Hope is the Light

October 15, 2018  

As the production agency for New York Fashion Week, the event with the largest economic impact in New York City, LDJ Productions knows how to put on a show. But the tight-knit staff pours its loving attention into Bela Musana, the event to benefit the Paper Fig Foundation. From the fabulous venue to the cocktails to the entertainment, Bela Musana will be a night to remember.

But the purpose is what must not be forgotten. “Bela Musana” means “Be the Light”, and Paper Fig Founder Laurie DeJong sees the light of hope in some of the most overlooked places.

“When I think about the programs we have the people that we work with, there’s a real sense of hope,” she said.

As the CEO of LDJ, DeJong knows a lot about business, fashion, and American culture. She notes that the term “hope” isn’t one that tends to be lauded in American business.

“But here,” she said as she sat on a hillside in rural Uganda, “hope is so much deeper than optimism. It’s like it cuts through everything: your whole self is hope.”

The work of the Paper Fig Foundation is to Be the Light, and to inspire others to Be the Light as well. As we help the Sew School, the Health Center, the Paper Fig Fellows, and our other initiatives grow, the hope grows too.

“With some support from us, they are moving the needle every day,” said DeJong. “It’s because of their deep sense of hope.”