Last weekend, the Hope International Pageant finals were held at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. But if you think this was just another ‘outer beauty’ pageant, you couldn’t be more wrong. The Hope International Pageant, partially sponsored by Oxbridge Academy, was all about empowering women and children through education, community care, and charity.


A pageant promoting goodwill

The winners of the Acting Hope International Pageant were announced last Saturday night. But these winners were not chosen based on their looks, dress sizes, or ability to strut down a catwalk.

The Hope Pageant “is about your character, values and your heart to make a difference,” says Ingrid Burger, the pageant’s co-founder and CEO of Acting Hope, the non-profit organisation behind the pageant. “It is one of the greatest opportunities for children and women around the world to focus on using their own talents to make an impact in their communities and helps them to start living their own purpose driven lives.”


So how were the winners selected?

All the Hope finalists, from South Africa and beyond, have their own community development projects that they initiate and organise as part of the competition. These 20 finalists from around the world are then judged on the contributions they have made to struggling and disadvantaged communities, with 50% of their final scores being based on these projects!  


And the winners are:

The winners of the 2015 Hope International Pageant were announced on Saturday evening, and they are:


Ms HOPE category winners


Miss Teen Hope International: Marenique van Wyk

1st princess: Jordyn McKenzie

2nd princess: Natalie Chalmers


Miss HOPE International: Meriam Kaxuxwena from Namibia

1st princess: Dudu Mokome from Botswana

2nd princess: Miho Tsutsui from Japan


Ms HOPE International: Cindy Venter

1st Princess: Zelnadia De Waal from Namibia

2nd princess: Sakurako Ito from Japan.


The winners all received great prizes, including Oxbridge Academy bursaries for the courses of their choice.


Who is Acting Hope?

Acting Hope is a charity organisation founded in 2012 by Ingrid Burger. The aim of the organisation, according to Burger, is to “improve the cycle of emotional poverty in children and women from disadvantaged backgrounds and also give those who have lost hope something to believe in again.”

They have a long list of projects that they run:

  • Drama schools
  • Environmental conservation programmes
  • The Hope International Pageant
  • Outreaches to hospitals, children’s homes, and informal settlements


You can see Acting Hope’s full list of projects here.  


The partnership between Acting Hope and Oxbridge Academy

As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, we have taken on Acting Hope as our official NPO charity platform. This means that we will sponsor their projects, expand our charity programmes through Acting Hope, and encourage our students to join Acting Hope projects in their communities. You can visit our Corporate Social Responsibility page to find out more.

The partnership between Oxbridge Academy and Acting Hope is thus as much about empowering individuals as it is about giving individuals the opportunity to empower others.