A group of passionate advocates trading under the name Fashion For Change Global, are set to make an impact in the area of afforestration. Driven by their passion for fashion, the youthful group is using that bait to woo fellow youths to participate in various enviroment conservation initiatives across the country. Our reporter BRIAN ITAI caught with the campaign manager Ausa Tinyade Kamanga.
What is your name and what position do you hold at Fashion for Change Global?
I am Ausa Tinyade Kamanga and I am the campaign manager for the movement.
When you say Fashion For Change Global, what ideologies do you represent?
We are young advocates in Malawi who are passionate about arts and bringing about change in our world today through fashion, music and art in general. As art enthusiasts we work on concepts to campaign for any environmental issues while advocating for a cause. In the just ended year we worked on an afforestation campaign under the theme Sustain Green, Plant For The Future.
What are the objectives of the movement?
Our main objective is to raise funds, involve individuals and corporates to participate when we are planting trees and making donations as part of our corporate social responsibility. We want to reach our goal of planting one million trees or even exceed that number and make sure that all catchment areas are covered.
What are the notable initiatives that you undertake under this umbrella movement?
Strictly we focus on afforestation with a serious underlying theme of fashion. We want to hit our target first, the one I have highlighted earlier. Maybe that’s when we will shift our focus to other issues to do with the environment as well.
As youths, where do you derive the inspiration to be driving such an agenda?
We want to create a better environment for the next generation. We realise that if we don’t do it now, no one is going to do it. We are considering the so many things that have been affected because we do not have enough vegetative cover starting from the agriculture sector to technology.
Do you have any known partners that you work with in your programming?
Our headline partners in our sustain green campaign are TNM plc, Cori Limited, Biz Malawi, Bio Oil, HD Plus, Blithe Construction, Five79, Liquid Visuals, Platinum Photography and Focus Pixel.
How do you factor in fashion in your programmes?
Our aim is to promote local designs. Fashion is one thing that interests the youth and we want to make sure that they are participating in our campaigns. As they are participating they will be listening to our ideas and we will be persuading them to take part in the initiative as volunteers.
How would you rate the success of your interventions?
Honestly I would put it at three out of 10 at the moment. Our awareness has been a success. We managed to get 2 000 seedlings from the first event of tree planting at Chilaweni in Machinjiri. We have also managed to reach out to a number of companies and we are still waiting to get feedback from some of them.
What are your immediate future plans and goals as a movement?
We want to push and get as many corporates as possible on board to make them part of our campaign. We want to have the highest tree survival rate wherever we plant seedlings. Lastly we also want to ensure a considerable participation of communities to attain an element of ownership in our initiatives.
For how long has Fashion for Change Global been in existence?
We have been around for over a year now.