Last night, Salma Hayek Pinault & François-Henri Pinault generously hosted 170 guests at the mothers2mothers Winter Fundraiser, held at their beautiful home in London. The star-studded event was supported by our long-time partner Gucci, together with Gemfields and Albion Parties. Funds raised will support mothers2mothers (m2m)’s work across eight sub-Saharan African nations. In these countries, m2m employs HIV-positive women to provide health advice and services that prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, helping families to thrive.
Master of Ceremonies for the evening was the internationally acclaimed comic, children’s book writer and activist David Walliams. Attendees enjoyed a private dinner before hearing from m2m Patron Annie Lennox, who delivered a powerful speech on her longstanding involvement and commitment to m2m’s work.
m2m Spokeswoman Nozi Samela then took to the stage to share her inspirational journey of becoming a powerful agent of change in the fight against HIV. Nozi, who had travelled to the U.K from her home in South Africa, described the challenges she faced after testing HIV-positive while pregnant with her first child at 19, saying at the time she felt “scared, emotionally wounded and filled with questions I had no answers to.” A Mentor Mother working at her local clinic provided hope and guidance. Nozi gave birth to an HIV-free child, and decided to join m2m as a Mentor Mother to provide the same education and support to other newly diagnosed pregnant women. After five years as a Mentor Mother herself, Nozi joined m2m’s Communications team in 2011. She returned to University and graduated, and now helps to train and empower the next generation of m2m Spokeswomen. Her work continues to inspire and empower – including the many guests in the room who were moved by her story.
Nozi spoke to her experience being a Mentor Mother: “I ensured mothers took treatment, continued to live healthy lives and that they are alive to take care of their families. I am just one of thousands of former and current Mentor Mothers whose lives have helped millions of others, and whose own lives have changed for the better.”
m2m Patron Salma Hayek Pinault, who has been instrumental in making the evening such a success, also shared her passion for m2m’s work. Having recently visited m2m in South Africa to see the impact for herself, Salma attested to the power mothers have to inspire change and encouraged the room to support m2m. Thereafter, long-standing m2m supporter and Global Giving Circle member Martin Schwab shared his personal reflections about m2m and auctioneer Alexander Gilkes encouraged guests to bid generously on auction lots.
The evening culminated with an emotionally charged performance by Florence and the Machine and a DJ set by Naomi Campbell. Guests took to the dancefloor and danced into the early hours of the morning. It was an amazingly successful night sharing and celebrating the work of mothers2mothers.
Images courtesy of Getty Images