FACE Africa, the clean water non-profit founded by Liberian-born Saran Kaba Jones held its 4th Annual Benefit Gala at Espace on Saturday, March 23rd. The event attracted close to 350 guests and raised $73,000, enough to build 15 – 20 clean water systems in RiverCess County, one of Liberia’s most marginalized and under-served counties.
The 3-hour event included a cocktail reception, premium hosted bar and an art auction with pieces donated by Aroza Arts. Among the guests attending to support the clean water benefit were supermodel Oluchi Orlandi, actor Gbenga Akinnagbe, former Miss World Agbani Darego, and Ms. Lisa Lovatt-Smith, FACE Africa’s 2012 Honoree and founder of OrphanAid Africa.
The event, co-hosted by attorney, actor, and musician Jabari Gray included a special well auction that encouraged guests to pledge between $50 to $5,000 towards a clean water system. The well auction alone raised $42,000.
Ms. Kaba Jones used the occasion to highlight the water crisis in Liberia and the work that FACE Africa is doing in the country to provide clean water to under-served rural communities. Close to 2 million people, half of the country’s population lack access to safe water and over 3,000 children die every year as a result of waterborne diseases. FACE Africa plans to fund and build 250 water projects over the next 3-5 years, an initiative that will impact 60,000 lives.
The evening was also an opportunity for the organization to recognize and honor some of its key supporters including Lauren States of IBM, Kara Gerson of the Voss Foundation, Kevin McGovern of the The Water Initiative and Dr. Muri Raifu, all of whom were presented with a special award.
This event comes on the heels of World Water Day – a commemorative day created by the United Nations as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
Photo Credit: Yinka Aj of Chocolate Photography