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Ambassadors

Braam Malherbe

Braam Malherbe is an international motivational speaker, MC, extreme adventurer, conservationist, youth developer, TV presenter and author of the best seller, The Great Run. 

In 2006 Braam, together with David Grier, accomplished a world-first by running the entire length of the Great Wall of China, a distance of over 2,610 miles (4, 200 kms) at a pace of a marathon a day for 98 days in a single attempt 

This expedition funded the inaugural mission in South Africa for Operation Smile. As a result of this achievement, 54 children received reconstructive surgery in the first ever Operation Smile mission in South Africa.

Only two years later, in 2008, after serious knee surgery and his doctors saying he’d never run again, Braam (with his running partner David) completed another world first by running a “Smile around South Africa”, following the entire South African coastline, from Namibia to Mozambique (3278km). They raised in excess of R2m.

In the course of these two expeditions, in excess of R2.5 million was raised for Operation Smile, and over 700 children have received operations as a result of their efforts.

In 2011 Braam, and his partner represented South Africa in an unassisted race to the South Pole, a distance of approximate 551 miles (888 kms), which they covered in 24 days. They did this while man-hauling sleds weighing around 188 lbs (85 kgs) each, and in and a climate with high winds and an average temperature of -49° Fahrenheit (-45° C).

As an ambassador for Operation Smile South Africa, Braam attends missions, assists with fundraising and helps to build brand awareness.

Braam’s adventures are extraordinary and always purpose driven. He is a riveting international motivational speaker, applying lessons learnt from his experiences to talk about themes relating to goals, courage, leadership, teamwork, purpose and making the impossible possible.

 

David Grier – Celebrity Chef, Extreme Athlete, Inspiration, Humanitarian, Entrepreneur


David was born into a Cape wine farming family in South Africa, creating his love of the outdoors, food and wine. This is where his adventure began. After studying Hotel Management, David started a string of successful restaurants. Always pushing the boundaries in the food industry, he slowly began to make his mark in the industry with his most recent restaurant rated in the top 100 in South Africa. His success has led to television, brand exposure and his own range of food products.
David is also a trustee and ambassador for the Cipla Miles for Smiles’Foundation, raising money through adventure for the non-profit organisation, Operation Smile to perform reconstructive facial surgeries on underprivileged South African children.
In October 2011, David and his fellow team mates, Nick Heygate and Andrew Stuart accepted the Cipla Miles for Smiles Foundation challenge – to run the length of India in one attempt. It had never been done before and was deemed ‘madness’. His mission and inspiration was to raise funds to create awareness for Operation Smile.
In one month, David had succeeded – running, climbing and even crawling his way across treacherous and weather-battered terrain. This sent David into the record books, becoming one of the first people to run the length of India from the most Northern Temple in Srinagar to the most southern temple, Kanyakamari.
 
 
His journey was riddled with problems, sickness, hospitalisation, and military arrests.  This did not stop him from reaching the Southern tip of India, completing the run of 4008 km in 93 days.
“Thank you India for giving me the opportunity to realise a dream”
In June 2012, David (along with his support team, Darren Swartz and Andrew Stuart) completed the next Cipla Miles for Smiles Foundation challenge. They ran the entire length of the United Kingdom (North to South) in one attempt. In his running shoes, David battled the weather-battered terrain of Scotland, Wales and England.
Both the Indian and the United Kingdom challenges raised a further R2 million for the Cipla Miles for Smiles Foundation.
David’s other challenge
David ran the great wall of China – 4200 km in 93 days
He ran the entire coastline of South Africa – 3300 km in 80 days
He has paddled from Africa to Madagascar – 500km in 12 days
He has run the Island of Madagascar (South to North) – 2700 km in 67 days
David launched his latest project – AJUGA – a fire-resistant structure for the shack settlements in South Africa.
David hopes to create awareness through this project – ‘I am sure you are all aware of how these communities are ravaged by fire on a daily basis causing massive personal losses and worst of all death and terrible burns through these fires. 2000 – 2010 80-000 shacks burnt down. Worst of all 9 children die every day through shack fires in SA’
 
 
David then went on to embark on a series of journeys called ‘IGNITE HOPE’. His aim is to ‘plant seeds of hope in all these communities globally affected by fire, to let them know that we do care and we are working at solutions in their plight’. His first journey was the ‘Cuba Challenge’.
David has shaped his experiences of his last three challenges into a series of inspirational talks.
David’s presentations
‘Lessons from my journeys’ – a talk on his various trips and how they have enhanced his life.
‘Spices, tea and Philosophy’ – David’s journey though India.
David’s books
 ‘Spices Tea & Philosophy’ – His run from North to South across India
 ‘Burnt Vanilla’ – A paddle to and a journey through Madagascar.
‘Hope in Thyme’ – Running the Coastline of South Africa.
‘Courage and Rice’ – Running the Great Wall of China.
His message is of hope and ‘making a difference’ in people’s lives through change, positivity, the right attitude, recognizing opportunity, and never giving up.
 
David Grier is synonymous with Operation Smile and it was his run, together with partner Braam Malherbe, across the length of the Great Wall of China that brought attention to the birth of Operation Smile South Africa in 2006.
 
A successful chef and businessman in his own right David has moved out of the kitchen and embraced a life of selfless sacrifice for others. Grier is a trustee and ambassador for the Cipla Miles for Smiles’ Foundation, raising money through adventure for the Operation Smile to perform reconstructive facial surgeries on underprivileged South African children.
 
"This has been an extreme global journey of 20000 km, 10 years of searching for personal change in order to deliver a meaningful contribution to the South African story," explains Grier.  A journey that was to give birth to the Miles for Smiles initiative and a lasting partnership and relationship with Operation Smile.
 
In the course of serving as an ambassador he has performed some truly remarkable feats including running the length of India in 2011. This was achieved in spite of sickness, hospitalisation, and military arrests.  This did not stop him from reaching the Southern tip of India, completing the run of 4008 km in 93 days.
 
In June 2012, David (along with his support team, Darren Swartz and Andrew Stuart) completed the next Cipla Miles for Smiles Foundation challenge. They ran the entire length of the United Kingdom (North to South) in one attempt. Both the Indian and the United Kingdom challenges raised a further R2 million for the Cipla Miles for Smiles Foundation.
 
A special moment was when he ran the ran the entire coastline of South Africa, 3300 km in 80 days, tracing the outline of a smile in the process.
 
“I believe that change on its own is not enough unless one also feels an inherent sense of hope for the future that this process will bring.  I have found that hope comes in the form of a reward when there has been significant change.  There is also a bigger picture - the context we live in - which is influenced by us all and the attitudes and changes we make, however small.”
 
Through operation Smile each step of my journey has been transformed into change, bringing hope to so many children who now have a simple God given right to a smile.
 
Some of David’s feats:
 
- Man vs beast an 800 km race against 3 horses Namibia to Cape Town    800 km
- Guantanamo bay on the tip of Cuba to the North eastern point                1500 km
– run from John O’ Groats to Lands End down the UK-                                    2 300 km,
- run from South to North Up Ireland                                                                      600 km
 - run along Hadrian’s wall in one day.                                                                     122 km
- run the most northern temple in Kashmir India to the most southern      4008 km
- Paddled from Africa to Madagascar                                                                       500 km
-ran Madagascar south to North                                                                               2000 km
-ran coastline of South Africa                                                                                     3300 km
- ran Great wall of China                                                                                               4200 km
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