South Africa Partners 10th Anniversary Gala Celebrates a Decade of Collaboration and Democracy Building

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South Africa Partners will mark 10 years of achievement with an event Feb. 7 at Cyclorama in Boston honoring Dr. Helene Gayle, President and CEO of CARE USA and one of the world's leading poverty and AIDS activists. Actress, singer and activist Gloria Reuben and Justice Albie Sachs are special guests.

Ten years ago, a small group of committed people founded South Africa Partners to promote collaborations between the United States and newly democratic South Africa, knowing that the end of apartheid did not mean the end of its legacy.

On Saturday, February 7, supporters of South Africa Partners will gather at Boston's Cyclorama to celebrate a decade of achievement, honor those who have been at the forefront of the effort and set their sights on the work yet to be done.

Dr. Helene Gayle, President and CEO of CARE USA and one of the world's leading poverty and AIDS activists, will be named the Desmond Tutu Award Honoree. The event will also feature special guests, civil rights activist Albie Sachs, who now serves as a justice in the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and actress/singer Gloria Reuben.

During its first decade, SA Partners has worked tirelessly to develop institutional relationships between the United States and South Africa in the areas of health, education, and economic development. Easily replicated model programs were identified, long-term partnerships were founded, and "people-to-people" initiatives were encouraged, all of which improved relations between the two countries, and more importantly, built the capacity of South African organizations to carry out program activities.

Thanks to that work South Africa has emerged as democratic stronghold and world leader with influence well beyond its size. Its constitution is one of the most progressive in the world, enshrining democratic values and promoting human rights. Because of its pro-active stance on the inclusion of women in leadership, South Africa now ranks fifth in the world in women's participation in government. The country's remarkable democratic transformation has fundamentally altered sub-Saharan Africa's economic and political configuration, enriching approaches to development and conflict resolution.

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Colette Phillips
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