Supermodel, actress and philanthropist Selita Ebanks hosted Voss Foundation’s Fourth Annual Women Helping Women Luncheon yesterday at the Dream Downtown, which raised over $75,000 to fund clean water access and sanitation projects to Sub-Saharan African women and their communities.

Selita Ebanks  Eboni Gates, Cerrie Bamford

“Voss Foundation sees access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene as a means to enable community-driven development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our philosophy is to look at the Ripple Effect of clean water – to see the many ways it can impact a community when we work with partners and beneficiaries to maintain the projects for years after implementation, to ensure sustainability,” said Kara Gerson, Executive Director, Voss Foundation.

“One drop of water expands in all directions – by building wells and sanitation facilities we help the community improve its collective health, hygiene, education, finances, security, and relieve women and children, especially, of the burden of walking miles a day to collect water.”

Kara Garson

Philanthropist and international fashion model Gate “Maya” Haile Samuelsson was honored for her work with Three Goats, a nonprofit she and her husband, James Beard Award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson founded to improve the health and well-being of families and children living in their home country of Ethiopia by providing sustainable access to vital and renewable resources.

At this year’s African Bazaar, Voss Foundation sold artisanal products such as handmade jewelry, scarves, baskets, and toys from the communities in Swaziland, Liberia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Ethiopia and Kenya where the organization works.

The Fourth Annual VOSS FOUNDATION Women Helping Women New York Luncheon-Mosphere  The Fourth Annual VOSS FOUNDATION Women Helping Women New York Luncheon-Mosphere

Additional attendees included: Cerrie Bamford, Tai Beauchamp, Liliana Cavendish, Mimi Ritzen Crawford, William Cummings, Diandra Douglas, Laurent Dufourg, Susan Fales-Hill, Katie Ford, Vicky Free, Eboni Gates, Bernt Heiberg, Danielle Kayembe, Ida Liu, Patrick Larkin, Nana Meriwether, Sonja Nuttall, Beth O’Donnell, Carolyn Roumeguere, Jill Stuart, Jane Sutherland, Latham Thomas and Bonnie Young.

Nana Meriwether  Bernt Heiberg, William Cummings

The Voss Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to clean water to communities in Sub-Saharan Africa and raising awareness of ongoing need in the region. Founded by VOSS of Norway ASA as an independent 501(c)(3) public charity, Voss Foundation has offices in New York and Oslo. Since our inception in 2008, Voss Foundation has helped to build 63 water access points and 114 sanitation facilities in 6 countries, changing the lives of over 100,000 people in Kenya, Mali, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, and Swaziland.

Images via Billy Farrell Agency and Getty Images