We’re grateful to UNFPA Ghana for finding us and changing our lives – Fashion Expressions beneficiaries

Kelly Adjetey Boye
Kelly Adjetey Boye
8 Min Read

Some beneficiaries under the ‘Fashion Expressions: The Stories She Wears’ project have expressed their gratitude to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Ghana for locating them in their various vulnerable communities and giving them a platform to transform their lives.

UNFPA Ghana paid a field visit to some selected fashion brands on Tuesday July 25, 2023 to enable them have first hand information on how the beneficiaries of the project, which is in collaboration the PRADA Group, are faring.

The visit was led by the Deputy Representative and Officer In Charge of UNFPA Ghana, Dr. Emily Naphambo and Programme Specialist and Gender Team Lead, Dr. Doris Mawuse Aglobitse.

In a heartwarming testament to the life-changing impact of the UNFPA-PRADA Fashion Expressions initiative, young Irene Ziddah Asiome from Mafi-Kumase in the Volta Region shared her inspiring journey of transformation.

Like many others facing financial hurdles, Irene completed her Junior High School education in 2021 without any means of continuing her studies. However, an encounter with UNFPA Ghana marked the beginning of a remarkable journey that would not only equip her with sewing skills but also empower her as a woman with newfound dreams and aspirations.

“I completed JHS in 2021 and had no support to go to school and I met my Assemblyman who helped met get into the UNFPA-PRADA Fashion Expressions group. This really changed my life. At first, I didn’t know how to sew and I knew nothing about fashion but now I can sew on my own. I am also now empowered as lady. I want to stand on my own as a woman one day and I want to own a big fashion home,” she told the media.

Irene’s story reflects the profound impact of collaborative efforts between UNFPA Ghana and PRADA, as they join forces to uplift the lives of Ghana’s youth.

She thanked UNFPA Ghana and the other partners backing the initiative for their continued support.

“I just want to say thank you and I’m grateful for what UNFPA, International Needs and PRADA are doing in our lives,” she said.

Similarly, Pamela Afatsawo, once a vulnerable street girl facing a future marred by uncertainty, shared her powerful journey of transformation with the life-altering intervention of UNFPA Ghana.

After experiencing the heartbreaking loss of her mother after secondary school, Pamela’s dreams of pursuing a university education seemed distant, as there was no one to sponsor her education. However, fate took a compassionate turn when UNFPA Ghana reached out to her, providing her with a newfound sense of purpose and empowerment.

With an opportunity that changed her life, Pamela was selected to join the UNFPA Ghana’s program in Adidome, embarking on a transformative six-month journey that would shape her destiny.

The program offered comprehensive fashion training, equipping Pamela with essential skills that would serve as the foundation of her newfound career path. Beyond fashion, UNFPA Ghana’s dedication to the holistic development of the youth proved instrumental in Pamela’s empowerment.

“I was a street girl when UNFPA found me because I lost my mom after secondary school and I didn’t get the chance to go to the university because there was nobody to sponsor my education. There was an interview at the UNFPA office and luckily I was selected to first join the program at Adidome for 6 months and now we’re here doing our job industrial attachment at Osu. Aside from the fashion training, UNFPA teaches us how to take care of our reproductive health and other important things so as of now I am empowered, I can stand on my own. I will become established very soon. I want to be the voice that will be heard speaking on behalf of girls facing challenges and finding it difficult finding their future careers and I believe that this industrial attachment opportunity will not go to waste,” Pamela said.

For Alice Tamakloe , a young girl being raised by a single parent, she found hope and support through the Fashion Expressions project.

According to her, the project has given her the opportunity to learn valuable skills in fashion design and entrepreneurship, as well as providing financial assistance to ease the burden on her mother.

“I am being raised by a single parent and life out there is very difficult. I have benefitted a lot from the UNFPA PRADA project. I have learnt a lot of things like how to be a fashion designer and a fashion entrepreneur, how handle customers and how to own my own fashion brand as well. They have also been supportive financial to the extent that my mother does not feel so burdened anymore”,

Founder and Brand Manager of ‘Poqua Poqu’, Mrs. Pokua Poku Mouhtiseb expressed her excitement with having the opportunity to train young women in the fashion industry.

For Pokua, the decision to join the initiative was an easy one. Motivated by her passion for making a positive impact, she leaped at the opportunity to be part of this life-changing endeavor.

“UNFPA contacted us and we felt it was a good initiative, so we went right ahead. The whole idea of having the opportunity to train women from underprivileged spaces is something I stand for so every opportunity I get to make an impact I take it. We are in our second month and they are doing amazingly well. They’re very happy and excited and they want to learn. Whatever challenges they’re facing, they’re willing to go through it so helps us work together. The UNFPA-PRADA project has been good so far so we would love to take on more girls the next time the program reaches out to us”, she said with unwavering enthusiasm.

The women enrolled in the program are not only thriving but are also filled with joy and excitement as they embrace the knowledge and skills being imparted to them. Their unwavering determination and eagerness to learn, despite the challenges they may face, impressed Pokua Poku and her team.

Through the fusion of fashion and empowerment, the UNFPA Ghana-PRADA Fashion Expressions initiative not only nurtures budding talents but also ignites dreams and aspirations, transforming young lives and shaping a brighter future for Ghana and its dynamic youth population.

Story by: Kelly Adjetey Boye | univers.ug.edu.gh

Share this Article
Leave a comment