United Nations Women's Guild (UNWG)
The United Nations Women’s Guild was founded in 1967 as a voluntary organization of women connected with the United Nations. The purpose of the Guild is to foster friendship, to encourage appreciation of each other’s traditions and customs, and to financially support charity projects benefiting children of the world with emphasis on developing countries.
Membership is open to any woman who is a staff member or a spouse of a staff member of the United Nations Organizations or Permanent Mission to these organizations in Vienna. Women working for embassies whose countries are members of the United Nations may become associate members. They may participate in all activities but may not vote or hold office.
There is a number of activities with which UNWG tries to raise funds. The most popular and the major UNWG’s fundraising activity is the annual International Bazaar, which takes place each year at the Austria Center Vienna. In 2003 more than 25,000 visitors attended the Bazaar and over 170,000 Euros were received. Since the first Bazaar was held in 1969, the UNWG has raised more than three million Euros.
Further fundraising activities are the UNWG’s Kiosk where gift items and handicrafts can be bought, the UNWG Book Stall, which sells second-hand books in different languages and the White Elephant Boutique, where high-quality second-hand merchandise can be sold. All these activities take place at the Vienna International Center. The money raised from these fundraising activities has been distributed to charity projects for children and mother-child programs in developing countries. The charity projects serve abused children, children having restricted access to education, children with serious health problems, e.g. AIDS, children having no access to clean drinking water, orphans, and children with special needs or children suffering from extreme poverty or starvation.
Which project is selected to be financially supported by the Organization is decided by the Charity Review Committee on the basis of several selection criteria. Projects must focus on children no older than 15 (21 if disabled), or mother and child situations. The services of the organization must be available to all children without discrimination, regardless of race, gender, ethnic origin or religion. Furthermore, the UNWG does not fund administrative costs nor salaries, fees, study session expenses and transportation fees.