In Shanghaiist’s Philanthropist feature, we highlight individuals and groups doing interesting things to make the world a little bit of a better place. This week we talk to Shelley Bragg of Eat So They Can whose Cocktails for a Cause event this coming Saturday is helping youth in South Africa rise above the pitfalls created by poverty.
Started by the GVN foundation, the Eat So They Can campaign works on several fronts to aid women and children in developing areas of Asia, South America, and Africa. Shelley Bragg has been working with the NGO for some time and has helped host similar fundraisers in Johannesburg as well as one one last year in Shanghai. This time around, the event will be held at Cotton’s Xinhua branch and is timed to coincide with World Hunger Day (Oct. 16th). All of the funds will be going to benefit the Kliptown Youth Program a charity servicing the youth of a town in South Africa.
Where: Cotton’s 294 Xinhua Lu, 新华路294号
Cover: 50RMB donation
Kliptown is one of the oldest townships and incidentally is also the site where the Freedom Charter was adopted in 1955. However, it faces a lack of schools, clinics, electricity and proper sanitation and the people struggle with extremely high rates of unemployment, teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS-related problems. Kliptown Youth’s program takes an all-encompassing approach to poverty and assuages its toll on the minds, bodies, and spirit of the children.
Shelley tells us, “…I have visited the program many times, and had a chance to speak to those in the community, I have seen the impact that KYP has had on the lives of the children they help in their community, and that is why I endeavor to help them however I can.” Their partner, the Global Volunteer Network is making powerful strides providing aid to those who need it too. “They [GVN] have helped support a number of orphanages, helped to build a school. They are helping to build houses in the IDP camps, they have projects around the world.”
Children from Kliptown will be coming to Shanghai to perform gumboot dances and Shelley will be speaking alongside Thulani Madondo, the director of the Kliptown Youth program in South Africa, and Diwen Cao who works for the GVN in New Zealand.
The night has a range of exciting things in store: live sets performed by Break for Borneo, a raffle drawing to win terrific prizes such as a two-night stay at the Grand Mercure hotel, wine packages, tempting Dragonfly massage vouchers and drinks/dinner vouchers from Cottons. Last but not least, they’re bringing in a professional auctioneer to auction off holiday packages and various celebrity memorabilia and dates too! (We’re assured that the candidates are attractive, entertaining, and range in profession, nationality and age. Winning bidders will receive a 250RMB dinner voucher to use at 1221 for their “date.”)
When asked about the response they’ve gotten in the past, she says, “I believe that people in Shanghai are very aware about the need to help others and to give back to the community. I have found that I can easily unite people in Shanghai around a good cause and I have been so touched by the wonderful support that people are always ready to show. These events are not possible without the wonderful people that attend and support them, and they continue to inspire me.The key is to try to reach as many people as possible.”
Shelley adds, “An individual can step forward, and can work towards the cause that they believe in, can put in all the effort and the planning, but it is the wonderful people that attend that make the evening truly possible. The more people that attend, the more money we can raise, and the more lives we can touch, simply by coming together for an entertaining evening.”
It looks to be a promising evening to be enjoyed with great drinks and great people–helping is as easy as that.