Russian stall at Bangkok Charity Bazaar to sell Gzhel pottery
RBTH: This year, you were elected a member of the Diplomatic Participants’ Committee for the Thai Red Cross Society. Can you tell us about the preparations for the Charity Bazaar? What are the duties of the spouses of Ambassadors in this Committee?
Olga Barskaya: In the coming months, two Diplomatic Charity Bazaars will be held. The Young Women’s Christians Association (YWCA) Diplomatic Bazaar will take place on November 20-22, 2015 in Central World Plaza and the 48th Diplomatic Red Cross Bazaar at Royal Paragon Hall on March 5-6, 2016.
This year, I was elected Head of Raffle for the November YWCA Bazaar and Raffle Co-Director for the one to be held next March. The duties of the Head of Raffle for the upcoming bazaars include distributing raffle tickets among the staff of embassies and buyers, as well as attracting raffle prize donations in close cooperation with the YWCA and Thai Red Cross Society staff.
The Diplomatic Participants’ Committee for the Thai Red Cross Society consists of six members: chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, raffle director, raffle co-director and advisor.
Preparation for the YWCA Charity Bazaar is now in full swing. A press conference was held on October 20, 2015 in Central World Plaza. Channel 7 plans to video record the event, and exhibition booths have been distributed among the participants. There will be 236 allocated booths on the first, second and third floors of Central World Plaza. This year, 42 embassies will take part in the YWCA Charity Bazaar.
This time, the Russian Embassy in Thailand, which has always been a very active participant of charity bazaars, requested two booths. They will be located in Central Court on Floor 1 of the Central World Plaza. One can identify them by numbers - booths C14 and C15. But even if you do not remember those numbers you will easily track them because our stands are extremely colourful and decorated with vibrant shawls and unique souvenirs.
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn granted an audience to the Committee. Source: Press Photo
As for the Red Cross Charity Bazaar, which is scheduled for March 2016, the first organizational meeting was held on October 13. Many important issues were discussed during that meeting, among them planning a Press Conference, TV recording and a so- called Diplomatic High Tea Charity. It will be organized on February 21, 2016 at the lobby of Anantara Rachadamri Hotel. This will be a charity concert in which musicians, singers and dancers from participating countries will perform their national dances and sing songs.
RBTH: What will Russia be selling at the YWCA Charity Bazaar?
O. B.: This year we will be selling nesting dolls (Russian matryoshka), Pavlovo Posad woollen shawls, hand painted berry-design Hohloma pottery, Gzhel pottery, amber jewellery, decorative items, dolls and many other Russian traditional souvenirs.
RBTH: Where the proceeds from the Charity Bazaar go?
O. B.: All proceeds usually go to YWCA and Thai Red Cross Society projects. The projects include providing spectacles for school children in rural areas, repair of harelip and cleft palate and other deformities, as well as treating craniofacial patients.
Donations from the Thai Red Cross Society will be also granted for new projects. Among them is the provision of raincoats for 6000 underprivileged students and construction of school libraries. Last year, the Diplomatic Participants’ Committee decided to allocate an emergency fund for earthquake victims in Nepal. This year, there will be other recipients.
As for the YWCA Charity Bazaar, the beneficiaries include disabled people (wheelchairs, beds and canes), the Foster Child Care Project (educational scholarships), schools in rural areas (renovation of toilets, building and playground improvement), needy children from Dindaeng Day Care and underprivileged students (lunches, scholarships), prisoners (professional development), sport centers (sports equipment) and many others.
We are very proud to work under the patronage of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. On October 7, 2015, Her Royal Highness, who is Executive Vice-President of the Thai Red Cross Society granted an audience at Dusidalai Hall, Chitralada Palace for the Diplomatic Participants Committee (DPC) 2014-2015.
DPC presented a cheque for 12,899,328.24 Baht. She graciously decorated selected DPC Committee Members with the Thai Red Cross Medal of Appreciation, the First and Second Class, and invited us for a cup of tea. To me, the group photo we made with her Royal Highness became a wonderful memory of that unforgettable event.