Hôtel du Palais – Biarritz
15 october 2022
The charity gala of Stand Speak Rise Up! the association founded by Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg took place at the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz, on 15 October 2022.
Rape being used as a weapon of war remains a global scourge, whether this is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Uganda, Syria… and on our doorstep in Ukraine. Stand Speak Rise Up! raises awareness of this particularly savage form of violence, as well as working to combat its use and to help survivors. The Stand Speak Rise Up! Forum in Luxembourg in 2019 was a huge success. This second event in Biarritz shed light on the prevalence of sexual violence in conflict zones, and raised funds for projects working on the ground to support survivors and their children, many of whom were born as a result of rape. The H.R.H. the Grand Duchess has been leading this work through this association, with the help of a Board of Directors and a Scientific Committee composed of international experts.
Key actors in the fight against rape as a weapon were present at the special gala. Once again, as at the 2019 Forum, the Grand Duchess made sure survivors of war-rape were present. Also supporting the occasion with their presence were Dr Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize winner 2018; Pramila Patten, UN Special Representative; Céline Bardet, international lawyer; and François Heisbourg, the great geopolitical expert. They all gave their assessments of the situation regarding sexual violence in conflict zones, and called for greater levels of global mobilisation to combat this menace.
This great gala evening began on the terrace of the Hôtel du Palais. The guests enjoyed an aperitif provided by Moët-Hennessy, to the sound of the Choeurs Basques Oihal Berri choir, before moving to the Salon Impérial for the remainder of the evening. The event was hosted by Charlotte de Turckheim and Stéphane Bern. The effect was to raise awareness of the mission of Stand Speak Rise Up!. Substantial funds were raised thanks to the generosity of the representatives of the business and artistic communities who were in attendance: Moët-Hennessy, Hermès, Fondation Engie, BGL BNP Paribas, Groupe Foyer, Atoz, BIL, L’Oréal, and many others.
The auction, conducted by Maître Carayol, was a great success. All of the funds raised will support projects which will be led by war-rape survivors, in particular in collaboration with organisations including Panzi Foundation, Golden Women Vision Uganda, an holistic project dedicated to Ukrainian women, the NGO Trial International, We Are NOT Weapons of War and more. The evening featured dazzling artistic performances, particularly from the Ballet Malandain. Laurent Waltzer brought the evening to a close with a moving tribute to survivors by playing the “Stand Speak Rise Up!” anthem composed for the occasion.
Earlier in the day, H.R.H. the Grand Duchess and Stéphane Bern signed their book “Un Amour souverain”, at the “Bookstore” bookshop in Biarritz. The royalties of this work will be donated to the association. Many admirers of Her Royal Highness’ commitment to this cause were pleased to be able to discuss this topic with Her. Tatiana Mukanire, a Congolese survivor and beneficiary of support from Stand Speak Rise Up! was present to sign her book “Au-delà de nos larmes”, published by Editions des Femmes. This is yet another project facilitated by the association.