October 28, 2013 - New York City
14+ Foundation, a charitable organization formed to develop schools and orphanages for African children in rural communities, the organization's benefit event, Transforming Lives Through Education: A Cocktail Benefit to Support Children's Education in Africa raised over $350,000 and was attended by over 600 guests. The event was held on September 26th at The High Line Hotel and marked the first major event hosted by the charitable organization, which was recently formed in June 2012 and has already partially funded and started construction on its first school project.
Chipakata Children's Academy
Proceeds from the benefit will support 14+ Foundation's first project, the Chipakata Children's Academy Foundation, a Zambia-based nonprofit organization created to develop, build and operate the Chipakata Children's Academy, a primary school (grades 1 to 7), orphanage and community facility. Top New York City architects, real estate and construction business leaders, as well as fashion and cultural icons, attended the event in support of the development and construction of this important educational project, which is currently under construction and will open to the community in 2014. This new school will serve hundreds of children who are currently walking close to five miles each way to the nearest school, which is overcrowded and understaffed.
The event was hosted by the co-founders of 14+ Foundation and the Chipakata Children's Academy Foundation, Joseph Mizzi, philanthropist and construction industry leader, and Nchimunya Wulf, native Zambian and fashion stylist. "Our mission is to develop and build schools and orphanages for children within rural communities throughout Africa. Starting with this project and this community, we're using education and comprehensive community engagement as a means to allow these children and their communities to reach their full potential," Mizzi said. As part of the evening's event, select art works were exhibited courtesy of artists Julian Schnabel, Bruce High Quality Foundation and Alexandre Arrechea. Many other artists were in attendance including Noritoshi Hirakawa and Alexandre Arrechea as well as curator, Vito Schnabel.
Introducing the Leatrice B. McKissack Scholarship Fund
This event also recognized a leading firm in the building and design industry, McKissack & McKissack, and paid tribute to Leatrice McKissack, former CEO of McKissack & McKissack from 1983-2000 and Cheryl McKissack Daniel, its current president/CEO since 2000. McKissack & McKissack is a fifth-generation family business and real-life success story which began more than 100 years ago, exemplifying the power and importance of education that echoes through generations. The event featured an announcement of the creation of the Leatrice B. McKissack Scholarship Fund, which will provide financial assistance to top graduates of the Chipakata Children's Academy, allowing them to continue on to secondary school and university-level education.
Support by the Fashion Industry: Limited Edition Capsule Collection
In addition, Fashion designer William Okpo also generously supported 14+ Foundation and this event by creating a limited-edition capsule collection inspired by William Okpo's S/S 2014 collection, with all proceeds benefitting the Chipakata Children's Academy in Zambia, Africa as part of the evening's event. Darlene and Lizzy Okpo attended the event and showcased the collection which was on sale throughout the benefit.
Construction of the first phase of the project is now in progress on site and will open to the community in 2014. Since its founding in 2012, 14+ Foundation has completed numerous significant initiatives for the Chipakata community, including the creation of roads and related improvements, the addition of water wells, an agricultural grinding mill and a retail shop to provide goods for the community. The foundation has also provided the local children of the community with access to medical care by developing a health examination program in partnership with the nearest health clinic, including providing the necessary transportation between the village and the clinic. In addition, local agricultural techniques are being used on site to develop crops, which were planted earlier this year and will be used to support the meals served during the school day once the school is operational in 2014.
For more information or to donate to the 14+ Foundation, please visit 14plusfoundation.org.