The Princess for a Day project was held at Just Models in East London’s Hemingways Mall.
The initiative was in memory of Port Elizabeth’s Bianca Harper who was killed in a head-on collision near Nanaga in 2013 while traveling home to Port Elizabeth from Rhodes University.
Harper was crowned Miss PE in 2010.
“The concept and motivation of this event is to create a universal bond of sharing, love, compassion and kindness that connects all humanity,” event organiser Desrae Lazarus said.
“ It is about seeking the most vulnerable, the marginalised, victims of abuse and orphans and to use my voice and deeds to make a difference and to leave a sparkle in the lives of all the girls in attendance,” she added. said Lazarus.
Fifty-four young girls aged between four and 13 were chosen from Masizakhe Children’s Home, Daily Bread Street Children’s Project, Salem Baby Centre and Parkridge Squatter Camp Community Project.
To start the day, each girl was presented with a special hand-held princess mirror.
“In order to develop strong self-images, children need to see themselves, their physical bodies, and mirrors play a significant role in building self-confidence,” said Lazarus.
The girls were then given a talk on basic hygiene and self-care. They were taught the importance of keeping clean and maintaining regular hygiene routines.
From there, they went on to a story-telling session which discussed issues of self-confidence and self-esteem.
“Some issues around abuse were touched on to make the girls aware of the importance of telling an adult if they were ever made to feel uncomfortable about themselves,” Lazarus said.
After a hearty lunch, the girls were treated to a special pamper session where they were provided with their own princess dresses.
“They loved being able to choose their own dresses and they were very clear about the colour and style of dress they wanted. We did not have enough of the actual princess style dresses in larger sizes but none the less each girl received a new dress which was really nice,” Lazarus said.
Once they were all dressed up, the girls were given the opportunity to strut their stuff down Just Models’ catwalk. According to Lazaurs, they took to it “like ducks to water”.
“They displayed real confidence and assertiveness from just the short inputs they had. It was quite remarkable to see them respond to quickly and so spontaneously to the teaching provided.”
Finally, each girl was photographed in their dresses in front of a gorgeous castle backdrop so that they could remember the day.