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Lessons for Life Gala Dinner

23rd November 2017

We celebrated the tenth annual Lessons for Life Gala Dinner in the spectacular setting of The Tower of London. Our amazing guests helped us raise close to £900,000 towards our work in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The gala dinner was an excellent opportunity to gather our friends and supporters, including key stakeholders from Liberty Global as well as key members of the media, consultancy, banking and legal sectors. This year we were joined by over 400 guests for a fantastic evening hosted by Mike Fries, President & CEO of Liberty Global, and our Co-Chairmen Andrea Salvato and Manuel Kohnstamm. 


Donnagene Damens, Financial manager at ShortsTV, shared with our supporters her inspirational story of growing up in South Africa during the Apartheid and how important education was to her and her family. 

"From a very young age, I looked around the community and saw the cycles of poverty… Young boys dropping out of school to start working and help put food on the table; young girls doing the same and falling pregnant and then having to drop out of school to support themselves and their families; the youth in my community being disenfranchised and angry with the circumstances they were born into and therefore dropping out of schools to join gangs or make easy money engaging in criminal activity….I wanted to be educated. I wanted to be skilled in order to have the best prospects and choice. For me it became very clear that the only way to not get swept up in any of those cycles, was to stay in school and focus on my education."

Everyone involved in the Gala Dinner is helping children we support in Africa to avoid these cycles.

Guests heard about Lessons for Life's work over the last year, including stories from teachers and children, like Marie-Louise, you can hear her story here.

Kennedy Odede, Founder and CEO of Shining Hope for Communities was also recognised on the night for his ongoing educational work in Africa. 

We are really proud of our achievements, and delighted that we could share them with the people who make that possible, our supporters. We are hugely grateful to all those who supported the event – from companies who took tables to those who donated and bid for auction prizes; the night would not have been possible without you. Thank you.

If you’ve been inspired to get involved in one of our events, please take a look at what’s on. Click here to learn more about our work on the ground in Africa.

Photography credits: Mark Chivers Photography.