Two ladies from countries across the world from each other have come together as cochairwomen for this year’s Cherry Blossom Charity Ball. The ball with its featured raffle is a major fundraising event organized each year by the International Ladies Benevolent Society. Money raised is donated directly to approved institutions in Japan and overseas, and to deserving non-Japanese.

“I have been a member of the board of ILBS on and off during the last nine years,” Mrs. Muazaz Kasrawi said. She is the wife of the ambassador of Jordan. “I felt very proud and happy when asked to chair the ball this year, but because I was very busy with our king and queen’s state visit I asked if we could have a cochair, and make this year’s ball a special millennium celebration.”

“I’ve had the honor of being patroness to ILBS for the past four years,” said Mrs. Maria Edileuza Reis. She is the wife of the ambassador of Brazil. “When asked to be cochairperson of the Millennium Ball, I stepped forward without hesitation and with great enthusiasm. I am giving the best of my energies toward making the ball a very successful fundraising event.”

Kasrawi is a popular, lively figure who applies her eagerness to many Tokyo activities. She is native to Amman, capital of Jordan. After completing her education, she worked for a year in Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Reis is in her own right a diplomat. At the University of Brasilia she received a bachelor’s degree in social communication and journalism. From Brazil she went to Paris, where she earned a certificate in the language and civilization of France. Her next certificate was for proficiency in English, earned at the University of Michigan. She began professional diplomatic training in 1977.

Kasrawi met and married her husband, a career diplomat, in Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The couple’s first posting was to New York, where she worked in the press office of the United Nations.

Reis held several positions at home in Brazil, earning regular promotions by merit. Her overseas diplomatic life placed her in Barbados, eight countries on the west coast of Africa, New York and Jamaica. In 1982 she completed the diplomatic negotiation course at the Brazilian Diplomatic Academy.

Kasrawi and her husband went to London, where their son was born. In London she began taking lessons in Western flower arrangements. When the family went to Washington and to New York again, Kasrawi increasingly took up friendship exchange programs, cultural activities and fundraising for charity. She also began taking ikebana lessons in New York with the Sogetsu School.

From the U.S., her husband assumed his first ambassadorial posting in Geneva as permanent representative to the United Nations. In 1990, he was named ambassador to Japan, and the family came to live in Tokyo.

In 1985 Reis accompanied her husband on mission to Argentina. In 1993 they went to the Brazilian Embassy in the Dominican Republic. Coming to Tokyo with their daughter and son in 1996, Reis assumed the appointment of deputy consul general, with her husband the ambassador. For two years now she has been the acting consul general.

Simultaneously, she has followed the diplomatic high studies course of the Brazilian Diplomatic Academy, and completed her Ph.D. thesis on international relations. As well as her fluency in Portuguese, French and English, Reis commands Spanish and Italian. She has been decorated by Argentina and Brazil.

The ladies who work voluntarily for ILBS undertake responsibilities and disciplines on a formidable scale. Kasrawi said, “ILBS is a prestigious, hard-working society with one aim, that is to generate enough contributions to meet its admirable goal of helping as many needy organizations as possible here and abroad.”

Reis said, “It has been a great pleasure to join Japanese ladies and wives of ambassadors of different nationalities in the noble charity work of ILBS. I feel greatly rewarded to know that our joint efforts are benefiting so many needy brothers and sisters in Japan and in many other countries.”

Both of these leading ladies, “overwhelmed by the generosity of sponsors and friends,” announce that ILBS has acquired more than 560 high-value raffle prizes, which include international airline tickets, jewelry, hand-embroidered items from Jordan and semiprecious stones from Brazil.