A celebration was held at Tutto il Giorno in Southampton on Monday, as the Voss Foundation, dedicated to providing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene as a means to enable community-driven development in Sub-Saharan Africa, and raising awareness of the ongoing needs in the regions, held its Women Helping Women Hamptons Annual Luncheon.
The Voss Foundation, founded by the directors of Voss of Norway ASA as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, has funded water access points and sanitation facilities in Kenya, Mali, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Swaziland and Uganda.
Women Helping Women (WHW) is a Voss Foundation “Global, grassroots initiative that brings together champions of clean water to improve the lives of women and their communities worldwide.”
The delightful afternoon began with a wonderful African bazaar offering a collection of jewelry, accessories, toys, backpacks and home items, including pillows, bowls, baskets and more, as well as scarves, shawls and clutches, all made in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Swaziland and Uganda. Available for purchase, and with cloth shopping bags provided to guests, these beautiful, crafted and memorable items, priced very reasonably, drew almost everyone to reach for their wallets.
Magatte Wade, former WHW honoree (2015), and this year’s Mistress of Ceremonies, is the founder and CEO of Tiossan, a high-end skin care product line based on indigenous Senegalese recipes and ingredients. Named one of the “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa” by Forbes, this no nonsense, intelligent lady made a lasting impression on guests by affirming that the Voss Foundation did not make a one-time big splash, but has continued its support and commitment to this very worthy cause. WHW donors, when circumstances permit, also have the unique opportunity to travel to project sites and meet the women and communities they have helped.
Affectionately referred to as the “Angel of Africa,” MacDella Cooper introduced this year’s honoree, Georgie Badiel. Cooper stressed the importance of building collaborations for those “from the soil of Africa.”
Badiel is a model and activist from Burkina Faso. As a former Miss Burkina Faso and Miss Africa (2004), she is also a co-author of the book The Water Princess. The Georgie Badiel Foundation, which provides access to clean drinking water, as well as building sanitation facilities and tree planting, is an extension of her commitment and passion for her homeland. Addressing the gathering she humbly acknowledged this great honor bestowed on her.
After a delicious meal of Antipasti, Penne, Pesce and Tropical Fruit, accompanied by beverages generously donated by Voss Water, Blue Nectar Tequila, Purus Vodka and Chateau Ste. Michelle, guests were sated, happy and made more fully aware of the tremendous work Voss Foundation Women Helping Women continually accomplishes.
Notable attendees included Gabby Karan DeFelice, Cristina Cuomo, Judith Giuliani, Susan Shin, Yana Bolan, Elizabeth Belfer, Raysa Fanjul, Andrea Greeven Douzet, Kathleen Tait, and Diana DiMenna. The Women Helping Women Hamptons Annual Luncheon raised $33,000 for the Voss Foundation.
For more information, visit www.vossfoundation.org.