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Build Africa Ball raises £250k for girls’ education in Kenya

FUND RAISING: Build Africa is an award-winning development charity working in rural Africa

AN AWARD-winning development charity has raised £250,000 to help vulnerable Kenyan schoolgirls.

Build Africa held its annual fundraising ball last night (Sept 23), raising hundreds of thousands of pounds to support disadvantaged and abused girls in rural Kenya.

The star-studded event was held at London’s exclusive One Marylebone, and attended by almost 200 guests including Downton Abbey star Penelope Wilton, and actress Tamzin Merchant – both patrons of Build Africa.

The ball was hosted by Channel 4 News anchor Cathy Newman and featured performances from leading African dance company Ballet Nimba, as well as Kenyan singer-songwriter Suzanna Owiyo – who recently performed for US President Barack Obama during his state visit to Kenya.

This year’s ball was held in support of Build Africa’s work with more than 26,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged girls in Kwale, one of the most deprived regions of Kenya.

This is an area where many young women and girls face unimaginable obstacles of discrimination, child marriage and abuse.

The Build Africa Ball took place in London last night [Photo credit: Alex Brenner]

Guests were invited to take part in a live auction, with prizes ranging from tickets to the Singapore F1 Grand Prix to a luxury escape in the French Alps, before the night climaxed with a dramatic final pledge by the crowd to support desperate young girls in Kenya by giving them the education they are entitled to, and the opportunities they need.

The night also showcased a new short film on girls’ education, Time Machine, produced by 3AngryMen.

The video tells the story of a Kenyan mother’s traumatic experiences of child marriage and sexual abuse as a child, as well as her hopes for her own daughter’s future.

Last night’s fundraising total will go towards helping stories such as this a thing of the past.

The organisers said: "We help communities find long-term solutions to poverty through innovative education and livelihoods projects."

On last night's ball, they added: "We wish to thank everyone involved for an unforgettable night that will help transform thousands of lives in Africa."

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