Johannesburg – The Sandton Convention Centre was bustling with activity on Thursday as dozens of women gathered for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees' (UNHCR) Women to Women fundraiser held in aid of refugees around the globe.
Before entering the main hall, guests were pampered with champagne, fresh manicures, and massages.
Jewellery maker Jenni Gault showed off a selection of her merchandise at the venue, while fashion designers and artists also displayed their products on the day, some of which would later be auctioned off, with all funds going towards the UNHCR.
The guest of honour was US actress and star of the TV series Sex and the City, Kristin Davis.
Kristin, who is a UNHCR ambassador, gave the keynote address, tearing up as she spoke about some of the work she has done with the organisation.
Speaking in particular about a refugee camp she visited in Kenya, the actress recalled seeing women and children who had travelled extreme distances by foot to find refuge, carrying nothing but the clothes on their backs.
"You see people who really are on the brink, and they really have nothing, and they could die. And then you see people being kind. You know, I felt like, I want to be a part of that, and I want to do what I can," she told the audience, as she struggled to hold back her tears.
According to Kristin, visiting the camp was a life-changing experience.
"That was really what changed my life and shifted my work towards the UNHCR, and I'm so honoured," she added.
Also speaking at the event was Leonard Zulu, bureau deputy director for the UNHCR in Southern Africa, who left the crown in awe as he put into perspective just how great the refugee crisis is.
"The number of people forced to flee their homes by the end of 2018 was 70.8 million, and that number keeps changing every 2 seconds," he said.
According to the statistics, a large sum of those refugees are found within Africa.
"Of all continents, Africa holds the highest number of forcibly displaced persons at 26.4 million people. That's a lot of people," Leonard went on to say, adding that the Democratic Republic of Congo alone has more than 4.5 million internally displaced persons. The country also hosts 500 000 refugees.
"Not only are there Congolese who are displaced, but the people of Congo also find it within their hearts to look after people fleeing conflict from the surrounding countries."