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Our Story

Since its founding in 1962, SIWA has been a hub for women to connect, learn about diverse cultures, and share their talents to support each other and those in need. Born from the passion of a small group of women dedicated to community connection and making a difference, their commitment to unity and a virtuous circle of giving continues today.

At SIWA, we prioritize action over words, constantly creating meaningful activities that empower women and positively impact our communities. Join us in our mission to drive change through creativity and collaboration.

SIWA is a rich tapestry of diverse cultural backgrounds, each thread bringing unique experiences and perspectives. Celebrating diversity and inclusion has been a core value for over six decades, making SIWA a vibrant and welcoming community for all.

We warmly invite you to connect with Seoul’s international and local communities through SIWA, where you can find a place to belong and contribute.


SIWA’s variety of activities reflects the diversity of its members. As this photo from 1965 shows, there is a constant flow of creativity and synergy when members come together to plan something new and exciting. The 2016 SIWA Gala featured a special fashion show by HEILL, a couture brand of womenswear and menswear.


SIWA believes in the power of giving to improve society. This letter, written in 1970, shows how the donation helped a Korean family recover from a major flood. SIWA continues its legacy of supporting vulnerable communities. Between May 2014 and April 2015, SIWA donated over KRW 133 million to 22 Korean charities.


Here is a photo of the official opening ceremony of the SIWA & Diplomatic Community Bazaar, which has been supported by more than 80 organizations and diplomatic missions, including representatives from 34 embassies, non-profit organizations, and SIWA sponsors. SIWA raised over 3 billion won and donated all to various charities.


Each year, members dedicate their time and skills to planning and organizing the SIWA & Diplomatic Community Bazaar, a day of celebration of diverse cultures, unity, and giving. All proceeds benefit marginalized and disadvantaged communities in Korea.


SIWA’s 50th Anniversary Golden Luncheon was held at the Grand Hyatt on May 9th, and over 180 guests were there to celebrate our outstanding members. Later this year, SIWA hosted the special exhibition ‘Colors of Seoul’ at the Seoul Museum of History, showing various artworks done by over 40 members.


SIWA believes in the power of unity and has actively fostered collaboration with other organizations. In 2013, SIWA initiated 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). This project aimed to benefit Baby Box and honor its founder, Pastor Jong-rak Lee.


SIWA Book Club is one of the longest-running interest groups, and the passion among its members is truly inspiring. The club fosters lively discussions, deepens cultural understanding, and creates lasting friendships. Members eagerly share their insights and perspectives, making each meeting a rich and rewarding experience.


SIWA launched its first Philanthropy Project to play a more active role in supporting and empowering marginalized communities. Through in-depth research of diverse social issues and visits to various charities, the Welfare Committee members explored ways to ensure the project had a significant impact on the community.


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. Members were honoured to take part in this meaningful event.


SIWA hosted the first Issue Education and Forum with several experts on multicultural students from low-income families in Korea. Members and guests learned about the rapid growth in the number of students with multicultural backgrounds, which now stands at about a hundred thousand, and vowed to explore further ways to support these students. 


SIWA participated as a special performer at the Itaewon Global Village Festival and was featured on the ‘10 Everyday’ program on TBS eFM hosted by Jasmine Lee. It was a beautiful celebration of diverse women joining through music and dance, and the members lost themselves in singing and dancing to Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and “I Have a Dream.”


Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, SIWA continued supporting the Korean Unwed Mothers’ Families Association (KUMFA), the second recipient of the Philanthropy Project. Additionally, SIWA hosted the third Issue Education event focused on Korea’s aged-out youth and organized its first online Bazaar in collaboration with the Association of the Spouses of the Ambassadors in Seoul (ASAS).


It was an impactful year. Collaborating with the Hanatour Foundation and Jooyeong E&C Corp., SIWA created a collective giving project, Holiday Toy Drive, for children living in welfare homes. It hosted its first sustainability forum with a special guest speaker, Dr. Stelios Grafakos from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), and organised a Rooftop Green Market promoting sustainability and conscious shopping.


In celebration of its 60th anniversary, SIWA received the SEOUL AWARD from the Seoul Metropolitan Government for positively impacting our communities and a plaque of appreciation from the Korean Unwed Mothers’ Families Association. One of the highlights was the SIWA & International Community Fundraising and Food Festival, organized in collaboration with the diplomatic communities to support charities.


SIWA embarked on a transformative journey with the new motto “Coming Together to Inspire and Empower” to amplify our mission to drive positive change. We initiated several significant long-term impact projects, including “Coming Together” – the collaborative youth social impact initiative. The AMCHAM Journal, CSR News & Highlights, and the Korea Times featured the initiative.


In January of this year, SIWA successfully transitioned into a nonprofit corporation (NPO) under the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and introduced a new visual identity to honor the past, celebrate the present, and envision the impactful future. The star-shaped logo with seven “asterisks” symbolizes SIWA’s virtuous circle of positive impact, encapsulating the seven core values: diversity, inclusion, respect, unity, collaboration, giving, and empowerment.

Join SIWA Today!