International Women’s Association’s Traditional Christmas Charity
12 December, 2013
International Women’s Association’s Traditional Christmas Charity
Christmas and Easter Fairs are well-established traditions in Tbilisi, and the International Women’s Association Georgia (IWAG) has organized fundraising fairs to help women, children and elderly left without care, or with special needs, since 1999. This year’s main beneficiary is the Georgian Portage Association, which was founded just for children below the age of eight with special needs, and now assists 62 children.
IWAG’s Christmas Fair is its biggest fundraising event. Partnering with embassies, it displayed h
andicrafts by artists from Georgia and other countries, as well as samples of international cuisine. There was a children’s entertainment room with Santa Claus as guest, and a lottery and fair with secondhand books was also held.
Anna Mikolaichik-Klebek, the spouse of the Polish Consul told visitors, “A lot of Polish towns are participating, including Warsaw, Krakow, Lublin, Poznan and others. We also had traditional things from regions. A lot of Polish firms were involved. We had beautiful Christmas trees. The Polish organization Heart also participated. We are very happy to be here today. We want to support Georgia, as we know that it is not only a beautiful country but it has a lot of needy too and we wish to help those people.”
“The organization has two main functions: one is the social group, as we gather many expats who are members of our community, and another one is charity activity,” said Marta Lubeck, President of IWAG, in an exclusive interview. “The way we do the second function is by fundraising. This expo is the biggest fundraiser. We also have the Spring Expo for Easter.”
Nana Dvali, founder of IWAG and one of the organizers of the event, told Georgian Journal, “We have around 200 women of about 30 nationalities. They are all volunteers. Today, 20 embassies and 3 consulates are present. For the first time, Georgia is represented among the other countries by three ministries – Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture, as well as by the Tourism Department.“
Margaret Schmitt was one of the women from Austria presenting brandy sweets from Salzburg and Vienna. She commented, “We are friends of Eva Berger, Honorary Consul of Austria. We are nearly sold out.”
IWAG is a non-profit non-governmental organization and part of the network of the International Women’s Association. It tries to help expats get acquainted with Georgia and its culture, as well as to make it easier for them to live and work far away from their home countries.
The Christmas and New Year’s gifts and decorations were in abundance, creating a very pleasant atmosphere. Over 3000 people contributed to the event, proving that here the spirit of charity is strong.

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