Captivating International 5th Annual Charity Gala

“To elevate children out of poverty giving them the chance to reach out for a better tomorrow.”

Captivating International (CI) hosted their 5th Annual Charity Gala at the Futian Shangri-la Hotel in Shenzhen on Saturday, October 12.  It was a wonderfully inspiring event dedicated to raising funds for their extraordinary projects.

The night began with a blind auction, with prizes offered from a wide variety of generous donors.  Following was an exquisite dinner, interspersed with 3 separate rounds of silent auctions and performances.  Most noteworthy was the delightfully impressive dance performance by the girls of the Seng Girls Home, one of CI’s primary projects.  Additionally, throughout the night, attendees were encouraged to “buy a pig.”  Those that did received an inflated balloon pig; one noteworthy donor even took his new pig on a stroll across the event floor, introducing him to other diners.  However, the true prize was the progress that will result from those donations in CI’s animal husbandry initiative in Qinghai.

One remarkable aspect of CI’s various projects is the strong emphasis they all place on self-sustainability and perpetuation.  For example, the Seng Girls Home in Qinghai, which currently supports 130 girls rescued from extreme poverty, recently constructed a new tea and guesthouse to help support itself; it is already gaining quick popularity among the locals.  Additionally, the girls, impressive dancers themselves, go on to teach others their own dance skills, inspiring many to self-improvement.  It is a rousing goal of simply providing others an opportunity to help themselves.

CI hoped to raise 1 million RMB during Saturday’s event to meet their existing program commitments; they surpassed that, raising approximately 1.2 million RMB.  The extra funds will go to expanding their support programs into 2014.  Over 80% of monies raised go towards supporting Captivating International projects and programs.


For additional information about the Charity Gala, see:


For additional information about Captivating International’s amazing work and current projects, see:


Photos credited to Van Canaberal and Yuli Caturan.



Below is the Captivating International official media release:

What an honor it is for Captivating International to present to the Shenzhen community its 5th Annual Charity Gala.  “This is our fund-raising ‘night of the year’ and it happens because of so many incredible people from this Shenzhen community.  As each year comes and goes, our work moves more and more into putting in place sustainable solutions that solve the core issue that sits behind child labor, abandonment, the trafficking of young children – and that is poverty.  Our future and cause is this fight, and the charity auction is all about us getting our chance for us to put the gloves on for another year,” says founder and CEO Andrew Colquhoun.

The theme for this year’s event, “Inspired by a New Generation,” celebrates and acknowledges all the heroes in our community for their contributions in fulfilling Captivating International’s mission a reality.  Andrew goes on to say, “We are fortunate to be a part of a generation of volunteers, businesses, and individual donors and guests that inspires us to fulfill our mission to end poverty in rural villages with their time, expertise, and generous support.”

Monies raised at this year’s event will go toward several programs and projects that will one day be self-sustainable.  The donations are used to create sustainable programs that alleviate poverty in rural villages, provide educational resources and vocational training for children who were born without hope.

Here is an overview of Captivating International’s (CI) current projects:

Captivating International’s Projects

CI’s work starts by finding a grassroots local partner already doing good work in their location, but through lack of finance and administrative support, is unable to make the impact the community and its children desperately need. CI helps the local partner stabilize their existing work, and then expands it.  All projects have an exit strategy – a desire to see all projects stand on their own feet over time.  Efforts supporting sustainability and the ability for project partners and families to produce their own income are always a crucial component of CI’s partnership. In 2013, the following programs are CI’s current focus with new projects being assessed on an ongoing basis.

Seng Girls’ Vocational School and Home (SGVTS) – Qinghai

For 5 years CI has funded the operating costs of this project along with significant investments in infrastructure development and income making ventures. This project founded and managed by CI’s partner, LOVEQTRA, supports 130 girls rescued from positions of extreme disadvantage and hardship. The SGVTS provides a place of safety and refuge for these girls and a starting point for many to pursue their dreams.  This year close to 35 girls are enrolled in advanced education opportunities throughout China thanks to increased support and partnership for this program.

As part of their plan for sustainability, a tea and guesthouse was built this past year and it is gaining popularity among the locals.  The girls are also creating a name for themselves as an award winning dance troupe.  They won several competitions in the last year and several are hopeful to teach dance to others in their region and beyond.

Village Development – Guizhou

Nothing is more satisfying than seeing an entire village start to progress out of poverty. CI is working with Heifer China to make poverty history for select villages in mountainous regions of Guizhou Province.  450 families will directly benefit from this work with Captivating International’s dream being to start seeing parents returning from the cities to their “left-behind” kids.

Project Eden – Guangdong

Initially started as a foster family support program, Project Eden has morphed into a program almost fully devoted to providing intensive Chinese language development to girls from the Seng Girls Home. Being well positioned close to motivated local businesses, Eden is also coordinating the safe first steps into work and independence for some girls.

Captivating – Nepal

Our fight against Human Trafficking. CI supports the running of “border monitor” stations intercepting girls being trafficked into China and India.  Monies raised in this program also go towards financing a dedicated radio station educating villagers about trafficking.

Captivating – Kenya

AIDS orphans and Child Headed Households.  Finance a home for 40 AIDS orphans. Implementing a Captivating Micro-Finance program improving the income capacity of Kenyan families interested in fostering a child.

Additional Information:

Gala event supported by a committee of 12 ladies headed by Lynn Velez and Julie Ponthier.  Lynn Velez has volunteered her time and efforts for over five years. Both ladies volunteer their time because of their love and appreciation for the girls at Seng Girls Home and support of Captivating International.   “I know when I look back on my time in China, I will be happy and proud that I contributed to this event and made a difference.” – Julie Ponthier. Over 100 volunteers helped to support Saturday night’s activities.

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