FACE Africa’s WASH Gala Brings Focus To Basic Necessities
By Monsurat Adebanjo, Contributing Writer, April 7, 2017
FACE Africa’s mission is to bring clean and safe drinking water to communities in Sub-Saharan Africa; the organization has been in operation in Liberia for the last seven years providing WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) services to remote, last-mile communities.
In dedication to its mission and in hopes of bringing awareness to the clean water issue, FACE Africa hosts the WASH Gala, its flagship fundraising event. The Gala also brings attention to the beauty and diversity of African culture and celebrates the accomplishments of Africans making a difference in the diaspora.
The 8th annual FACE Africa WASH Gala for Clean Water took place on March 25th, 2017, at the event venue The Mezzanine, aligning with World Water Day and International Women’s History Month. The organization shared its objective to expand its work into Nigeria this year, where more than 60 million people lack access to clean water and 45,000 Nigerian children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrhea caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water.
This year’s WASH Gala event honored Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, for her tireless commitment to protecting the natural environment and conserving resources for sustainable development, and was hosted by critically-acclaimed Tony Award-nominated actress (Eclipsed) Saycon Sengbloh. The Keynote Speech was delivered by Sundial Brands (SheaMoisture) CEO, Richelieu Dennis.
Some other well-known attendees included: Netflix star, Simone Missick (Marvel’s Luke Cage) and her husband, actor Dorian Missick; Actress Deborah Ayorinde (role in upcoming film Girl’s Trip and Marvel’s Luke Cage); New Pantene model, Demi Grace; Congolese/NY rapper and Jay-Z protege, Young Paris; Nigerian rapper, Mr. Eazi; Zhane songstress, Renee Neufville; and the Editor-In-Chief of FashionBombDaily, Claire Sulmers.
Broadway stars, Afrobeat artists and fashion insiders modeled their African-inspired glam and red carpet gowns at this year’s WASH Gala, working their fashionable poses at what is often referred to as the “African MET Gala.” It was simply a glamorous night where some of the most elite Africans of New York City and their supporters dressed up for a cause.
Thanks to the help of more than 350 supporters and sponsors, FACE Africa raised more than $100,000 USD at this year’s Gala to continue its work in Liberia, where it has succeeded at bringing clean water and community health services to 100,000 people, and to start work in Nigeria.
Cover: Saran Kaba Jones, Gala Host Committee Member at FACE Africa WASH Gala; courtesy of organization.