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South Africa, 24 October 2016: R1 million raised for UNICEF at The Westin Cape Town Charity Event

© UNICEF South Africa/2016
Jo-Ann Strauss, UNICEF South Africa National Ambassador and Herve de Lys, UNICEF South Africa Representative at the Westin Charity Ball, Cape Town, 22 October.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, 24 October 2016 – On Saturday night, 22 October, prominent South Africans came together to celebrate UNICEF’s work for children at the fourth annual ball organized by The Westin Cape Town. Influential and respected business and private philanthropists in South Africa together with celebrities and socialite supporters, came together to mobilize support for UNICEF South Africa. The charity ball which was held at the prestigious venue in Cape Town also included officials from government, UNICEF ambassadors and leaders, artists, celebrities, press and media partners, business and social leaders.

“I would like to thank all of you, especially The Westin team, for your generous support to the work of UNICEF and for your commitment to ensuring no child is left behind,” said Mr. Herve Ludovic de Lys, UNICEF South Africa Representative.

In 2015, The Westin charity ball raised an estimated R280,000 (US$20,000) which was donated to various educational programmes promoting early childhood development in South Africa. This year, we have far exceeded this figure, reaching more than R350,000 (US$25,000) in funds that will go towards supporting this UNICEF cause and core priority. On the same night, ready-to-use therapeutic food producer GC Rieber, announced that they have donated R340,000 to UNICEF, the Ernest Stempel Foundation handed over a R185,000 cheque to UNICEF and the Graham Beck Foundation made a donation of R50,000.

The foundation laid in early childhood, is critical to shape health, emotional intelligence, responsiveness to education, and brain development, as well as promoting positive social and economic outcomes for the rest of a child’s life. Scientific research shows that it is almost impossible to offset the consequences of inadequate nutrition, access to health care, psycho-social stimulation, early learning and education. Yet, in South Africa, only one in three children attends an early childhood development centre until the age of four, and one in four children is chronically malnourished.

During the event, UNICEF South Africa officially appointed former Miss South Africa and media entrepreneur, Mrs. Jo-Ann Strauss, as its national ambassador. Mrs. Strauss expressed excitement about the honour to lend her voice as an advocate for child rights in South Africa.

“I am humbled to be appointed as UNICEF South Africa Ambassador. I am making the commitment to assist UNICEF in its mission to save and protect the children of South Africa,” said Strauss upon accepting the title.

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For further information, including interviews please contact:
Rayana Rassool, UNICEF South Africa, Mobile: +27 82 561 1168, rrassool@unicef.org

Sandra Bisin, UNICEF South Africa, Mobile: +27 614187486, sbisin@unicef.org

Marilise van Niekerk, The Westin Cape Town, marilize.vanniekerk@westin.com

 

 
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