The Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) is to collaborate with ‘Fashion 4 Development’ to raise funds, to end HIV and AIDS among adolescents.
The ‘Fashion 4 Development’ is an annual First Ladies luncheon held during the United Nations General Assembly week in New York, to celebrate the unprecedented co-operation between diplomacy and fashion for the greater good of women and children worldwide.
First Ladies from around the world, UN Ambassadors and VIPs, influencers and diplomats as well as fashion industry mavens gathered at the Pierre Hotel in New York City during the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly to honor individuals for their humanitarian work and celebrate
the progress of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This year’s F4D’s First Ladies Luncheon awards include: the Fashion 4 Development Award, Eco Award, Women’s Champion Award, League of Gentlemen Award and Medal of Honor.
Addressing the gathering, the President of OAFLA and First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Mrs. Lordina Mahama, indicated that the adolescent were the most affected by AIDs and all hands must be on deck in ensuring that their sexual reproductive health takes a priority.
She said globally, AIDS is the leading cause of death among women, and girls, of reproductive age 15 to 49, with about 14 million children orphaned due to AIDS.
Mrs. Mahama said the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that one out of every six deaths in Africa was due to HIV; and 70 per cent of these are among adolescent girls.
She said OAFLA recognises that, many of its member countries, have large populations of young people and therefore, the year of focus, on this population group, has provided a much needed boost.
The First Lady reiterated that the continued focus on adolescent girls, was key to achieving many of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The First Lady said last February, OAFLA launched a United Continental ‘All In’ Adolescent HIV Campaign, on the margins of the 7th Africa Conference on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, in Accra and this followed a global “All In” initiative, spearheaded by the United Nations, to reduce
AIDS-related deaths, amongst adolescents, by 65 per cent, and new HIV infections by 75 per cent by 2020.
She said OAFLA was therefore proud to partner Fashion for Development, and to announce later on, great personalities, who had endorsed the 2017 event and those who had pledged their support in all ways possible, by becoming Goodwill Ambassadors for OAFLA, and lending their celebrity status to this endeavour.
“Together, we will embark on a series of activities, towards September 2017, and I invite you all to OAFLA’s 15th Anniversary celebration, in Addis Ababa, come January 2017 and officially announcing, the 365-day countdown, to the September 2017 OAFLA/F4D “All-In” resource mobilization event, to end AIDS among Adolescents”, she said.
This year’s event, hosted by Sozzani, Firth and F4D President, Evie Evangelou, featured a runway presentation by Ralph & Russo and among this year’s award winners was Scottish singer-songwriter, Annie Lennox was honoured with the Fashion 4 Development award.
At the 2015 luncheon, guests including Brits Victoria Beckham and Livia Firth, Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani and stylish Americans Diane Kruger and Naomi Campbell — were treated to a runway show by Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei.