy seat.
One stage will be the focal point of jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring entertainment. There will be a band from Africa, another from Hanoi. A Russian School will provide ballerinas to crown the stage; a Korean opera singer will dazzle; Hawaiian Hula dancers will mystically sway.
The creation of a new street fair, full of handicrafts and objets d’art will add a touch more color to the already exuberant commercial vendors. And not to be missed are the renowned Country Community Tables, offering tasty gastronomical specialties and thirst-quenching libations. For the energetic and restless youngsters, there are a generous amount of arts and crafts as well as sports and games.
Highly disciplined and determined, the hundreds of HIWC volunteers have spent months planning this event under the guidance of a truly global coordinating team. This group includes two men, one of whom recently arrived from Sweden, and three of Vietnamese origin. The fifteen coordinators meet once a month, and will convene more often as the date of the Bazaar grows closer. Coordinators also meet in smaller groups to deal with their particular missions.
Explains multi-lingual Bazaar Coordinator Ha Angelet-Phan (Phan Hoang Ha), “The volunteers are all very capable, and they know what they are doing. Many have worked the Bazaar before, while others are arriving to it for the first time, eager to get involved. Just about everyone is willing to work whenever she or he can – late at night, over the weekend. And we respect that we have different ways of working.”
“Everyone involved believes in the purpose of the Bazaar and wants to contribute to its ongoing reputation and to what keeps families returning to it annually. It’s not about beating a past record but assuring that the Bazaar continues to thrive and be a source of pride to the Hanoi community at large.”
Last year, via its main fundraising event, the annual Bazaar, the HIWC garnered over USD100,000 to contribute to orphanages, hospitals and clinics, schools and vocational training centers in Hanoi and neighboring areas.
The HIWC is a dynamic voluntary group of over 450 members from nearly 70 different countries, of all nationalities, ages and walks of life. It brings together the expat community for friendship and charity and to keep its members updated of events on the world stage. This year, it celebrates its 30th anniversary, and its history over the last decade includes over one million dollars of contributions to women and children’s charities in Vietnam.