Monday, March 14, 2011

Motivational Monday's--How Fashion Is Changing Lives in Kenya

Fashion. It can definitely change the way you feel about yourself but did you know that fashion can also change lives?

Ok, before you look at me like I have three heads, hear me out. Participating in fashion is not always about vanity and looking good. In the case of "Get Together Girls", fashion is providing an opportunity for young women to improve the quality of their lives and future while allowing them to contribute income to their families too.

Background on the "Get Together Girls" 
Just who are the Get Together Girls and how do they relate to fashion? For one, they live in Nairobi, Kenya which happens to be the most populous city in East Africa. However, their African heritage is not the only thing these youthful fashion designers have in common. Sadly, they are also victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.

According to Wikipedia, despite its multicultural influence and distinction as "the centre of the Kenyan music scene," Nairobi has struggled with rising crime, earning a reputation for being a dangerous city and the nickname "Nairobbery."

As is the case with many of the young women known as the Get Together Girls, the crime in Naroibi often puts females between the ages of 4 through 18 at the risk of sexual exploitation. 

Finding strength and a future through fashion
I recently learned about the Get Together Girls from a friend of mine named Vanessa Crocini who is a  documentary film maker.

In four days, Vanessa will depart Los Angeles to spend one month in Kenya documenting Anita's Youth House, the location where the Get Together Girls all reside and produce their clothing line, GtoG Collection. The premise of Anita's Youth House is to help educate this new generation of African women through African and global commerce.

The GtoG Collection features clothes in vibrant colors, made from cotton. 

The inspiration for encouraging the girls to utilize fashion as a way to enhance their future stemmed from two Italian friends, each respectively fond of fashion; Grazia "Grace" Orsolato and Roberta Vincenzi.

Grace connected with the residents of Anita's Youth House initially as a volunteer. When she learned that several of the older girls would have to move out without any guarantee of professional opportunities, thus becoming susceptible to negative influence in the streets of Nariobi, she created a tailoring school and called upon her stylist friend Roberta Vincenzi to host a free tailoring class. And this is how the G2G Collection was born.

You can help fashion continue to change lives in Kenya thanks to social media 
If you think this story is inspiring, then please help Vanessa spread the purposeful message behind this film. There are several easy ways you can get on the Get Together Girls wagon.
  1. Like the film's Facebook page here
  2. Spread the word via Twitter.
  3. Contribute to the campaign. There are 4 days left, please help Vanessa reach her goal so she can document this story and help more people learn of the Get Together Girls
The motto for this Motivational Monday is simple. "Everyday is a wonderful chance to be what you've do what you've imagined." 
Vanessa and the Get Together Girls are living proof that this is indeed true.

What's your dream? I want to know. Be sure to comment in the section below. 

Signing off this Motivational Monday,

The Jaclyn of All Trades

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