The Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) is to collaborate with Fashion4Development to raise funds to end HIV and AIDS among adolescents.
Fashion4Development 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, 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 honour 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 Fashion4Development Award, Eco Award, Women’s Champion Award, League of Gentlemen Award, and Medal of Honour.
Addressing the gathering, the President of OAFLA and First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Mrs Lordina Mahama, indicated that adolescents 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.
She said OAFLA recognised that many of its member countries have large populations of young people and, therefore, the year of focus, on this population group, had 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, following 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 Fashion4Development 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.
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, who was honoured with the Fashion4Development 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.