SA celebs heed the call to join Princess Charlene of Monaco's #strongtogether campaign
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Oscar Wilde once said “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.” It’s a fitting quote as the world rallies together to fight a global pandemic. Now, more than ever, people want to make a difference - no matter how big or small.
In South Africa the spirit of Ubuntu has reached a crescendo as organisations and citizens answer the call to action to do their part as hunger and unemployment threaten to engulf the vulnerable in a country struggling to come to terms with a killer virus that knows no race or culture.
Her Serene Highness (HSH) Princess Charlene of Monaco is using her platform to connect with more than 70 celebrities and sports stars and their various charities. The former SA Olympic swimmer and the Princess Charlene Foundation of Monaco South Africa, in collaboration with some of SA’s top celebrities and global NGOs, has launched a social awareness initiative that aims to inspire, save lives, and impact communities with the #strongtogether Celebrity Challenge.
The celebrity with the most votes from the public wins the challenge. One lucky person also stands a chance at winning a trip to the Monaco GP 2021.
Some of the ambassadors taking part in the challenge include Bryan Habana, Kurt Darren, Jeannie D, Melinda Bam, Gareth Cliff, Terence Parkin, Victor Matfield, Juandre Kruger, Kefilwe Mabote, Margaret Hirsch, Louis Oosthuizen and Angelique Gerber Potgiete. Thus far, the #strongtogether Celebrity Challenge has reached over 500 000 people and extended to June 16.
The former SA Olympic swimmer and the Princess Charlene Foundation of Monaco South Africa has brought together some of SA’s top celebrities and global NGOs to launch a social awareness initiative after her husband Prince Albert of Monaco tested positive for Covid-19.
In South Africa, the foundation has implemented projects in Cape Town, KwaZulu-Natal, and Gauteng, reaching out to underprivileged youth and teaching them how to enjoy the benefits of sport in a safe and controlled manner. With the impact of Covid-19, the organisation is now creating awareness around the virus and getting hands-on by donating thousands of face masks and helping those in need.
To find out more about the foundation’s work in South Africa, we chatted to foundation director and HSH’s sister-in-law, Chantell Wittstock.
Q: In a nutshell, can you explain the #strongtogether initiative and what the challenge entails?
A: We’re creating a platform where we can collaborate with charities, foundations and celebrities to create awareness and reach as many people from all walks of life to help provide relief assistance to the devastation caused by Covid-19.
Q: Getting so many celebrities to participate must have been a challenge, how did your foundation accomplish this?
A: It was actually not as difficult as we anticipated it would be. The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation has been going since 2012 and Here Serene Highness is an extremely passionate South African who has been actively involved in many initiatives alongside many of our celebrity ambassadors. Her foundation has reached over 500 000 children worldwide. When we introduced the #strongtogether concept to our celebrity ambassadors, they immediately jumped on board and got involved.
Some of the celebrity ambassadors taking part in the challenge include Bryan Habana, Kurt Darren, Jeannie D, Melinda Bam, Gareth Cliff, Terence Parkin, Victor Matfield, Juandre Kruger, Kefilwe Mabote, Margaret Hirsch, Louis Oosthuizen and Angelique Gerber Potgiete.
Q: Overall, what has the response to the campaign been thus far?
A: We have been completely overwhelmed by the incredible response! Not only do we have just 70 ambassadors but we are still receiving requests on a daily basis for more people wanting to get involved. We have fantastic support from the public, our ambassadors, community leaders and businesses both locally and internationally. It is truly inspiring to see the support the foundation has mobilised to live out our mission under #strongtogether.
Q: The campaign must have special meaning for HSH Princess Charlene, are there plans for her to visit South Africa with her foundation once it is safe to do so?
A: This campaign is very close to her heart. Her Serene Highness is extremely passionate about her foundation, she has a passion for saving lives and transforming lives of children across the world through sport and education. She will most certainly visit South Africa as soon as she can.
Q: Are there plans for the foundation to do more outreach work in SA once the challenge has ended?
A: The foundation’s core ambitions and vision has never changed and we will continue to strive and to raise public awareness around the dangers of water and drowning, to teach children preventative measures to decrease water related morbidity and mortality and to teach people how to swim, through our sports and education programmes and forge new collaborations with in SA and other countries.
Q: Does your foundation have a special message for the children of SA?
A: The foundation's role and message to children has always been to inspire and to bring hope. To help children realise they have the potential to be anything they want to be. The Princess Charlene of Monaco foundation is about children who can become great adults if we collectively show them the way forward with strong sports value and solidarity.
You can follow and partake in the #strongtogether Celebrity Challenge on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the foundation’s website
The public can support their celebrity by visiting pcmfsa.com/ambassadors/ and donate to their chosen campaign, or enter a competition where they stand a chance to join them at the F1 Monaco GP in 2021 and a five-day stay at the five-star Etali Safari Lodge in Madikwe.