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British Ambassador to Ethiopia Susanna Moorehead visited Arakele Design College on 15 March to see how one innovative British-Ethiopian partnership is helping create both stunning new fashion and new opportunities for underprivileged women and refugees in Ethiopia.
Arakele is the brainchild of Briton Arabella Stewart and Ethiopian Mikele Goitom. Since 2014, 400 students have graduated from Arakele programmes, which range from short term courses to longer term diplomas. Students and workers come from a variety of backgrounds including women who have returned from domestic work in the Middle East, refugees from neighboring countries and women rescued from abuse and living in safe havens.
This year Arakele is taking its social impact further by providing school uniforms produced by its students, supporting primary school children in need through feeding programs and donating pencil cases, made by a local group of deaf women.
To support this work, Ambassador Moorehead handed over funds raised during a High Fashion and High Tea and networking event at the British Ambassador’s residence last week to celebrate International Women’s Day. The event brought together stylish Ethiopian and British brands, including Zaaf, Sabahar and Pittards, alongside artists and fashion designers.