Diplomatic SILA Charity Bazaar, Sunday 1 Dec, Ljubljana Hotel Union

SILA, the international women’s club in Slovenia, is once again hosting with embassies and diplomats its annual charity bazaar, this year taking place on Sunday, 1 December at Hotel Union. It’s an event that’s something to look forward to, one in which the diplomatic community in Slovenia takes center stage to celebrate its diversity and start the festive season with a focus on charity, different culture and world wide cuisine.

Each year, at the beginning of December, expats from about 30 countries display exquisite products and offer delicious culinary experience with tastes and flavours from all over the world. This important charity event is organised by SILA International Women’s Club Ljubljana  a well-known place among the foreigners in Slovenia.

Yet the Club is much more, both for the newcomers and the regular members says Marta Berglez, President SILA International Women’s Club Ljubljana.

How are you assisting newcomers to Slovenia?

 SILA IWCL welcomes the newcomers at the General Meetings that happen every second Tuesday of the month in Hotel Union. At the General Meeting, newcomers can become members, connect with other members and get information about the Association and all the activities it offers.

 How many members do you have today, and what are the most sought after activities that you organize?

 Today we are around 140 members, a good number that has increased in the last two years. We have also increased the number of activities. The most longed ones are the language classes. We offer many: French, Italian, Spanish, Basic Slovene and German, and the tours to art exhibitions and unique places. Other activities are Nordic Walk, Yoga Classes, Tennis, Art Class, Creative SILA, Mom’s Club, and Dinner with Friends, Book Club, Lunch Bunch, Welcome Coffee, Happy Hour, and Wooden Spoon. In November, we will start some new activities: Acting and Singing classes and Healthy cooking.

How much are members involved in designing the events?

 We invite members to create and suggest activities. The management Board also suggests support and organize all the events. For bazaar, every year an exceptional team of volunteers works hard to have everything beautifully and efficiently executed.

An important part of your activities is also charitable events. What can you tell us about the forthcoming SILA-IWCL bazaar?

Charity events run an essential role in SILA IWCL. Last year, in our 25th Anniversary, we had the honor to receive from H.E President Borut Pahor the Medal of Merit for our Humanitarian work: more than 1.5 million euros donated in all those years. Our main charity events are the Spring Soiree, an evolution of the traditional Gala Diplomatic Ball with a new concept. The event celebrates, promotes, and supports women’s causes and happens in March. It is always organized in cooperation with one Embassy.

SILA IWCL bazaar is the most traditional and the biggest charity event we have. Its success relies on the long and prosperous partnership with the Embassies, without their support and participation it would not be possible to organize such event. We also count with the support of partners, sponsors, members and Honorary Consulates. More than just an event, it is a fantastic experience.

How are donations regulated in Slovenia, and how foreigners can contribute?

As a member of the EU, Slovenia adheres to Regulation (EU) No. 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 9, 2013, implementing the Union Customs Code and its delegated regulations. Foreigners may donate to one of the charity events organised by SILA IWCL. For bazaar, it is possible to donate money or products for the lucky draw and the country tables. If you are local or foreigner employed and pay taxes in Slovenia, by Article 142 of the Tax law, it’s possible to donate up to 0,5 % of your income tax to a charity organisation you choose.

What projects do you support, and how people can get involved? 

For this year, SILA IWCL decided to benefit projects for children. My wish was to add something new to the bazaar, so I proposed the bazaar president and the board to do a charity event that raises money but also offers a service to the community. A project for money and meaning was created, adding an awareness campaign for diabetes. In October, in a reception for the Ambassadors and a presentation of MD, Ph.D. Tadej Batelino (head of the Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the UMC University Children’s Hospital Ljubljana), the bazaar’s history, the campaign and projects for this year were presented.

There are many ways to get involved: be a volunteer and help SILA IWCL board or your country’s table during the bazaar.  Donate money or products. Share the event in the media and social network. Or simply come to visit and enjoy the bazaar on December 1 with family and friends.

SILA IWCL Bazaar 2019 benefiting organizations

Department of Neonatology, Division of Paediatrics, University Medical Centre Ljubljana (Device to detect osteopenia in new-borns)

Department of Endocrinology, diabetes and metabolic disorders, Division of Paediatrics, University / UMC (Research /diabetes type 1)

Association Botrstvo (Scholarship for kids from disadvantaged families)

Association Sladkorčki, (training, education/ support kids and families with diabetes type 1)

Slovensko društvo za Celiakijo. (Workshops for families/Slovenian Association for Celiac disease).