November 18, 2013
Nearly 200 women and men at Voss Foundation’s Fourth Annual Women Helping Women New York Luncheon on November 14th, 2013, raised over $75,000 to fund clean water access and sanitation projects for Sub-Saharan African women and their communities through ticket sales, donations, and Voss Foundation’s African Bazaar. Supermodel, actress and philanthropist Selita Ebanks, who was honored last year as Voss Foundation’s 2012 Women Helped Women honoree, hosted as the event’s Mistress of Ceremony at the Dream Downtown hotel in Manhattan.
“Voss Foundation sees access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene as a means to enable community-driven development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our philosophy is to look at the Ripple Effect of clean water – to see the many ways it can impact a community when we work with partners and beneficiaries to maintain the projects for years after implementation, to ensure sustainability,” said Kara Gerson, Executive Director, Voss Foundation. “One drop of water expands in all directions – by building wells and sanitation facilities we helpthe community improve its collective health, hygiene, education, finances, security, and relieve women and children, especially, of the burden of walking miles a day to collect water.”
Philanthropist and international fashion model Gate “Maya” Haile Samuelsson was honored for her work with Three Goats, a nonprofit she and her husband, James Beard Award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson founded to improve the health and well-being of families and children living in their home country of Ethiopia by providing sustainable access to vital and renewable resources. Unfortunately, Maya could not make it back from Africa in time for the luncheon and was unable to receive her award, a custom-made diamond necklace donated by jewelry designer Karen Egren.
At this year’s African Bazaar, Voss Foundation sold artisanal products such as handmade jewelry, scarves, baskets, and toys from the communities in Swaziland, Liberia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Ethiopia and Kenya where the organization works. Shoppers received a tote bag designed by Bonnie Young, and gift certificates from Benefit Cosmetics.
Attendees were treated to a film about the importance of Voss Foundation’s work, created by sponsor Red Stiletto Media. Event designer Angela Giannopolous of Studio 3 donated her time to transform the gallery ballroom, where guests enjoyed wine and prosecco donated by Majestic Fine Wines and water donated by VOSS of Norway.
Thanks to the support of these sponsors and others like BET, GoGreenRide, MamaGlow, and No. 8, Voss Foundation has fully funded the 2013 Women Helping Women dedicated clean water project, to build 2 wells and 45 latrines for 1300 people in Swaziland, the second phase of our 2012 project in the same region. Photos from the event, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency, are available on Facebook.