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South Africa, 21 March 2018: UNICEF launches Influential Women Circle with Special Advocate Carol Bouwer

© UNICEF South Africa/2018
UNICEF South Africa’s Special Advocate, Mrs. Carol Bouwer, visited children at the Grabouw Safe Park in the Western Cape on 20 March 2018.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, 21 March 2018 – Yesterday evening, on the eve of Human Rights Day, UNICEF launched the Influential Women Circle with its Special Advocate, media celebrity and entrepreneur, Mrs. Carol Bouwer.

The Influential Women Circle is a group of influential South African women who have joined together to protect the lives of the country’s most vulnerable children.

Mr. Hervé Ludovic de Lys, UNICEF South Africa’s Representative stated that: “Through this unique and innovative partnership, we hope that all of you gathered here tonight will change the face of philanthropy in South Africa and set a new standard for reaching out to the most vulnerable.

In the spirit of Human Rights Day, there is no better time to invite you to join UNICEF and shine a spotlight on those very voiceless children who are being abused, whose bodies and souls have been violated.”

The Influential Women Circle will form a national women’s giving circle – with an initial target of raising over 200,000 USD over the next two years to fund UNICEF’ effort in undertaking the #ENDviolence against children campaign in South Africa, building on the Government’ vision to better protect children from violence, abuse, neglect, exclusion and inequality, and to help unlock much needed funding from corporates and individuals to scale up proven, effective and sustainable solutions to address this major impediment to ensuring that every child has the best start in life.

A media company owner and founder and CEO of Carol Bouwer productions, Mrs. Bouwer was appointed UNICEF South Africa’s Special Advocate for the platform earlier this year.

The Influential Women Circle members will embark on a truly transformative experience: attending national development learning sessions with UNICEF experts; traveling to the field to see firsthand the needs of children at risk and the solutions that work; and networking with like-minded philanthropists from all over the world to positively transform children’ health, wellbeing and future.

Between 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys experience some form of violence prior to age 18 and many of them experience repeated and multiple forms of violence, most often by people they are close to and in places where they should feel safe - at home, in their communities and in schools. In disadvantaged communities, children often lack opportunities and safe spaces to learn, play and just enjoy their childhood.

In the afternoon, Carol Bouwer and members of the Influential Women Circle visited a Safe Park in Grabouw, in the Western Cape. Safe Parks are part of the national Isibindi initiative, designed by South Africa’s National Association of Child Care Workers, supported by UNICEF and the government. The model is a community-based care and protection intervention for children. It is implemented in over 400 sites in the 9 provinces of South Africa, servicing over 350,000 vulnerable children. The Isibindi model aims to respond holistically to the needs of children, youth and families who are vulnerable and at risk of abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation. Unemployed community members are screened, selected, trained and deployed as child and youth care workers servicing families in their own communities.

“Carol Bouwer is a supporter, a philanthropist, and a committed global citizen. She has and continues, to work tirelessly to make a difference to society’s most vulnerable, using various platforms. Let us make today’s launch the start of a powerful, sustainable platform that will make a difference to the lives of children”, concluded Mr. Ludovic de Lys.

Children should feel safe at home, in school and in their communities. For many children, violence wears a familiar face. Violence may be closer to home than you think. Recognize it. Report it.


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

Follow UNICEF South Africa on Twitter and Facebook

For more information, please contact:
Sandra Bisin, Chief of Communications, UNICEF South Africa, +27 61 418 7486,

Sudeshan Reddy, Communication Specialist, UNICEF South Africa, +27 82 561 3970,



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