Ahead of the Global Gift Gala LUCY BRUCE from Har­mony House talks about her char­ity and the A-lis­ters in­clud­ing EVA LON­GO­RIA BAS­TON who sup­port it

Hello! Middle East - - THIS WEEK - RE­PORT: NATASHA FARUQUE

She’s the low-key phi­lan­thropist whose Har­mony House, a day shel­ter for destitute chil­dren just out­side New Delhi has pro­vided a refuge for over 1,000 chil­dren since 2009. What started out small -- the ini­tial ob­jec­tive was to get just twelve chil­dren out of the slums and into some­where where they felt safe – has bur­geoned into a huge un­der­tak­ing. “To­day, we have 500 chil­dren aged be­tween six months and 18 years come through our doors on a daily ba­sis,” said the bub­bly blonde Bri­tish ex­pat, who has called the UAE home since 1999. The mum-of-three adds: “We have two cen­tres and pro­vide our chil­dren with ed­u­ca­tion, nutri­tion, health­care ser­vices, hy­giene fa­cil­i­ties, vo­ca­tional train­ing and most im­por­tantly, love and care. Our pur­pose is to give each and ev­ery one of our chil­dren the hope and op­por­tu­ni­ties build a bet­ter fu­ture and to help them to break away from the cy­cle of poverty that they were born into.” STAR SUP­PORT So how did Lucy get se­ri­ous star power from the likes of Eva Lon­go­ria Bas­ton and Maria Bravo be­hind her cause? The duo’s Dubai in­car­na­tion of the glam­orous Global Gift Gala will sup­port Har­mony House – as it has done for the past three years. She laughs that it was serendip­ity “In 2015 my hus­band Gau­rav and I at­tended the event. We bid on a prize which was a trip to the Monaco Grand Prix. As part of this trip we got to meet Eva and Maria in Monte-Carlo. It was dur­ing this meet­ing that we spoke about Har­mony House. They were gen­uinely in­ter­ested and said they would love to visit one day. Nat­u­rally, I thought this was a very kind sen­ti­ment -- but by no means thought that it would ever hap­pen.” SERENDIP­ITY But whilst the former Des­per­ate Housewives lead was vis­it­ing the UAE in 2015, just after the gala, Pepe sur­prised her with a ro­man­tic pro­posal. Lucy and her hus­band were guests at their spon­ta­neous en­gage­ment party and it was then that Eva con­fessed she was en route to In­dia and would love to visit Har­mony House. De­spite a tight itin­er­ary, the mo­ment the newly en­gaged duo landed in New Delhi, their first stop was the

char­i­ta­ble en­deav­our. “They truly brought so much love and light to Har­mony House,” Lucy rem­i­nisces. “Eva then posted pho­tos of her and the chil­dren at Har­mony House which gen­er­ated world­wide me­dia at­ten­tion, and the fact that she had just got en­gaged made it even more ex­cit­ing for the press.” From that day on, the Global Gift Foun­da­tion en­sured that Har­mony House was one of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries at the Dubai Galas. Giv­ing credit to oth­ers -- she con­tin­u­ously men­tions the im­por­tance of her team – Lucy adds that Eva and Maria “have taught me so much about, in­tegrity, hon­esty, com­pas­sion and us­ing your power to give a voice to those who need our help the most.” The Global Gift Gala is on De­cem­ber 13, at the Grosvenor House Dubai. This year’s ros­tra in­cludes Chair Maria Bravo, Hon­orary Chair Eva Lon­go­ria Bas­ton, Huda Kat­tan and Sacha Jafri. For de­tails and tick­ets, visit glob­al­gift­gala.com

Lucy Bruce’s Har­mony House has pro­vided a refuge for over 1,000 chil­dren since 2009 and has the star sup­port of the glit­ter­ing Global Gift Gala, which is backed by a slew of celebri­ties in­clud­ing Eva Lon­go­ria Bas­ton, who vis­ited the char­i­ta­ble sanc­tu­ary on a visit to In­dia (be­low right), and Maria Bravo (right)

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