Daina Heaton - Fabric of Life

*Fabric of Life* Founder and Executive Director Daina Leigh, Director Silas Balabyekkubo, Mentor Charity Priscilla, Mentor Kebirungi Nina, and Leader Emilly Donia of the M-LISADA Foundation – Fabric of Life: My True Story Beyond Fashion

Fabric of Life (FOL) co-creates community fashion “maker-spaces” that nurture indigenous talent, catalyse fashion enterprises, and unlock community potential in East Africa. Africa has its own story to tell, and FOL has used its grassroots educational fashion platform to bring together a dynamic collective of organisations to help young people tell that story in a more personal and inspirational way.

Hip-Hop youth movement the Bavubuka Foundation, Kampala-based orphanage the M-LISADA Foundation, Ugandan fashion houses Ji-ai Fashion and Free Spirit Fashion, along with global change-making organisation In Place of War come together in a collaboration that has drawn on the dedication, hearts, and talents of all those involved. The initiative has already seen success; so far it has trained 15 young people with fashion and design skills, secured opportunity to open two permanent community fashion maker-spaces in Kampala, Uganda, and secured opportunity to collaborate with the awareness-raising fashion show “Beauty Beyond Skin Colour” in Tanzania – an event that, when launched, will both break misconceptions of persons living with Albinism, whilst also giving a global platform to East African fashion designers.

In the next 12 months, Fabric of Life’s “My True Story-Beyond Fashion Programme”, will give 50 street children, orphans, and refugee youth the chance to access fashion equipment, education, training, networks, and opportunities in Kampala. In addition, the young people involved will participate in the “In Place of War – Creative and Social Entrepreneurship Programme”, and access a range of citizenship education activities, guided by global movement ‘Fashion Revolution’ and their ‘Who Made Your Clothes’ campaign. As a result of this collective effort, international organisational collaboration will be strengthened, and marginalised youth in Uganda will get to tell a more inspiring story about Africa and the bright futures they all envision.