The Little Traveller's Bakeoff

Here's the article in the JoongAng Daily! Go Elinza and Josephine!

It took longer than usual for Alicia Fredericks to bake peppermint crisp mini-tarts and lemon poppy seed cake last Sunday morning.

The 25-year-old television actress from South Africa was preparing her favorite recipes for a baking competition later that day in Itaewon, Seoul.

The competition, which pitted her against 11 other expats, had alluring prizes such as wine and free meals at expensive restaurants up for grabs.

For most of the participants including Fredericks, however, those prizes came second to their desire to contribute to a good cause.

The event, a bake-off, was part of the Little Travellers HIV/AIDS Initiative.

As part of worldwide social initiatives, Little Travellers, or human-shaped bead pins made by South African women, are sold at events with all proceeds going to help HIV/AIDS patients.

Sunday s was the first baking event organized for that purpose in Korea.

Even if I had won nothing, I would have still felt good, said a smiling Fredericks after she received two prizes in a vote: the tasters choice award and the strangest concoction prize.

This event is for a very good cause, she said.

The event organizer was Elinza Pretorious, also a 25-year-old South African.

She became aware of the Little Travellers AIDS initiative after she saw her close expat friend, Craig Kulyk, from Canada, wearing a Little Traveller pin.

Through individual efforts and a group fund-raising event, Kulyk introduced the Little Travellers initiative in Korea.

If Canadians come to Korea and do something for South Africa, then I thought I really should do something for South Africa, because I am from South Africa, Pretorious said.

She became more involved in the campaign last December, when she visited Hillcrest AIDS Centre in South Africa. The center launched the Little Travellers AIDS initiative.

Upon returning to Korea, Pretorius, a business owner, came up with the idea of raising funds through a bake-off.

The owner of the Cake House Wien Bakery in Itaewon, whom Pretorious sometimes helps cater for, lent the event venue for free.

Besides the 12 bakers from South Africa, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Serbia, around 100 expats and some Koreans took part in the cause as tasters on Sunday, according to Pretorius.

For the bake-off, tasters paid 10,000 won ($9.60) and bakers paid 5,000 won.

The proceeds will be used for relief efforts by Hillcrest AIDS Centre and for the pin makers, she said.

This combines our talent with a good cause, and has turned out to be a great success, Pretorious said.

Those who missed the chance to participate on Sunday will have another opportunity on May 31. Kulyk, along with 15 other expats and Korean volunteers, is organizing another Little Travellers fund-raising event in Itaewon.

Three Itaewon bars Rocky Mountain Tavern, the Wolfhound Irish Pub and B1 will provide live music and drinks to people buying the Little Travellers pins for 10,000 won.

The May 31 event is about people who want to go out and have a few drinks and also support a worthy cause, said Kulyk, 26.

Hopefully we can use this event to expand Little Travellers initiatives throughout Korea, not only among the expat community but also among Koreans, he said.

By Moon Gwang-lip Staff Reporter []

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