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Beauty with a Purpose

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Ninibeth Leal - Miss World 1991


Miss World & Beauty With A Purpose

Ninibeth Leal - Venezeula


The main charity benefiting this year from charity Miss World the Beauty with a purpose, is Operation Hunger.

With more than two million people to feed, and self-help schemes to launch and to encourage, Operation Hunger’s countrywide programme received a boost in Bophuthatswana when the Miss World contestants forsook the luxury of Sun City to visit one of Operation Hunger’s self-help feeding sites. The caring aspect of Beauty with a Purpose was amply demonstrated on the day the underprivileged and the privileged spent together.

On their arrival in South Africa, the Miss World contestants met children from an Operation Hunger project – and the greeting was a warm one, the children at the Bophuthatswana Operation Hunger self-help and feeding project gathered to welcome the contestants.

On their arrival in South Africa, the Miss World contestants meet children from an Operation Hunger project

The girls put on an impromptu dancing display. Pap and soup were on hand as the girls toured the village. After the soup and pap, children were given juicy oranges.
Amy Kleinhans, Miss South Africa, helped in handing out food. Children sat down in the shade to a good meal. Some children wanted to be fed.
Women earn an income from sewing - and showed Miss France how to do it, whilst Miss Seychelles watches. Miss Ireland answered questions. Miss Ukraine couldn't contain herself - and no-one objected to a warm goodbye kiss.
Miss World's Julia Morley, accompanied by operation Hunger's Ina Perlman, helped supervise the visit A child finds momentary comfort


Hunger now, starvation tomorrow - that is the stark reality which threatens thousands upon thousands of South Africans before many weeks have passed if Operation Hunger cannot continue its present task of feeding over two million people.

We are in the midst of a hunger crisis of unprecedented magnitude due in part to the drought and in part to the economic depression. A year ago, we took the decision to channel all our energies and resources towards avoiding the situation where help comes after too many children have hungered and died.

We believe we have been successful, that the system we put in place has enabled Operation Hunger to render rapid and effective assistance. We have also been able to maintain our response to the multitude of application we have received for self-help projects.

The situation is much worse than anticipated. The poor physical condition of the under-fives is alarming and deteriorating rapidly: death in this age group is becoming a constant reality. Most of our people will need support until May 1993.

In the short term our objectives are to relieve hunger and malnutrition, particularly in the very young and the old. In the long term we aim to establish self-help projects, which will allow people to take their lives into their own hands and to walk tall in the community, to enable the disadvantaged to advance and rise economically.
What can I say to Sol Kerzner and his wonderful team? How do I thank the Morleys and the Miss World contestants for proving that beauty has a purpose?

Thank you from Operation Hunger not only for the lives you will save, but for giving people the means to rebuild their own lives and to play a part in our land.

Some of the children helped by Operation Hunger.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT - By Julia Morley

Operation Hunger helps children in South Africa learn to feed themselves rather than relying on traditional food aid. This year’s Miss World contestants lent their support to this worthy cause.

The 1991 year was a remarkable year for Beauty with a Purpose. As Gina Tolleson, the reigning Miss World, has written such a detailed account of her year of office (including our visits to help the children) I will make my comments fairly brief and concentrate on the period when all the girls were involved.

The contestants assembled in London on Wednesday 27th November and prepared for their first fundraising venture which was the Variety Club of Great Britain Charity Lunch at the Royal Lancaster Hotel on Friday 29th November. They attended the lunch in their colourful national costumes, each carrying a gift from their country which was auctioned or raffled in aid of two charities, the Variety Club of Great Britain Children’s Charity for British children and the Variety Club International Lifeline programme to provide life-saving surgery for children from other countries.

The contestants were due to arrive in South Africa on the following morning. To do so and attend the fundraising lunch, they had to have everything packed and ready to go. The lunch finished promptly at 2.30pm. By 3.15pm, with national costumes packed in special containers, they were on their way to the airport.

The journey in itself was an experience. Because of the size of the party, it had to be split into two groups. The first was to go to London Airport and from there, by South African Airways, direct to Johannesburg. The second to Gatwick to catch a BA flight to Lisbon and a connecting South African Airways flight to Johannesburg. The time difference was approximately one hour and group one would await the arrival of group two before meeting the hundreds of children, who, with other welcoming adults, would be at Jan Smuts Airport. Unfortunately, the time taken to unload over 300 pieces of luggage in Lisbon and transfer the load to another aircraft had been underestimated and the one hour became three hours.

The girls’ tiredness was soon forgotten with the warmth of the welcome both at the airport and the Johannesburg Sun Hotel. Soon, like those giving the welcome, they were listening to the pulsating music of Zulu dancing and the wonderful choirs and marching bands. What a welcome.

After that it was really down to Beauty with a Purpose. We had made our charity in South Africa Operation Hunger, a children’s self-help feeding programme. Instead of providing free food so that the children are reliant on continuing support, Operation Hunger provides means where children learn to provide for themselves. They are taught a trade, how to make things or create a business to provide cash to provide for themselves. This gives them dignity as well as food in their bellies.

Essential equipment is also provided. For example, in one area 100,000 children a year die from killer diseases such as typhoid and para-typhoid. They took their water from a nearby river which was extremely polluted. Operation hunger managed to get a programme sponsored which bored holes deep down in the earth for six pumps. Fresh water resulted and within a year, the killer diseases disappeared without a trace.

Ina Perlman, the dedicated Director of Operation Hunger, wanted to show us a number of her locations which were spread all over South Africa. We split our party into six groups, each to visit a different site and meet the children. My particular location was in Eastern Transvaal. Perhaps the most difficult terrain but a bonus in that we
were not only able to visit the children but also see many wonderful wild animals in their natural habitat.

M-Net Television, the independent TV company in South Africa, had sent crews with each party and, as a result, we were able to make a 45 minute documentary of the entire visit which M-Net offered free to any television company in the world willing to make a donation to charity of not less that $2,500. Their filming and professionalism, both for material for this documentary and in the contribution to the main Miss World TV transmission, was much admired. We can pay them no greater tribute than to say that we would, without hesitation, entrust the production of a complete Miss World Show to them at any time, with complete confidence.


Special Features

Each week, BWP will present a new in-depth report on one of the many charity projects worldwide that has benefitted from the work of Julia Morley and the support of Beauty with a Purpose. Keep watching this space for more details on these special features.



Julia Morley



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