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Competing to become ambassador for her school

  • CommunityMissSASchools
Isabella Savva, an eight-year-old King David Linksfield pupil, is a finalist in the Miss South Africa Schools pageant.
by SAM ANCER | Apr 26, 2018

On May 26, she will compete against 29 other girls from schools around the country in the finals. The winner will become an ambassador for her school and represent it at charity events.

This is no ordinary beauty pageant, but rather, one that shows who is the best fundraiser and marketer for her school.

Isabella – who was nominated by her modelling and acting agency, Little Charmers – raised R4 800 more for charity than the R2 000 that was required to be a part of the pageant.

She held a challah bake, where she invited other pupils to bake challah for families dealing with cancer. About 60 pupils showed up to the event and they managed to raise R2 500.

She also organised a Slipper Day at her school, where the pupils paid to wear slippers to school.

Thanks to these activities, along with Isabella approaching private individuals and corporates for sponsorship, she raised R6 800. While R2 000 will go to the Miss South Africa Schools organisation, the remaining R4 800 is being donated to DL Link, a Jewish cancer support organisation.

Isabella, who has been acting and modelling since January, has discovered a love for doing charity work. She discovered this after filming an animal anti-cruelty advertisement. “She was in an ad for Dotsure (pet insurance) when she developed her love for charity work,” said Isabella’s mother, Victoria Savva.

Prior to her work for the pageant, Isabella participated in two charity fashion shows in December 2017 for the Candice Abrahams Foundation (formerly Mrs World’s organisation to empower abused women and children). One of the shows was for an event celebrating women and the reason for the other show was to raise funds for victims of domestic abuse.

King David Linksfield has supported its pageant hopeful, despite having initial trepidations about it. “The school was very cautious in the beginning, but once staff saw her charity work, they warmed to it and even helped with the Slipper Day,” Victoria told the SA Jewish Report.

Victoria is aware of the controversial side of pageantry, where it’s seen as objectifying women, but said: “I haven’t had any experience with that. I think my kids have gained a lot of confidence from it.”

Victoria added that although she does “worry about the exposure for Isabella, like on social media”, she hadn’t had any instances to worry about. “Overall, it has been a positive experience,” she said.

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