We had the pleasure of being one of the sponsors at the Denim & Diamonds 4th Annual High Tea held at the Summerstrand Hotel on Human Rights Day on March 21st this year. The Oracle Media team covered the photography and videography of this prestigious event and captured all the joyous moments in between.

Renowned Port Elizabeth lawyer, Tania Koen, was the Master of Ceremony and the guest speaker invitation was extended to Mr. South Africa 2015/16, Armand Du Plessis, who frequents the SOS Children’s Villages as a celebrity volunteer.

Denim and Diamonds were the order of the day as they are fashion trends in all our cupboards and never goes out of style. Everyone felt right at home! Port Elizabeth really turned up or shall I say really ‘turnt up’ in true urban slang style and the attendees were so passionate about supporting the event that they woke up a little early on a public holiday to support a great cause.

Human Rights Day marks a legendary day in South African history. We celebrate the signing in of our new constitution in 1996 in post-Apartheid South Africa. The human rights of all South Africans are entrenched in the constitution such as the right to life, shelter and basic education amongst others and are protected by law.

One of the saddest realities in our country are some of the existing socio-economic issues such as poverty & unemployment that results in illiteracy and people being destitute, especially children without a proper home or not living under the guidance of parents for added support.

The SOS Children’s Villages South Africa works with two target groups, children facing a significant risk of losing the care of their parents and children who have already lost the care of their parents. They support families, with children, who could due to home life circumstances lose the care of their parents. Typically these are families where one or both parents are terminally ill (HIV/AIDS and other illnesses), where children are living in a single parent family without means to care for their own children or families where grandparents or siblings are heading the household, due to the death of a parent/s.

Support is provided to strengthen these families to care for their own children and prevent them from being separated from their families of origin. Support given typically includes: Food security, income generating activities (like the denim recycling project), education support – ensuring children have school uniforms and money for transport to school, building materials in some cases to repair housing structures, respite care, after school care and homework support, support groups, counselling and access to basic health services and social grants. Social work services for children who can no longer live in their families of origin and need to be removed and placed in alternative care settings, like a children’s home.

The recycled denim items on display that were up for sale at the event, ranging from duvet covers to handbags and jewellery accessories, were hand-made by members from local communities supported through SOS Family Strengthening activities, in and around Port Elizabeth, to generate funds to care for their own children.

The teach a man how to fish principle has brought some relief to local families. It is their vision to roll the denim recycling project out nationally, where other SOS Family Strengthening activities are taking place.

Two hours of networking, inspirational talks, inactive games and delicious treats were all centred beautifully by colourful people. The diva duo from The Nu Line Dance group got everyone in celebratory jive mode and the sparkling jazz covers of singer, Marelize Booysen, livened up the heart of the event even more. Also present, to share with those in attendance was the National Director of SOS Children’s Villages South Africa, Stephen Miller, who spoke about the role of SOS and how all have a role to play to bring about change in how children are treated within our country. Children’s rights are Human rights.

Being a non-profit organisation, SOS Children’s Villages relies on funding from various sources, government, as well as, local companies and individual donors.

It was heart-warming to hear how SOS staff members’ closing speeches unanimously gave praise to all the sponsors and stakeholders who allow them to expand their main vision of providing loving homes for children in need, to see more children succeed in life.

Should you wish to join the cause as a volunteer or sponsor or need more information, please contact Mandy Spies – Corporate Fundraiser for SOS Children’s Villages South Africa on mandy.spies@sos.org.za or 041 4512812.

Or visit their website – www.sossouthafrica.org.za

Yet another successful fundraising event with one simple message: Empower poverty by always sparkling!

See you next year!!!