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Most Dynamic Woman Award


Leigh Bristow, the founder of the Sumbandila Organisation, was awarded as the 2015 winner of the Clarins Most Dynamic Women of the Year, in recognition of the outstanding work her organisation is doing to give a solid educational grounding to children to children from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Sumbandila Scholarship Trust mentors and supports students selected from the top acedemic achievers in the Vhembe district of Limpopo. They are given financial, acedemic and emotional support culminating in assistance applying for bursaries and jobs when they are near the end of their school years. Bristow's hands-on approach helps ensure that the Sumbandila children enter the world as confident adults, ready for the world of work and equipped to help lift their families out of poverty.

Jody Bunkell, the Communications Executive at Clarins South Africa said, "Women like Leigh Bristow are helping to secure a better future for South Africa through their dedication to improving the education of our youth. Our judges we impressed by Leigh's energy, commitment, and her hands on approach to helping the Sumbandila children enter the world as confident and empowered adults" 

For more information or to make a donation, please contact Leigh on 015 516 0251 or or visit the Sambandila website

Sue Barnes, founder of Project Dignity, a remarkable initiative for South African school girls, was recognised as the 2013 Clarins Most Dynamic Woman of the Year. Project Dignity assists girls who cannot afford to buy sanitary protection and are at a permanent disadvantage due to missing out on their education for a week every month.

Barnes, from Cowies Hill in KwaZulu-Natal, realised that donations of sanitary products would not provide a sustainable solution to this profound yet largely hidden social challenge. After much experimentation and several trial runs, she created a pair of panties with a clip-on, reusable pad which ensures the girls need never worry about running out of this essential item. The pad is fully washable, can last for up to 5 years and has SABS absorbency approval. While handing out Project Dignity's Subz packs, Barnes also gives the girls a unique set of education sessions.

With the aid of her corporate and personal donors, Barnes has already been able to distribute 30,000 Subz Panty Pads to girls around the country. Project Dignity has spread to other parts of South Africa, and has even been taken to Zanzibar by Margaret Hirsch, owner of Project Dignity sponsor, Hirsch’s.

For more information or to make a donation please contact Sue on 083 661 8963 or email

Angela Larkan, the 27 year-old founder of non-profit organisation Thanda, was chosen as The Clarins Most Dynamic Woman of the Year for 2011 in recognition of the work that she has done to fight the destructive impact of HIV/AIDS and poverty on orphans in rural communities.

Larkan established Thanda five years ago and has since pioneered new approaches to fighting HIV/AIDS in rural communities and taking care of HIV orphans that could be implemented throughout Africa. Today, the project supports 325 children daily, and she is working to bring hope to thousands more through her model for community change.

Not only is Larkan the founder of Thanda, but she also established Thanda After-School, where young people from the local community are employed. They receive a meal each day and provide a stable support system that offers their charges nurture, guidance, mentoring and skills development. By working with people from the local communities, Thanda keeps the rural social fabric intact and embraces the Zulu custom whereby family members, friends and neighbours are trusted to take care of each other.

For more information please contact Angela on or 079 472 5682

Founder and Teacher at the Silindokuhle Creche and Preschool

The inspirational Grace Ngcongo from Amanzimtoti on KZN’s South Coast is not only the founder of Silindokuhle Creche and Preschool but the only teacher too.  She works tirelessly during the week  with her communities pre-schoolers and on weekends, and in the evenings, she leads the sewing and beading groups and assists at the local old age home too.

A selfless and dynamic woman who is not only making a difference in the lives of children but assisting the entire community across all age groups. Her energy, drive and passion are visible as Grace never encounters problems only solutions.

Clarins recognises this determined and selfless community worker and unanimously awarded Grace Ngcongo the Clarins Most Dynamic Woman of the Year for 2010. A prestigious title and the all-important cash prize of R200 000. Proud to be associated with such a dynamic woman, GM of Clarins South Africa, Robynne Adams had this to say about Grace, “No obstacle stands in Grace’s way.”

For more information please contact Grace on 082 462 8729

The Clarins Most Dynamisante Woman of the Year Award contributed a further R50 000 to its current winner, Dinah Adonis.

In 2003, Women for Change was established to feed vulnerable children and other community members of Nellmapius near Pretoria. The elderly folk of this community are very often forgotten and neglected, but Dinah has made it her mission to uplift, guide and make these precious people part of the community once again. The project runs a soup kitchen for close to 400 children twice a week, offers aftercare and assists the children with their homework.

The volunteers keep a greenhouse-style vegetable garden with an assortment of vegetables being grown for their soup. The needs of these children and elderly people is great and assistance from the public and corporate organisations is encouraged.

For more information please contact Dinah on 082 519 5775
Susan Rammekwa who won the 2006 Clarins Most Dynamisante Woman award for helping change the lives of hundreds of children every day.

On a large plot in Princess Crossing, Roodepoort, you will find the headquarters of Tshepang Programme for Orphans and Vulnerable Children. It boasts a garden, a crèche, a playground, a computer centre and a sewing room. Susan presides over it all!

Fundraising and transport remain a huge challenge for this project but Susan remains hopeful: “No matter how small the contribution you make, it has a lasting impact on a person’s life”

Clarins is now donating a further R100 000 to Tshepang to enable Susan to continue her good work in the lives of these children from Princess Crossing Squatter camp.

You too can make a difference – Contact Susan on 083 456 6993

Cheryl Pratley was the 2005 winner of the Clarins Most Dynamisante Woman of the year award for her outstanding work with abandoned babies.Most of the babies in Cheryl’s care at Shepherd’s Keep are HIV-positive and have been deserted by overwhelmed mothers.

Cheryl nurtures them to health and even when she cannot save them, there is a sense that at least they had peace in their short lives. Situated on the Bluff in Durban, Shepherd’s Keep has expanded to care for 60 babies and is equipped with the proper equipment needed for their care.

When the babies are well enough they are placed with suitable adoptive parents. The Point Police Station in Durban only has praise for Cheryl’s dedication, knowing her door is open 24 hours a day and an abandoned baby found in the dead of night is guaranteed a loving home.

Shepherd’s Keep will receive a further R100 000 from Clarins to further this excellent cause.

These babies need YOUR help too – contact Cheryl on 083 506 6570