Bloemfontein resident, Margo Fargo announced as Miss Earth South Africa top 16 finalists

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Following a demanding and life-altering four months of hard work, dedication and sincere commitment to the environment and the community, the Miss Earth South Africa organisation is proud to announce its finalists for the 2014 title.

Their names are listed in alphabetical order: Degrecia Zwane of Alberton, Gauteng; Ilze Saunders of Klerksdorp, North West; Jennifer Williamson of Boksburg, Gauteng; Lara Botha of Westville, KwaZulu Natal; Lutholwethu Zimema of Randburg, Gauteng; Margo Fargo of Bloemfontein, Free State; Michillay Brown of Melville, Gauteng; Mishka Patel of Stellenbosch, Western Cape; Nita Kandasamy of Winchester Hills, Gauteng; Odirile Sepeng of Midrand, Gauteng; Reathibile Kolobo of Vereeniging, Gauteng; Roxanne Watson of Hillcrest, KwaZulu Natal; Shannon Roscher of Boksburg, Gauteng; Steffani Alexander of Sandton, Gauteng; Tayla Robinson of Pretoria, Gauteng; and Victoria Kitley of Randburg.

Miss Earth South Africa is a leadership programme that aims to empower young South African women with the knowledge and platform to create a sustainable difference in combatting the destruction of our natural heritage. The programme helps to create an awareness of sustainable development, the environment, wildlife and the conservation of South Africa’s natural legacy, and ultimately, the preservation of Earth.

The leadership programme kicked off in March with nationwide educational workshops after which finalists were required to complete a list of tasks to make a real and sustainable difference in their communities.

“I believe that circumstance is not a defining element but a gateway to moving on to a better lifestyle. Loving to learn and learning to love is a key practice on a daily basis as I strives to teach others to embrace the beauty of our country and help to grow the garden of life. Miss Earth South Africa is an opportunity for me to be empowered and to share my knowledge with others,” says Margo Fargo, a B.Consumer Sciences student at the University of Free State.

Assignments were centred around tree planting, creating sustainable food gardens, several energy efficiency activations for grade four learners in partnership with Eskom and Carbontrack, and general humanitarian initiatives across South Africa. As these young South African women needed to display a strong consciousness towards supporting simultaneous social projects, they were tasked with drives for stationery donations, second hand clothing, blankets, non-perishable food and animal food collections. The young women enthusiastically collected and distributed clothing, reaching over 50 different homes with their donations nationwide.

Each participant went out, planned and implemented a sustainable food garden through sponsorships obtained by them to either assist a school, a home or a community in need.

“The 16 finalists demonstrated clear leadership qualities, entrepreneurial thinking, strength of mind and of character, and most importantly, a passion for making a sustainable difference in their communities. The next round of the leadership programme will be even more demanding and will continue requiring backbreaking efforts to inspire and educate individuals, schools, communities, corporate South Africa, and policymakers to consider the environment and the challenges the continent is facing,” says Catherine Constantinides, Executive Director of Miss Earth South Africa.

Fargo’s donations impacted the following organisations and schools:
• Taltha Cumi Place of Safety
• Joe Solomon Primary School
• Brebner Primary School
• Olympia Primary School
• Heide Primary School