International Women’s Association Announces Spring Expo 2012
22 March, 2012
International Women’s Association Announces Spring Expo 2012

On March 18, the International Women’s Association Georgia (IWAG) announced Spring Expo 2012.

The International Women’s Association Georgia (IWAG) was founded in 1996. There have been years when Christmas Expo was held in December under its aegis, and there have been years when Spring Expo dedicated to the Easter Holiday was added to it.

IWAG presented diverse Georgian artisans and various Georgian and international organizations and businesses. Children’s play room, raffle, caricature painting, face painting, live music and pantomime were just a few

fun activities that were offered to create a day full of fun and excitement.

In 2011-2012 the IWAG financed numerous individual and group projects. It has met the cost of leukemia treatments, paid for various medications and funded a range of surgeries for desperately poor people.  Last year IWAG has supported the Home Care Services in Shida Kartli Region to purchase one year supply of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals for 400 patients and has sponsored The Life Chance in assisting the Crisis Centre for Street Children in Gldani to teach children the basics of housekeeping and hygiene.  IWAG helped The Kakheti Regional Development Fund to finance six different small business projects in the Pankisi region: purchased bee hives for honey production, two cows for two separate families, provided financial assistance for a seamstress to open her own shop, supported a woman to open her own bakery and helped another lady to open a stationary shop. These are just a few examples of how the IWAG has assisted individuals and organizations helping others.

The International Women’s Association Georgia is a charitable, non- profit, non-governmental organization and part of the International Women’s Association worldwide network; its members are exclusively volunteers. The organization strives to enhance its members’ understanding of Georgia, which enables life to be easier for expatriates. Its main mission is helping needy women, children and elderly in Georgia.

In spite of the fact that all the embassies were invited to participate, only four embassies took part in the Spring Expo. Mieke Langenberg-Tissot Van Patot, spouse of the Dutch Ambassador in Georgia Pieter Langenberg, is the current President of International Women’s Association Georgia. She told Georgian Journal: “Our association lists over 100 members. They are the wives of almost all ambassadors, as well as of other diplomats, spouses of people in business, of men working for NGOs – the entire  community of foreigners. There is also a number of Georgians, but it must not exceed 25 %.”

The Estonian embassy sold art and craft from Estonia; the Israeli embassy brought luxury creams and lotions from the Israeli brand Premier. They also had some bags and aprons. The German embassy brought self made Easter cakes and wine (from the Georgian - German winery Schuchmann). The Netherlands embassy provided Dutch chocolate Easter-eggs, jewelry made by Riette Riemslag, a Dutch lady who lives in Tbilisi, and postcards that were produced for Dutch museum shops.

To the question what are its main aims, Ms. Langenberg-Tissot Van Patot answered that: “We enjoy Georgian hospitality very much. We would like to do something in return. That’s why we started fund-raising and supporting projects- all we have to do with women, children and elderly. Our priorities are medical, social and educational fields. We try to help our members also to find friends because these are the women who have left their families and friends behind – share experience, to help newcomers to find their friendships. If you work together this is the best way to get to know each other,“ President of International Women’s Association Georgia concluded.

Georgian Journal also recorded Ms. Shifi Gerberg, the spouse of Israeli Ambassador. ‘Today, we present a variety of dead Sea minerals. The ladies had some handicrafts. It was a good opportunity to use the left-over things from Christmas bazaar, to sell them and make more money for charity. For our embassy this Spring Expo is the first year, some countries participated in the past years too. Israeli Embassy presented aprons and bags, some hand-made things and mainly cosmetics. “

The Proceeds from this event will support various charity projects of the IWAG..

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