Most dynamic woman

Leigh Bristow of Sumbandila

Clarins South Africa presented the Clarins Most Dynamic Woman Award for 2015 to Leigh Bristow of Sumbandila in recognition of the outstanding work her organisation is doing to give a solid educational grounding to children from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

Presented in partnership with Fairlady, Sarie and True Love magazines, the award recognises women who are improving the lives of disadvantaged and underprivileged children in South Africa.

Bristow received her award at a cocktail event hosted at Summer House in Hyde Park, Johannesburg by Christian Courtin-Clarins, President of the Supervisory Board of the Clarins Group. Jenny Crwys Williams served as MC while singer-songwriter LeAnne Dlamini provided the entertainment.

The Sumbandila Scholarship Trust mentors and supports students selected from the top academic achievers in the Vhembe district of Limpopo. They are given financial, academic, and emotional support, culminating in assistance applying for bursaries and jobs when they near the end of their school years.

Says Jody Bunkell, Communications Executive at Clarins South Africa: “Women like Leigh Bristow are helping to secure a better future for South Africa through their dedication to improving the education of our youth. Our judges were impressed by Leigh’s energy, commitment, and her hands-on approach to helping the Sumbandila children enter the world as confident and empowered adults."

The award started 18 years ago as an initiative by Clarins Paris and now takes place in more than 15 countries around the world. Bristow will receive R250 000 to support her cause and uplift the lives of the children she is working with. In the first year of winning, Bristow will receive R200 000, followed by R50 000 in the second year. In association with AVIS, Bristow also receives a car in the year of her win.

“Our two other finalists and many of the other nominees are also doing amazing work to uplift children and families from underprivileged backgrounds. Their selflessness and dedication is making a big difference for so many families. It is inspiring to hear their stories and see how they are helping communities to create a brighter future”, adds Bunkell.

The other finalists this year were Andy Clark and Riana Robinson. Clark is the driving force behind Midrand-based Botshabelo. This facility transforms children’s lives through excellent pre-school education offered directly by the Urban Kids Educentre and through a pre-school teacher training programme.

Robinson’s Ripple Reading focuses on literacy and leadership development for children from disadvantaged communities. Its aim is to create bigger ripples in the lives of the learners and those they interact with daily by improving literacy.

Bronwen Olivier

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Issue 58