15 August 2007
Leading South African fashion designer Gavin Rajah has been appointed a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), joining a host of other international celebrities in a quest to secure children’s rights around the world.
Accepting his latest accolade and responsibilities, Rajah said he had always been a great admirer of Unicef’s work to protect the world’s children, and pledged to donate a percentage of sales of Gavin Rajah clothing and accessories to Unicef towards its child protection programmes in South Africa.
“I believe in the important role that protection and development of children plays in the creation of healthy and prosperous communities, countries and our world,” he said.
“I am proud to have been given the opportunity to help Unicef protect, care for and stamp out the most abhorrent crime of violence against children, particularly those in my own country.”
Rajah is one of the founders of the Cape Town Fashion Week, and his striking designs and glamorous garments have been used by many a Miss South Africa finalist.
He also has the honour of being the only South African designer invited by France’s prestigious Federation Française de la Couture to showcase his collections at the Paris Fashion Week.
Rajah also announced plans to work with Unicef and other partners to establish a sustainable development community-based project that supports families and young people who wish to learn garment manufacturing skills.
This is a crucial industry in the Western Cape, where he operates his design studio and where his world-famous garments are made.
Unicef’s South Africa country representative, Macharia Kamau, said the partnership demonstrated how a socially responsible company can use its creativity and resources to help ensure the well-being of children.
“Through his generous philanthropy and advocacy and his impressive creative achievements as a fashion designer and entrepreneur, Gavin Rajah promotes the rights of women and children to protection from violence, abuse and exploitation, and actively supports the development of critical life skills for young people,” Kamau said.