Nov 24 2020. views 76
Christmas may not be the same this time with the global pandemic. But that certainly hasn’t stopped the energetic live wires behind International Christmas Charity Bazaar (ICCB) from pulling off its 40th episode virtually. Since the 1980s, the Bazaar has been an occasion for people to gather and do their Christmas shopping. Over time the event became bigger and better with more countries participating along with exciting giveaways, raffle draws and so on. What makes it stand out from other sales is the fact that proceeds are raised in aid of a number of charities. Some of the charities that will be supported are as follows:
Appe Lanka - a rural development project that empowers six districts in Northern Sri Lanka.
Ride a Bike to School project which is a part of Appe Lanka, an initiative to keep children from dropping out of school. ICCB was able to fund 30 bicycles and drinking water infrastructure together with Spa Ceylon Luxury Ayurveda.
IDE School - an initiative to assist children with intellectual disabilities. ICCB’s donation for this year covers the school’s rental lease for 12 months.
Emerge Global - a charity that provides educational programmes and assistance to girls who have survived sexual abuse and are in the process of bringing perpetrators to justice.
ICCB has continued to support Lanka Alzheimer’s Foundation.
Sudhaar Foundation that aims to train women from an impoverished part of Colombo to make healthy and nutritious meals to their families while continuing it as a mode of income.
ICCB has also supported Ease Foundation for many years as it continues its efforts to empower, educate, support and advocate for persons with disabilities
Indira Cancer Trust.
Perpetual Help Convent.
This year’s local participants include Hearts and Hands, Emerge Lanka, Zonta Empowers Women (ZEW), E.A.S.E, Sudhaar, Outreach, Nest, Salvage and Shakti. International participants include Australia, Vietnam, British Welfare Group, Pakistan Women's Association, Switzerland, France, Germany and International Expatriate Association (IEA). Over the years, the Bazaar has adapted through political unrest, civil war, tsunami and now a global pandemic to continue supporting the many deserving local causes. Hence, the Bazaar goes online for the first time in its 40th chapter amidst many challenges.
“We didn’t have our Entrance Ticket revenue and many other activities we couldn’t adapt to virtual, but our Raffle is live!,” said ICCB 2020 Chairperson Fatema Jafferjee. “We work with up to 40-50 participants each year and all these participants may / may not have goods to share at the bazaar this year. Some goods are ready-made, some are ordered, some are to be freshly baked. Apart from that, we had to create a new website and find sponsors to help us. This along with pure uncertainty and how we would collect all items, deliver them, etc. However, instead of being held on one single day of chaos, by opening an online store, we are inviting shoppers daily.”
Products on sale include everything from Christmas décor to food items, gifts and items for children as well. Apart from that food and beverages, gift items and homeware, jewellery, clothing and accessories too are available.