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The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, was in Dubai last week to launch her new charity, Sarah Selects.

The charity has been established to help disadvantaged children in the United Arab Emirates and was launched with a charity auction in which AED3.5 million (US$1 million) was raised.

‘The plight of children is an issue close to my heart, and I intend to devote time to choosing the right causes within the UAE in which to donate the money," said Ferguson. "The Aquitainia launch party was the perfect opportunity to coincide the launch of Sarah Selects as the event was attended by some of the most influential people in the UAE. The UAE is the springboard for launching Sarah Selects globally, helping children’s causes all over the World by using Select Property and Select Group’s development locations as the foundations for growing the charity."

All proceeds from the auction will go to charitable causes for children within the UAE, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Duchess has also agreed to become a patron of the Mullany Fund – named after a British couple murdered while on Holiday in Antigua in July – set up to support prospective medical students and physiotherapists. She will donate US$17,000 from the Sarah Ferguson Foundation to the cause.

Earlier this month, Ferguson gave the keynote address at Inspiring Women ‘The Experience’—a professional development event for female professionals, executives, entrepreneurs and community leaders in Canada.

“Sarah Ferguson is an inspiring role model whose extraordinary life is a testament to the powers of faith, resolve and resiliency,’’ said Kathy Weiss, Chair of the Inspiring Women event committee. “Sarah is an excellent choice for our keynote speaker because she has overcome adversity and successfully rebuilt her life. She truly embodies the vision of our event.”

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