The Women’s International Group (WIG) was formed in the early 1990s in Vientiane, Lao PDR by a small group of expatriate women. They felt a need to have an organization which would support women who moved to Lao PDR. WIG gave these women a place where they could meet others like themselves, make friends and take part in activities while living in Lao PDR. The three main missions of WIG as an organization are:
1. To provide a support system for foreign women residing in Lao PDR
2. To raise funds for projects benefiting underprivileged Lao women and children
3. To create opportunities for members to learn more about Lao history, culture and current affairs.
Since its founding, WIG has grown to include more than 200 members and a wide variety of activities. Men are now also members of WIG in small but increasing numbers. There are also some members who are not expatriates.
"...WIG has grown to include more than 200 members..."WIG offers monthly planned social activities, regular gatherings organized by the Culture Study Group, the WIG World newsletter, and smaller groups centered around special interests like art, singing, sewing and golf.
The main fundraising activities are the WIG Bazaar and the Summer Ball. The Bazaar began in 1991 and the Summer Ball in 2006.
The WIG Bazaar features entertainment, a raffle, booths where vendors sell a huge variety of products, and information booths by many international NGOs and businesses. There is truly nothing else like it in Vientiane.
Income from the Bazaar and other sources is used to fund WIG Education projects and also to aid patients from all over Lao PDR who come to hospital for much needed surgery. WIG projects are run by members who volunteer their time and effort, so all funds earned through fundraising go directly to these projects.
"... all funds earned through fund raising go directly to projects..."
WIG is governed by an Executive Committee of officers and heads of committees which are elected each February at an Annual General Meeting to which all members are invited. It’s an excellent way for someone new to Lao PDR to get to know people and engage in interesting and worthwhile activities. A wide variety of professional skills are always needed as WIG continues go grow as an organization. Please browse through the rest of this website for more information about the different parts of WIG. We hope you will become a member if you live or are coming to live in Lao PDR.