A Fashion Show A World Apart

September 14, 2018  

The fashion show brought community leaders to Kidodo, a neighborhood that doesn’t typically get a lot of attention. There’s no foot traffic; there’s no commerce. There are dusty streets and brick edifices and outhouses. There are children with no shirts carrying their baby brothers on their backs, and there is the Paper Fig Foundation Sew School. On this day, though, a white tent is erected, folding chairs are trucked in, and a sound system is set up. Everyone from the neighborhood feels the sense of excitement, and hope, in the air.

One politician stood up after the fashion show to say a few words, and it showed that the young women had made an impression.

“He said that this was a world class event,” said DeJong, “and there is so much opportunity here for so many more students to join the school and for this to really become a huge event for the entire city, not just their community. So there’s a sense of pride within not just the students and the members of the of the sewing school community, but of the larger community including the politicians and community leaders.”

The politicians have the power to bring needed funding to these areas. But the fashion show, ultimately, is about something deeper than the potential for economic stimulation.

“Just the look in their eyes and the gleam in their eyes, they're just so proud of their work,” said DeJong. “And to have their family and their community watch these girls walk down the runway, just like they would in New York or Paris or Kampala and show off the hard work that they've done over the past six months was something that I don't think they'll ever forget. I know I’ll never forget it.”

Ready to support the annual Kidodo fashion show by donating funds for tent, DJ, photographers, or water bottles?