FACE Africa 10th WASH Gala
Do you hate it when you burn your mouth while eating delicious hot food? Or when your phone charger won't reach your bed? While you are here complaining about your #firstworldproblems, there are millions of people elsewhere facing daily concerns of survival. It may seem ridiculous, but there are millions of people in the world today, who still do not have basic access to clean water and food.
This lack of access to water can be fatal, particularly for children. The absence of clean water and basic sanitation is among the leading causes of mortality among those younger than five all across Africa. Every year, FACE Africa hosts one of the largest gatherings of Africans and Friends of Africa in the movement to make a difference in their respective industries and communities, while raising money and awareness for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs and facilities around the continent.
On March 24, 2019, to commemorate World Water Day, FACE Africa hosted its 10th Annual WASH Gala on Saturday March 23, at Guastavino’s New York. This landmark 10th anniversary event drew attention to the clean water epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa and raised funds for clean water initiatives.To date, FACE Africa has impacted over 150,000 people in Liberia and Nigeria, with plans to expand to Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique.
Nearly 500 guests packed the iconic venue to honor soccer legend Didier Drogba, Actress Nomzamo Mbatha, and Bozoma Saint John, CMO at Endeavor. Delivering the 2019 keynote address was Target Corp’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Human Resources, Ms. Caroline Wanga. Honorees were presented with New York State Proclamations and VIP guests included President of the Toronto Raptors Masai Ujiri, CEO of Red Media Group Adebola Williams and Nelson Muffuh from the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General. The event concluded with an afterparty, hosted by Tanzanian Pop Star Vanessa Mdee and performances by South African artist Moonchild Sennelly.
FACE Africa promotes the key role of the diaspora in contributing back to the continent’s development. As Gala Co-Chair Adebola Williams stated, “my mission here is to remind us all that Africa depends on [the diaspora] more than ever.” The 2019 Gala grossed $230,000 from sponsorships, gala ticket sales, donations and pledges and funds will go towards FACE Africa’s clean water advocacy and infrastructure initiatives. “As always, we were so touched and humbled by the outpouring of love and support from our sponsors, donors and the hundreds of guests who came out in support of our work and mission,” said Saran Kaba Jones, Founder and CEO of FACE Africa. “It was truly a magical evening of celebration and inspiration and we’re so grateful to every single person who joined us on Saturday night.”
During the Gala, an announcement was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Ondo State, Nigeria on Innovation and Partnerships. The Government of Ondo State recently launched a Water and Sanitation Campaign program in which they will invest
$5.2 Million to build WASH projects across 500 communities in Ondo State in the next year. The Governor has pledged to partner with FACE Africa and double every dollar invested in the WASH sector of Ondo State to the tune of $1.4million over the next year. So next time when you’re thinking about buying that expensive bag or that fancy meal. Think about how much your contributions would help others obtain things we take for granted.