Tag Archives: Foundation

Drowning is a silent killer, the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury deaths across the world. The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation works tirelessly to save children from death and injury from drowning. On the 21st of April 2017, Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene hosted an exclusive cocktail function in Sandton to personally speak on behalf of her Foundation and engage guests on the importance of its work. Many prestigious South African personalities attended the function and some of South Africa’s most highly-regarded athletes spoke about the work that the Foundation does.

The Foundation was created to raise public awareness about the dangers of wa-ter, teach children preventive measures, and teach them to swim. According to the World Health Organisation, in 2012 approximately 372 000 people died from drowning, making drowning a major public health problem worldwide. Children, particularly in low and middle-income countries, are at the highest risk of drown-ing. Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene is passionate about using her posi-tion as a platform to promote water safety and reduce this serious threat to public health.


Francois Pienaar, Ryk Neethling, Lizette Botha and Dominique Donner all spoke on the work of the Foundation across the country. Princess Charlene also gave a touching speech on how the Foundation is committed to saving lives. According to Her Serene Highness, “Here in South Africa, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death after road accidents." She adds, “We can save so many lives, simply by teaching people essential water safety skills and how to swim and by focusing on one person, one family, one community at a time.”

Gavin Varejes, President of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa, includes, “By working with children in underprivileged areas, who are at greater risk, to teach them about water safety, the Foundation is ensuring that fewer senseless deaths from drowning occur. These children can go on to live healthy and fulfilled lives, and that is key to the future of our country.” In South Africa alone, the Foundation’s three programmes reached the following number of people in 2016: Learn to Swim – 2 507 people; Water Safety – 27 242 people and Sport & Education – 467 people.

Her Serene Highness has also been active at several South African events during her stay. She visited Gugulesizwe Primary School on Friday the 21st of April to meet with staff and children there, as a follow up to her visit in 2012 when she donated a vegetable garden to the school. The thriving garden now helps to feed the community. As part of her visit Princess Charlene, who is also a Patron of the Red Cross, worked with the Red Cross SA to give teachers and children who function as the head of their households a lesson in essential first aid and CPR to help them protect their family and friends. Acting Mayor of Ekurhuleni, Cllr Lesiba Mpya, and the Mayoress, Mrs Sinazo Masina attended the event and generously provided lunch for the 900 school children as well as the staff and guests.

On Saturday, the inaugural Princess Charlene Ladies Day was held at Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg. This charity race day was created to benefit three worthwhile associations through a first-class sporting event for the public to enjoy and featured a raffle prize of an exquisite diamond pendant sponsored by Petra Diamonds. The charities supported by this event were the Red Cross, Gugu-lisizwe Primary School and the Highveld Horse Care Unit. There were two maiden plate races on the day and the Empress Palace Stakes, each of which carried the name of Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene. After the incredible success of the day, it is hoped that this racing event will become one of the most highly an-ticipated events on the Gauteng social calendar, with an increasing number of needy organisations benefiting from the initiative.

For more information on the Foundation please go to http://www.fondationprincessecharlene.mc/en

tribute to jooste

Businessman Gavin Varejes, who heads the SA Rugby Legend Association, delivered a moving eulogy at the memorial service for South African legend Joost van der Westhuizen, who after a long battle, finally succumbed to motor neuron disease.

What does rugby mean to you?

Rugby isn't a sport, it's a brotherhood. It brings together different cultures, races and personalities with one common goal, to get a result after 80 minutes. For this, players sacrifice life and limb and in the process learn more about themselves and their darkest fears, like losing, facing a hostile crowd and disappointment in not only losing a tough game, but also letting your teammates and yourself down.

When and why did you set up the SA Rugby Legends?

The SA Rugby Legends Association was started in 2001 as an "old boys club" for provincial and professional players who still wanted to belong and give back to the game.

What did you hope to achieve with it?

The transition from professional rugby to life after rugby is brutal. If SARLA can make this process easier for ex-players and grow the base of rugby players at grassroots level, it is doing its job. We focus on rugby development and also the wellbeing of the ex-players after rugby.

Describe your relationship with Joost van der Westhuizen

Joost and I had a very open and honest relationship. He was the captain of the SA Rugby Legends and a hero in our country. He was also the tequila king! Off the field and after the party, we were helping transform his sporting skills to a business skill.

