VOICE OF WOMEN FOUNDATION, the former ASTRAIA Foundation, is a non-partisan, non-religious, independent charitable organization founded in 2010 by four visionary and influential female leaders who believe that every child, no matter their gender, deserves the right to education, safety, and health.
The foundation, named after the Greek goddess of justice, was founded in Munich, Germany, and is active in more than 15 countries worldwide. With its extensive network of supporters, Suraya Pakzad, one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in 2009, is the foundation’s leader. A passionate board and reputable ambassadors from all areas of society support Ms. Pakzad, who was forced to leave Afghanistan in 2021 after the takeover of the Taliban regime.
The founder of FA254, advocate for African designers, contributor for Vogue Germany, and model Waridi Schrobsdorff, has been an ambassador and a part of ASTRAIA (Voice of Women) Foundation.
This project creatively gives women a voice. Women’s Vinyl Project is working alongside communities in Kenya with a particular interest in those communities still practicing Female Genital Cutting (FGM).
The Women’s Vinyl Project raises money through vinyl sales, donating them to Zinduka, an organization working in rural communities to help support girls and stop FGM.
In February 2021, Waridi learned about The Women’s Vinyl Project. She was instantly drawn to it and became an ambassador.
What inspired you to become an ambassador for the project?
After Meeting with Ruth, I was very interested to understand her part in the project and what difference she was making in bringing positive changes or encouragement to the young woman of Vinyl. I firmly believe that voices formulated creatively have a strong Statement.
Defining the movement with singing is artistic and inspiring because singing is the language with one voice. They ultimately use the voice to motivate younger women and girls to raise their voices.
What’s your philosophy in life?
A quote from Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
What do you love most about Kenya?
Nairobi, for me, is the New York of Africa, Kenya being Modern yet still wild at heart.
Will you be singing for the Vinyl?
I am not a singer, but then again… Nothing is impossible.
The fourth edition of the competition was held by FA254 with the support of the German International Cooperation (GIZ), with the aim of discovering and promoting the best Ethiopian designers for a better sustainable future. FA254 hosted an international training and conference for the selected finalists in Addis Ababa. The best designers were invited to attend Berlin Fashion Week in July 2018 where they presented their collections at Greenshowroom to international buyers.
Ethical Fashion Online
Local Addis Ababa Newspaper.