Contestants in the Miss New Zealand World 2014 competition have rallied together to change the life of a five year old girl from the Philippines in a heart warming ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ Mission.
Loren Gavales is a 5 year old girl from San Enrique, Philippines. Loren has grown up in a poor rural region, suffering from birth with the rare disorder called Nasofrontal encephalocele, a condition which has left an opening in her nose, where part of her brain has grown through, forming a sac.
Without a complex operation, her chances of long term survival would be slim. The Miss New Zealand World Organisation was alerted to the situation this poor child faced by ROMAC (Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children) and on hearing of her case, they began to raise funds to cover costs for Loren’s operation and care programme.
The operation, with airfares, would normally have cost over $125,000, but thanks to the efforts of the Auckland Starship Hospital, who have offered their services free of charge, the fund raising target was set at $50,000.Arriving in Auckland on the 1st of April, Loren and her Mother were quite, having never flown before, together with the contrast of a very poor rural background compared to Auckland causing them to be quite dazed for the first day or so.
After a series of assessments, Loren has now had her operation and the change in her appearance and character have been remarkable. Before, in her home environment, if she spied herself in a mirror, she would break it because she couldn’t bear to look at herself. Now, she is a happy child, bubbling with confidence and set for a full recovery.
The Miss World New Zealand organisation say that it is the most personal charity project they have undertaken to date, and they have been overwhelmed with the positive response they have received from members of the public and local companies alike.
Loren has her final assessment on the 22nd of April.
Statement from Miss World Organisation: It is a truly amazing project that they have undertaken in New Zealand and we are all very proud of the 14 contestants and all of the team out there who have made this all possible. Well done!
On the final night, 26th April, the amount of $25,000.00 – total amount raised by all contestants, was presented to Rotary Club of New Lynn representative Desmond Foulger by Shaayal Gounden, the winner of Beauty with a Purpose mission.