Dr. Wilfred Ochan, the Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has affirmed that the partnership of UNFPA, the Prada Group, a prominent player in the fashion industry, and International Needs Ghana (INGH), a non-governmental organization dedicated to the ‘Fashion Expressions: The Stories She Wears’ initiative, is providing essential skills in young girls, preparing them for the fashion industry.
Speaking at a close-out fashion event, Dr. Wilfred Ochan noted that this project serves as an exemplary illustration of how the private sector can collaborate with the UN to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
He expressed the hope that this project will inspire more companies to invest in the empowerment of women and girls.
Dr. Ochan revealed that in 2021, UNFPA and the Prada Group formalized their partnership in May 2022. He explained that the training pilot commenced with two cohorts of young women in Ghana and Kenya, spanning six (6) months.
He emphasised that the programme’s core objective is to harness the social and economic influence of fashion as a vehicle to promote women’s empowerment and sexual and reproductive health.
Furthermore, he indicated that it aims to deepen understanding of sexual and reproductive rights while reducing the vulnerability of participants to gender-based inequalities and harmful practices.
Mr. Charles Abani, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, underscored the transformative potential of fashion and design as tools for social change. He stated, “This initiative can uniquely empower young women economically while contributing to positive discussions about climate action.”
The PRADA team expressed their satisfaction with the program’s success in a congratulatory message. They encouraged the trainees to remain committed to the project’s goal, which is uniting the community through the power of fashion.
The trainees conveyed their gratitude to UNFPA and its partners for empowering them with this opportunity, stating, “We are well on our way to becoming what we aspire to be.”
Mr. Cromwell Awadey, the Executive Director of International Needs Ghana, expressed his gratitude to UNFPA Ghana and the PRADA Group for involving his organization in this life-changing project.
“INGH feels honored to have been selected to implement the pilot phase of this unique Fashion Training program, aimed at advancing and mentoring aspiring fashion professionals. We are grateful to our partners, UNFPA and the PRADA Group,” he reiterated.
He highlighted that the inaugural cohort of the program has been exposed to a wide range of programs designed to shape them into world-class fashion entrepreneurs.
The trainees exhibited their creativity and ingenuity by producing a unique line of designs. They took turns with various models, showcasing their collections through captivating catwalk presentations to the admiration of the audience.