By James Amoh Junior
AVONSIGE, a Ghanaian fashion brand that fuses locally-woven Kente and smock fabric, as part of its social responsibility is putting smiles on the faces of underprivileged children in the northern part of the country.
Smiles that ignite hope
Hope, our sages of old reckon, is the realisation that one has the power to see beauty and to reach toward it with naked hearts and still be elevated into better ways and anchors one to the chance of a better future.
That is what Ms Ayinemi Avonsige, a 32-year-old fashion designer goes out of her way to achieve. She does that by mostly sticking mostly with vulnerable children and putting smiles on their faces – smiles that ignite their inner joy and give them some glimmer of hope.
She says: “With our love for humanity and compassion for underprivileged children in our society, every official collection produced by AVONSIGE after a yearly run on the fashion stage, is not sold, but recreated into Christmas clothes.”
These clothes, she indicates, are donated to orphans and underprivileged children in selected deprived communities in Ghana through a charity foundation that ensures that these young ones are given a new lease to life with an assurance of being in school comfortably or donning clothes to spice up the Christmas revelry.
“Avonsige Runway for a Cause”
This initiative, “Avonsige Runway for a Cause” is a fashion show started in 2019 for orphans and underprivileged kids to walk the runway stage to display their new clothes from AVONSIGE, as is done on professional stages with a set audience.
The event, scheduled every December 26, is charaterised by eating, drinking, dancing, singing, playing games and other competitions to make the children have a sense of belonging and not neglect.
Aside from that, Ms Avonsige explains that “Team AVONSIGE also solicits funds to buy school uniform materials which we produce and donate to these underprivileged kids in our local communities who cannot afford school uniforms.”
She reiterates: “Our drive for this project is to put to use clothes from our Avant Garde runway show collection by re-creating them into fashionable kids clothing for underprivileged kids in deprived communities.”
She says her team hopes to bring out a sense of belongingness and unearth a great deal of creativity among the youth, orphaned children and the needy in local communities.
Speaking on the purpose of the event and how significant it would be for the school children, Ms Avonsige points out that it seeks to, among other objectives, promote the benefits of creativity and education in the five regions of the north.
“The event also ignites the love for creativity among children and the youth and to foster harmony and togetherness among orphans and the needy, but also to bridge the gap between poverty and education by providing almost everything necessary to enable them study without hindrance,” she explains further.
According to her, the foundation had previously made and presented 60 uniforms to pupils of the Saint Luanga Primary School at Sumbrungu, a suburb of Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, and was looking forward to replicating the gesture in other schools across the region.
A charge to keep
The value of our education and its role in personal development and guiding pupils to accomplish their biggest dreams is significant, and making positive impacts in the lives of innocent children is even more remarkable.
This is a charge AVONSIGE hopes to keep by putting endless smiles on the faces of children who otherwise would be deprived of basic educational needs including uniforms, books and other learning materials.
Schools, Ms Avonsige, says, encourage divergent creativity, unique passions and talents, yet pupils in some of the deprived communities show up in school either in tattered uniforms or none at all; and still have to compete with others in the same examinations at the basic level.
Thus, AVONSIGE in the interim is soliciting funds to purchase enough uniforms for needy kids at the Ataampurum Central Primary School in Sumbrungu and other selected schools in the Upper East Region.
It is expected to make donations of clothes, food items, stationary, toiletries and other basic necessities to Next Generation Orphanage and God’s Love Ministry Orphanage; and present some nose masks to pupils in the collective fight against COVID-19.
Ms Avonsige, therefore, wants other philanthropic organisations to support the “Avonsige Runway for a Cause” initiative to put smiles on the faces of a lot more children in underserved communities.
Face behind AVONSIGE
Ms Ayinemi Avonsige is a 32-year-old fashion designer with an emotional clarity that extends into her art and expresses the Ghanaian culture with colours, patterns, shapes and heights.
She is the Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director of the AVONSIGE brand which started with T-Shirt printing after she graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
These high-end bespoke gowns are infused with the fabrics to give it originality and a sense of uniqueness, even admirable is that she has a sense of how to dress women in the kind of clothes that give them confidence and dresses that sit upon skins as soft petals.
AVONSIGE (meaning destined for greatness) somehow has a dandy blend of styles as she creates clothes with an imagination comparable to Stella McCartney, respected English Fashion Designer.
Giving “Made-In-Ghana” fabrics the chance to make a difference in the world of fashion with an eye for creativity, has been the number one goal of the fashion brand.
The Brand, apart from using the two indigenous southern and northern Ghanaian costumes (Kente and Smock fabrics) to promote the rich Ghanaian culture, also uses other interesting fabrics to create fascinating concepts and bespoke designs for fashion-forwards globally.
“Making of Avant Garde collections has been our primary focus at AVONSIGE as well as releasing ready to wear collections, always launched through fashion shows and profoundly communicative as any other form of art,” she said in an interview the Reporter.
She said, creating white-inspired garments is AVONSIGE’s signature brand, which leaves perpetual smiles on the faces of brides as they walk down the aisle in exceptional elegance.
These smiles, AVONSIGE hopes, will tell the true story of happiness by igniting some spark in the life of vulnerable rural school children in Northern Ghana.