On 6 May this year, UNICEF will present its first Gala event in South Africa to engage some of the most respected, high-profile individuals in the country to leverage their support to enhance care and protection of children from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
UNICEF's inaugural fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, in Rosebank, Johannesburg, is a VIP event that will help catalyze further investments for children in need.
This year, UNICEF's global 'Ending Violence against Children' campaign and the visit of UNICEF's Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Priyanka Chopra, to South Africa, on 6 May, to highlight the challenges faced by children affected by violence, is providing UNICEF with a unique opportunity to profile our mandate and values that guide our daily work, for every child, in South Africa.
Ms. Priyanka Chopra served as a UNICEF national Ambassador in India for nearly ten years and was recently appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She is an award-winning actress and currently features in the Hollywood series 'Quantico'.
The Gala Dinner will be a key public advocacy moment to call on everyone in South Africa to end violence against children and to create circles of care and protection in their homes and communities. While South Africa has made impressive socio-economic progress, these achievements still need to be translated into gains for some of the country's most vulnerable children.
The event will be moderated by UNICEF South Africa Ambassador Jo-Ann Strauss and will feature a fashion show by renowned designer Gavin Rajah, also a UNICEF South Africa Ambassador. In addition, there will be a live auction where funds raised will go towards the child protection programmes of UNICEF South Africa.
According to Herve Ludovic de Lys, Representative of UNICEF South Africa: "The Convention on the Rights of the Child was the first international treaty signed by the first democratic government of South Africa and, over 20 years later we have collectively learned how to create effective circles of care and protection for children. The urgent matter today is twofold: to put this knowledge into use by enhancing effective child protection approaches; and to support the millions of children trapped in poverty by improving the quality of public expenditures."
To strengthen the progress made by South Africa in child protection and forge government-led innovative protection services, UNICEF funding relies 100% on voluntary donations. Therefore, proceedings from the annual Gala event will solely benefit children that are vulnerable to adverse socio-economic conditions and particularly those affected by disabilities.
Sponsors of the event include IBV Gold, and the Ryan Trust.