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People of Phuket: PIWC 30 years, keep on rocking – Interview with Maggy Wigman

The day I met Maggy Wigman, the President of Phuket International Women’s Club (PIWC), her amiable smile, caring voice and elegant azure dress impressed me at first. Only after getting to know her more did I realise just how superficial I was. She is everything more than how she looks.


By Jill N Wells

Wednesday 26 September 2018, 11:29AM


Maggy was born and grew up in Luxembourg. To achieve her own dream and explore the world, she moved to Germany, France, Holland and Singapore, where she worked as a professional career woman. She speaks English, German, French and Dutch fluently, and with her language skills she has been able to know others and help out. After long years of working globally, Maggy and her husband chose Phuket to retire and intend to live in this beautiful island permanently.

Fourteen years ago when Maggy and her husband first moved here, her initiative to help others wouldn’t stop. She simply couldn’t let herself sit back relaxing and watch people around her suffer from the hardship of life. She wanted to get herself involved in the community and help out, to show her appreciation of this island and its people. So Maggy joined the PIWC.

PIWC is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1989 by an Australian lady, Jill Crampton, and other expat ladies who lived in Phuket. As a local social network promoting friendship among women, whether new comers or residents, they can find support within this group from a strong and reliable sisterhood. Want to find some sisters with similar hobbies? Try PIWC.

In addition to the monthly luncheon and coffee mornings there are subgroups like the book club, golf club, tennis club, bridge club, Mah-jong club, Needles & Pin and creative handcraft club. Honestly, once you join PIWC it’s more than friends you can find there, you might even find your life mission, just as Maggy did.

Margaret Thatcher once said, “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” There are now 135 registered members from 30 different nationalities. New members are always welcome and bring in new ideas.

PIWC is the oldest non-profit charity in Phuket, and for more than 22 years has been sponsoring needy Thai students with educational scholarships. In all these years more than 1,400 scholarships have been awarded to girls and boys of different ages. In 2018 alone, 40 plus new students – from high school to university – received financial assistance from PIWC through their newly created International Women’s Foundation (IWF) in 2017. Currently, there are more than 200 students in the IWF/PIWC scholarship programme.

Students’ life quality has been profoundly improved by PIWC scholarships. PIWC members are more than proud of the students’ success. Maggy and all her fellow members believe this is a very rewarding thing to do. Many have been the first member of their family to graduate from high school or university, and have become doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, artists, and working in the hospitality business… with a more promising future ahead of them. This list is still growing.

Ms Woranut Woranuj, with a four-year PIWC scholarship, graduated from Phuket Rajabhat University five years ago. Now she is an announcer on National Broadcast Thailand (NBT). Dr Wansida Chamason, with a six-year PIWC scholarship, now works in Vachira Phuket Hospital as a brilliant doctor.

Ms Woranuj said, “PIWC is our family, other recipients are brothers and sisters to each other. We love this family. As honorable PIWC recipients, we always appreciate the generosity and support. We always bear in mind that we must return the mercy of love from all members.”

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Dr Chamason commented, “PIWC provides me with educational opportunities. They’re my inspiration and supporter. I would like to offer scholarships to other people in need.”

Many of the scholarship recipients are now volunteering and fund-raising to make a difference for other unprivileged children. Maggy believes that one’s good, kind heart is like a magnet that attracts more kind hearts around them.

As the PIWC foundation becomes more well-known, more generous donors and sponsors have joined. With the donations from PIWC members’ monthly luncheons and constant fund-raisings, their foundation has been able to offer more opportunity for the young people with talent and dreams.

Those students who received PIWC scholarships are very hard working and grateful for what they experienced in life, what help they received and what future they are embracing. For this, Maggy and her fellow members appreciate all the help and donations that they can get.

As a single individual, you probably can’t change much. But as a whole team, PIWC members believe that they can make the world a better place.

On knowing what they do and how they behave, it reminds me of another quote from Margaret Thatcher, “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.”

This is what the PIWC members believe. Commitment is an act, not just a word.


Phuket International Women’s Club: PO Box 407 – Phuket 83000 Thailand. For general information: info@piwc-phuket.com Or you can find them via Facebook: Phuket International Women’s Club (PIWC).

 

 

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