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Balikpapan International Women's Association

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

(formerly Balikpapan Expatriate Women's Club)

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The Balikpapan International Women's Association (BIWA) was established in 1994 to give support and friendship to BIWA members and to give aid to those in need.

Over the years the BIWA has provided support for numerous local charity projects. For example, we have provided:

  • Career training for young women,
  • Education support for boys and girls,
  • Meals for the elderly, and
  • Much needed renovations and construction for local orphanages. Recent new projects include:
    • Helping local preschools,
    • Helping Dayak Communities through WEHEA,
    • Helping with education about Borneo Sun Bears,
    • Funding and taking part in dental days for local communities,
    • Paying school tuition for various students, and
    • Giving emergency relief to those who have lost their homes through fire or flood.

For more information and photographs of recent BIWA charity projects, please go to our website.

Calendar Project

BIWA’s annual calendar project is very popular both in Indonesia and overseas. Local Balikpapan companies sponsor the production of the calendar, which contains photographs of Indonesia chosen in an annual photography competition. If you are interested in purchasing a colourful, professional calendar, please contact us.

All proceeds from calendar sales go to support BIWA charity projects. Cost of the calendar is 50,000Rp.

BIWA Activities & Events

BIWA is an active group with weekly, monthly and annual events and activities.

A sampling of our recent activities and events include:

  • Weekly recreational activities, such as mountain biking, tennis, golf, bridge, mahjong, and crafts
  • Special events, such as a Welcome Back barbecue and an Annual Ball
  • Monthly meetings with international themes and treats
  • Monthly programs in which guest speakers present information on a variety of topics, such as orchids, Indonesian weddings, local getaways and traditional Indonesian dance
  • The extremely popular BIWA Bazaar which features local handicrafts from dozens of artisans
  • Production of the BIWA calendar
  • BIWA International Food Fair

Members and friends make a variety of tasty foods from their home countries.

In recent years, for example, BIWA members and their guests indulged in foods from: Algeria, Australia, Canada, France, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, The Netherlands, Russia, Spanish speaking ladies' group, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, U.S.A.

The cooks and chefs decorate their stalls in traditional colors and wear traditional clothing to make the event an incredibly dazzling and tasty affair!


Membership to BIWA is open to any woman who is or has been a citizen of a foreign country and is residing in Indonesia.

Membership is also open to Indonesian women who can actively contribute to BIWA activities.

For more information on membership, refer to the BIWA website.

Membership in BIWA includes the following benefits:

  • Regular newsletters, which keep members current on Balikpapan happenings and news
  • Balikpapan Shopper's Guide
  • Members Directory
  • Informative Emails
  • Discounts at BIWA-sponsored activities and events, and numerous local stores
  • Information on a variety of social activities and events

A book entitled "Living In Balikpapan Guide" provides a wealth of information about shops, businesses, things to see & do around Balikpapan, plus other information. A very useful tool for newcomers to Balikpapan as well as tourists visiting Balikpapan. The book is now on sale for Rp 80,000 per copy and available from BIWA. The book can be mailed anywhere in Indonesia for extra Rp 20,000 or mailed internationally for a small fee.

Last updated May 30, 2012

Housing and schooling information for expats in Indonesia expatriate website for Indonesia Indonesian language translation of article

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

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