Gambia Consul Agnes Huibonhoa, event co-chair Mervat Ezzat of Egypt, Spouses of the Heads of Mission president Susan Fries of Sweden,Monaco Consul-General Fortune Ledesma, event chair Parvati Muzambar of India
Runway walk for the well-being of children and women
Since February, the Spouses of the Heads of Mission (SHOM) have been holding twice-a-month rehearsals for the charity fashion show set for April 12 at Manila Marriott Hotel.
Eighteen male ambassadors and four female ambassadors (Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Netherlands and Austria), with their respective spouses, will stride down the runway wearing clothes from Rustan’s.
The show, “Circles of Styles,” aims to raise funds for SHOM projects.
“Over the years, SHOM has supported a number of social projects, essentially charities, whose common thread is that they benefit women and children,” SHOM president Susan Fries of Sweden said.
Last year, the group provided funds to seven different charities, including a home for abandoned children in Laguna, a refuge for abused women, and a foundation that does free cleft palate operations.
The Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation looks at a child from birth to age 25 because, as Fries pointed out, a cleft palate is seldom corrected with a single surgery. “Continuous surgeries are required as the child grows,” she said.
This year, SHOM is considering applicants from Negros and Marawi.
Open to all
“We’re open to all applicants who would like to be beneficiaries, but we’re very particular that the NGOs (nongovernment organizations) that apply should be registered with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). We also ask that they propose a specific project, one with a beginning and an end within the calendar year, because our board term is one year,” Fries said.
Depending on the project, the amounts SHOM give range from P100,000-P400,000.
In the meantime, the hardworking bunch is looking forward to the April 12 fundraiser where the participants will have two changes of clothes: dressy casual and Filipiniana or barong Tagalog.
A silent auction will also be held on the night of the show. Fries said it will be a unique auction because some of the items have a connection to the ambassadors.
“The Canadian ambassador was a golf champion in his youth, so he is putting up, as his contribution, the opportunity to play golf with him, followed by a nice Canadian lunch at his residence,” Monaco consul general and event chair Fortune Ledesma said.