Dear Members

The Sofia Echo weekly newspaper posted information about the Christmas bazaar – here is the online version under top story –


Bazaar bargains
Fri, Nov 11 2011 09:02 CET
byThe Sofia Echo staff
Yes, it’s that time of year again! Fans of those perennial British culinary treats – mince pies and home made jams – as well as secondhand books and children’s entertainment will enjoy one of Sofia’s annual landmark events, the annual International Women’s Club (IWC) charity bazaar.
This year’s bazaar – the 17th – will take place from 11am until 5pm on Sunday, December 4, once again at Sofia’s Inter Expo Centre, at 147 Tsarigradsko Chausse.
The admission price is the same as last year – just three leva. All proceeds go to support projects of the IWC charity foundation.

If you want a mix of food and drink specialties from all over the world, as well as arts and crafts, gifts, toys, books, bric-a-brac, tombola, music, dancing, entertainment and a kid’s corner, then the bazaar is compulsory for you and your family.

As usual, you can expect a whole host of events to keep the children busy. Last year’s bazaar boasted face painting, retro modelling sessions, a performance from a children’s choir, a salsa show, Japanese calligraphy and Latino dance. This year’s event looks set to offer even more fun-filled activities.

Guest of honour is Bulgarian and EU politician and recent presidential candidate Meglena Kouneva who will also officially open the event.

More than 55 stalls are officially registered to represent more than 45 countries this year. Included are Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Nordic-Baltic (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden), Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Rep of Seychelles, South Africa, United Kingdom, Turkey, USA, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Good deeds
The annual charity bazaar is the largest fund-raising event organised by the International Women’s Club of Sofia. It is the principal source of funding for the IWC’s selected charity projects.

The Bazaar provides an opportunity for countries and groups to proudly showcase their handmade crafts, music, souvenirs, folklore, national cuisine, clothing and literature.

Proceeds received from the Bazaar support programmes from the IWC Charity Foundation. Aside from the baba programme, the IWC supports several other important charitable causes, including de-institutionalisation and transition homes. Several charitable organisations, which are supported by the IWC, will be represented at the bazaar. These organisations will sell handmade artwork including Christmas cards, candles, candle holders, embroidery, produced by residents of several transition homes and participants in vocational training workshops.

Another important project supported by the IWC since its inception in 2002 is The Social Kitchen. The scheme, initiated by BNP Paribas in co-operation with Sofia municipality, consists of the provision of a daily lunch for elderly, poor citizens and people with disabilities every winter. The 2009/2010 Social Kitchen, for example, provided meals for 1750 people at 12 distribution points in Sofia, and one in Varna.

Last year’s charity Christmas bazaar was attended by 5000 people and raised 300 000 leva but each successive bazaar seems to prove more popular than the last.

Transport to this year’s bazaar is available via the 114 bus from Eagles bridge. There will also be a free bus service running from opposite Starbucks cafe on on Fridtjof Nansen Str. Route taxis number 42 and 37 will also take you to the event.