Eat, shop and make merry at the UNWG Festival Bazaar
An annual highlight in Vienna's pre-Christmas social calendar is the United Nations Women's Guild (UNWG) International Festival Bazaar. The Local caught up with UNWG President Kalpana Scholtes-Dash to find out more about the charity event.
UNWG is an association of women, both staff and spouses of United Nations Organizations and Permanent Missions to the United Nations, based in Vienna. We organize our biggest fundraising event, the ‘International Festival Bazaar’ in the Austria Center Vienna. Over 80 countries participate in this event, and around 20,000 people visit the Bazaar to experience the international food, culture and entertainment.
What, in your opinion, makes the Bazaar a special experience worth visiting?
UNWG International Festival Bazaar presents a unique opportunity to experience the cultural diversity of the international community living in Vienna. One can browse through art and crafts, and taste culinary delights from over 80 countries. The cultural events from around the world, another highlight of the International Festival Bazaar, showcases the diverse heritage which defines the UNWG. The event is organized entirely by volunteers, and all proceeds go to funding children’s charities around the world. This dual aspect of being in an event that represents the diversity of various nations, and at the same time, contributes to disadvantaged children around the world makes a visit to the UNWG International Festival bazaar a very unique experience. The experience can be summed up in three short lines:
“Take your pick from 100s of authentic international foods from around the world;
Choose from uncountable craft items from faraway lands as gifts for friends and family;
And contribute to a smile that will light up a child’s face.”
Do you have any personal highlights from previous Bazaars?
The most important aspect of this Bazaar is the fact that women from all over the world come together to make the event a success. Every time I see it I am amazed to see the dedication and goodwill that makes this culturally, ethnically diverse group join hands as friends and colleagues to help children.
What do you enjoy most about the Christmas season in Vienna?
A walk in the centre, a stop at the Christmas market… the delicious smell of mulled wine all make the Christmas season a wonderful time in Vienna.
What projects has the UNWG been able to fund this year, as part of its charitable programme?
This year we contributed €257,627.22 in 32 countries; (for more details go to: https://unwg.unvienna.org/pdf_list/pr2016.pdf). Austrian charity organizations have received €50,249 over the last three years. In addition, more than 25 Austrian Charity organizations take part in the Bazaar every year; and the income generated from this over the last three years amounted to €49,707.
The Bazaar takes place on Saturday 3rd December, between 10am and 5pm, at the Austria Center Vienna, Bruno-Kreisky Platz 1, 1220 Vienna.