Since 2009, Saran Kaba Jones has raised more than $250,000 for clean water projects in Liberia with via her nonprofit, FACE Africa, and partners including the Voss Foundation, JP MorganChase Community Giving, P&G’s Covergirl, The Global Neighborhood Fund, Chevron, the Coca-Cola Co., and The Segal Family Foundation.
“I’m continuing in the legacy of my father, who always stressed to me about reaching back and being of service,” Jones said at the event, which was held at New York’s beautiful Chelsea Piers. For her work, Jones has been listed by the Guardian UK as one of Africa’s 25 Top Women Achievers, alongside President Joyce Banda of Malawi and Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee and was named a 2013 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
The event came during a month that advocates for water preservation and access via World Water Day as well as women via Women’s History Month. In most African communities, women are the main collectors, managers, and guardians of water for household chores. They spend about 60% of their day collecting water, which translates to 110 million collective work hours. Women and girls are disproportionally burdened by scarcity of clean drinking water, and the crisis has a direct impact on education attainment as well as an effect on the social and economic capital of women in terms of leadership, earnings, and working opportunities.
This year’s WASH Gala brought out some of the who’s who in global business and leadership, all lending their support to help in raising funds to provide 30 clean water projects for Rivercess County, Liberia—which will serve 25 communities and provide 12,000 people with access to clean water.
Alex Cummings, executive vice president, Coca-Cola Co., (pictured), gave the keynote speech.
Leymah Roberta Gbowee, Liberian activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, spoke about the importance of FACE Africa’s cause.
Kevin McGovern, chairman and CEO of McGovern Capital and chairman of The Water Initiative
The event was hosted by award-winning actress Ebbe Bassey.
Saran Kaba Jones, founder and executive director of FACE Africa, is seen with Meck Kahlfan, founder of Puku, a mobile technology company, and Lola Ogunnaike of ARISE 360.
Marc Morial, president of The National Urban League, center, and his wife, CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller, are seen with FACE Africa founder Saran Kaba Jones.
Nana Meriwether, Miss USA 2012, also came to support the event.
Oluchi Onweagba, international supermodel and founder of OModel Africa, far right, and Flaviana Matata, Miss Universe 2007, center, came out to support the event along with friends.