Two months into the global lockdown, founder of AiSPi – Aisha Saraf Kothari – was brainstorming ways to help the local fashion community of Europe get through the lull in business that was prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea of a digital trunk show was not new – especially for AiSPi, which has travelled the globe with it’s limited edition trunk shows – but Aisha was looking for ways she could create a positive impact beyond the fashion industry and across the world. With the help of the AISPI team – which was, in true AiSPi style, scattered across the globe but working relentlessly to help make the dream come true – Aisha conceptualised the ‘AiSPi Virtual Vacation’.
Armed with a roster of some of the most talented designers of Europe and a simple purpose to enable it’s trusted clientele access to fashion while helping the global community at large persevere through the pandemic, AiSPi partnered with two charities – Jan Sahas (New Delhi, India) and Le Refuge (Paris, France) – to extend support to these organisations who are doing significant work in empowering women and children through their programs targeted towards the areas of women’s education, sexual abuse and COVID-19. All profits generated from the fundraiser were donated to these organisations so that they could continue their work and positively impact as many lives as possible in these unprecedented times.
Formed in the year 2000, Jan Sahas is a community and survivor centric not-for-profit organisation. Jan Sahas works with an aim to eliminate sexual violence and forced labour with a focus on the most excluded social groups through a comprehensive approach of- Prevention, Response, Rehabilitation and Systemic Reform. Jan Sahas believes that an issue as complex as sexual violence, can be tackled effectively only if these approaches are addressed simultaneously. Hence, keeping our approach at the core of our work, we have developed strategies of tackling sexual violence through- legal and social support, Land and property rights, Skill development and livelihood promotion, Mental health, and Early Childhood Care and Education. The organization is working in multiple states across India and carries out concentrated capacity building and advocacy efforts with the state and civil society organisations, thus having a national and regional footprint.
Watch our Instagram Live with Jan Sahas here.
Established in 2003 by actress Muriel Robins, Le Refuge is a public utility, working towards prevention of isolation and suicide of LGBTQ youth who are aged between eighteen to twenty five years of age and victims of transphobia and homophobia. The three primary areas of intervention for Le Refuge include support and accommodation, a twenty four hour emergency helpline and inculcating awareness among members of the community.
Le Refuge operates in the metropolitan cities of France as well as overseas, offering accommodation to young people in distress via relay apartments. Volunteers of Le Refuge work towards offering support through psychological support, weekly meetings with social workers and participation in various professional and personal development workshops.
Read more about Le Refuge and their ongoing efforts to support LGBTQ youth here and watch our Instagram Live with the organization here.
– Written by Soha Joshi
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