Joost was working at one of the companies in our group. In early 2011, I called him in and had concerns that he had been drinking because he was slurring his words and I noticed that his gait was unsteady. He was quite offended and assured me that he hadn't. I thought that he must've been partying too hard and it persisted. I think it really worried him as well.

And then, early in April 2011, he was told that he had 18 to 24 months to live. He was devastated and told me he had motor neuron disease and it was incurable. We cried together, he then got up and walked out. We never cried again together.

What and when was your first interaction with him?

The first time I met Joost, was a few years after the 1995 Rugby World Cup when I got the World Cup captains together, including David Kirk, Nick Farr Jones and Francois Pienaar in 1998. My initial motivation was to unite people and players through sport. Joost was one of the players who put his hand up to make a difference.

Describe Joost as a rugby player.

Joost was one of a kind and well ahead of his time. If you wanted to play against him, you had to play like him or you were lost. Eighty-nine test matches speaks for themselves and 38 tries, twice as many as the scrumhalf who scored the next highest number of tries, is an incredible feat.

Describe him as a rugby legend.

His never-say-die attitude could inspire not only a rugby team but a whole nation and gave many something to believe in the toughest of times, on and off the field.

Describe him as a friend.

Loyal, but also brutally honest at times and often turned this brutality on himself, facing and never cheating “the man in the mirror”. He lived and loved life to the max and had an infectious laugh. His glass was always full, half water, half air. You need both.

What did you learn from knowing Joost?

Never give up. In the darkest days and hours, Joost only wanted two things, to see his two incredible children and to make sure that J9 (his foundation) was doing what it could to help people with MND. He wanted to alert the world to the plight of these sufferers.

I learnt that even I don't know what a bad day is. Joost did. His body became his tomb. MND is in my opinion the worst disease in the world. The day you die, your brain is as alert as the day you get the disease.

I learned what real friendships, integrity, family and brotherhood meant. His family were absolutely epic. His brother Pieter put his life on hold and made the most selfless sacrifices for Joost. He became Joost's alter ego.

What can the Jewish world take from Joost?

Live every day as if it's your last, because one day you're going to be right. Don't sweat the small stuff and it's all small stuff. Surround yourself with positive, wonderful people. I know that Joost did.

Original Article:

Infographic: How much money was raised with the CEO SleepOut?

Yet another successful Sun International CEO Sleep-Out took place this year. Here are some of results and beneficiaries.


The 2016 CEO SleepOut saw South Africa’s C-Suite Members and Influencers spend a winter’s night on the streets gaining empathy for the homeless while raising funds for vulnerable communities.

“This year, just over R20 million was collected and banked so far,” said Gawie Marais, Partner at BDO, the CEO SleepOut Stakeholder Audit Partner. “Donations of R9 million will be awarded to the three Primary Beneficiary Partners equally; The ASHA Trust, Columba Leadership and The Steve Biko Foundation – all of which up-skill the youth and youth educators, or train in early childhood development. As just over R30 million was pledged, a further R10 million will also be divided equally and awarded to those Beneficiary Partners when collected,” said Darren Olivier, Trustee.

Caxton and CTP Publishers was one of the Stakeholders at the event with both Tim Holden, Executive Director and Jaco Koekemoer, Managing Director participating in the actual sleep out.

Caxton also produced the Homeless Talk supplement for the event as a fundraiser this year. The supplement took a look at the representation of homeless people, as well as factors that affect homelessness in SA. A nationally representative data study found that 14 million South Africans go hungry every day. Eleven schools registered and took part in the CEO SleepOut this year.

Summary of funds raised:

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The remaining funds were used to manage this mammoth operation and its associated logistics, with R3 million being kept in reserve to launch The 2017 Event. Over two years, R34 million has been donated to charity, representing 73% of The Project’s income revenue.

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The C-suit members and ambassadors 

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The CEOs who raised the most funds were Brett Levy, Joint Chief Executive Officer, Blue Label Telecoms Ltd, Paul Dunne, Chief Executive Officer, Northam Platinum Ltd, and Gavin Varejes, Executive Chairman, Richmark Holdings.

The primary and secondary beneficiaries included:

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Secondary Beneficiaries in 2016 included Homeless Talk, The Salvation Army, and Gift of the Givers, which all benefited from The Projects affiliated to The CEO SleepOut.

The full participant numbers

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More CEO SleepOut results

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Article originally published midrandreporter.co.za