Our Story

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Since its founding 1962, SIWA has been a place where women from around the world could connect, learn about diverse cultures, and contribute their talents and skills to support another and those in need.

SIWA came to life through the passion and vision of a small group of women who set their hearts on connecting with their community and making a difference. Their commitment to unite and foster a virtuous circle of giving and sharing is as unwavering as it was 60 years ago. 

There is always something exciting happening at SIWA. With a wide range of activities, including arts and cultural exploration, interest group gatherings, SIWA socials, volunteering, and fundraisers, we constantly strive to empower women and positively impact our communities through creativity and collaboration.

SIWA members are from various cultural backgrounds, bringing unique experiences and perspectives. We embrace this diversity and respect cultural variables such as ethnicity, age, beliefs, linguistic background, religion, and sexual orientation. Our commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusion has been a core value for over six decades, making SIWA a vibrant, dynamic and inclusive community. 

We invite you to connect with Seoul’s international and local communities through SIWA.

About Us

We aspire to strengthen our communities by forming creative, synergistic partnerships through various social, cultural, educational, artistic, environmental, and philanthropic events and projects.

Our Programs and activities foster cultural competence, diversity, and exchanging ideas. At the same time, we strive to provide our members with a dynamic platform to share their unique perspectives, passion, talents, and experiences.

Vision: Create a positive impact in local and global communities through collaborative efforts.

Mission: By building and leveraging our local and international networks, we empower women, serve disadvantaged communities, promote environmental sustainability, and unite people through shared experiences and appreciation for arts and culture.


SIWA’s wide variety of activities reflects the diversity of its members. Even SIWA member meetings get creative, as this photo from 1965 shows. More than fifty years later, the fun – and fashion shows – continues. The 2016 SIWA Gala featured an exciting fashion show by HEILL, a couture brand of womenswear and menswear created by Korean fashion designer Heill Yang.


Nearly fifty years ago, a SIWA donation described in this letter made a real difference in the lives of a Korean family whose home was destroyed in a major flood. SIWA’s Welfare Committee continues today to contribute to local charity organizations that provide direct assistance to some of the most vulnerable members and communities in Korea. Between May 2014 and April 2015 alone, SIWA provided more than KRW 133 million to 22 Korean charities.


Official opening ceremony of the SIWA Bazaar


Each year, members dedicate their time and talents to organize the SIWA and Diplomatic Bazaar, a day of celebration and discovery with all proceeds benefiting Korean charities.


SIWA’s 50th Anniversary Golden Luncheon was held at the Grand Hyatt on May 9th with over 180 guests as a celebration of our outstanding members. And later this year SIWA hosted the special exhibition titled, ‘Colors of Seoul,’ at the Seoul Museum of History, showing various artworks done by over 40 SIWA members.


SIWA created a collaborative charity project with the British Association of Seoul (BASS), the American Women’s Club of Korea (AWC), the Australian & New Zealand Association (ANZA), the Deutsche Club, and the French Club (AFC) to benefit Pastor Jong-rak Lee and his non-profit organization, Baby Box.


Start of the monthly SIWA Bookclub, which is the longest running interest group among the our social activities.


Launch of the first Philanthropy Project


SIWA was among the special invitees to participate in the Volunteer Launching Event and MOU Ceremony with the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee for the 2016 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games


SIWA hosted the first Issue Education and Forum with several experts on the topic of multicultural students from low-income families in Korea.


SIWA participated as a special performer at the Itaewon Global Village Festival and was featured on the ’10 Everyday’ program on TBS eFM by Jasmine Lee


SIWA launches a few exciting and meaningful events in 2020 despite the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The associations hosts the second Issue Education on the topic of Korea’s unwed mothers and chose Korean Unwed Mothers’ Families Association (KUMFA) as the recipient of its Philanthropy Project. Also this year SIWA hosts the third Issue Education and Forum with the Oaktree Project and the Brother’s Keeper to learn more about Korea’s aged-out youth population.
Supporting our philanthropy projects, SIWA organizes its first online BAZAAR collaborating with the Association of the Spouses of the Ambassadors in Seoul (ASAS).


SIWA remains resilient and innovative with the launch of few, but important events. SIWA creates a collective giving project (Holiday Toy Drive) with Hanatour Foundation and Jooyeong E&C Corporation for children living in several welfare homes. Again this year, SIWA and ASAS collaborates during the 2nd online Bazaar to support Holy Welfare Family Hospital. SIWA presents its first sustainability forum and even with special guest speaker Dr. Stelios Grafakos from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), who gave a talk on the topic of “Greening Economy Post-COVID 19”. In November, SIWA runs a Rooftop Green Market promoting sustainability and conscious shopping at the Heyground.


In the year of SIWA’s 60th anniversary, the organization was awarded with the SEOUL AWARD from the Seoul Metropolitan Government for its role in the international community building and philanthropy work. While a plaque of appreciation was given by the Korean Unwed Mothers’ Families Association (KUMFA) in commemoration of the 15th International Day Celebration. 

We have organized online webinars for International Women’s Day with Ms Emma Gate (Swedish journalist) and for Earth day with WWF Singapore and WWF Korea to discuss topics on sustainability, while we were able to reconnect with our members and friends through several social gatherings.

One of the highlight events of the year was the SIWA & International Community Fundraising and Food Festival supporting Open Arms Korea and Soyang Rainbow Children’s Home.

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