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South Africa, 16 October 2017: R1 million raised for UNICEF at The Westin Cape Town Charity Ball

© UNICEF South Africa/2017
Techno Girl Siphokazi, currently studying Chemistry, shared her experience with UNICEF South Africa Ambassador, Jo-Ann Strauss, at the Westin Cape Town Ball.

Cape Town, South Africa, 16 October 2017 – This year’s fifth UNICEF ball organized by The Westin Cape Town on Saturday, 14 October, was a memorable marriage of beauty, talent, humanitarianism and generosity coming to life in one room. Influentials, media, private philanthropists and socialites came together to celebrate UNICEF’s work for children. UNICEF South Africa’s Ambassador, Jo-Ann Strauss, and business woman and media celebrity Carol Bouwer were also in attendance.

In 2016, The Westin Charity Ball raised an estimated R400,000 (US$28,000) 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 R1 million (US$75,000) in funds that will go towards supporting this UNICEF cause and core priority. As part of this amount, on the same night, the Ernest Stempel Foundation handed over a R200,000 cheque to UNICEF.

The first two to three years of life have a profound effect on a child’s future – on his or her health, education, wellbeing and financial success as an adult. When parented with love, nourished and cared for in safe and stimulating environments, children develop the cognitive, emotional and behavioural skills they need to embrace opportunity and bounce back from adversity. Yet, in South Africa, one in three children experiences violence during their childhood. Children under age 5 are at particular risk of violence and maltreatment in the home - including corporal punishment - and are the most vulnerable to the long-term negative effects.

“Thousands of children in South Africa are still denied protection, love, good food and play that will support their growth and development. But I’m hopeful because of this gathering tonight and I am grateful to those of you I’ve met who are committed to fight for a more equal world, to fight for a greater world, for every child,” said Sandra Bisin, UNICEF South Africa Chief of Communication & Partnerships.

During the event, 19 year-old Siphokazi Dayimane, who has been part of one of the Techno Girl programme, an innovative job shadowing programme that helps strengthen girls’ entry and learning in technical fields the economy requires: science, technology, engineering and Mathematics (STEM), supported by UNICEF, the Uweso trust and the Government of South Africa. Siphokazi shared her personal story.

“Through Techno Girl, I was exposed to different careers and I learnt so much from them. It gave me the opportunity to meet with successful women who were willing to empower other young women,” Siphokazi shared.


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.

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For further information, including interviews please contact:
Rayana Rassool, UNICEF South Africa, Mobile: +27 82 561 1168,
Sandra Bisin, UNICEF South Africa, Mobile: +27 614187486,
Marilize van Niekerk, The Westin Cape Town,



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