The fair and the NGO unite to promote the rights of girls in Sierra Leone

VBBFW and Save the Children will mobilise the bridal fashion industry to stop child marriage

Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, the world’s leading event in its field, and Save the Children, the NGO that has been defending the rights of children for a hundred years, are launching a partnership to transform the lives of thousands of young and teenage girls in Sierra Leone by supporting the project The right to be a girl to end forced child marriage. Different initiatives will take place to inform and raise awareness among the professionals of the bridal industry, providing them with the chance to actively support the project.

One girl under fifteen gets married every seven seconds. This situation entails a number of consequences that are difficult to overcome: girls leave school, they no longer receive an education and they are more exposed to situations of domestic violence, abuse and rape.

This partnership is aligned with VBBFW’s commitment to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, placing particular emphasis on Goal 5 – “To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” – and the protection of diversity, integration and inclusion, as embodied in its manifesto “For a different world”, together with its undertaking to celebrate an edition committed to people and their environment.

“Child marriage sets in motion a cycle of marginalisation that denies girls their most basic rights, such as education and freedom itself”, states Andrés Conde, director of Save the Children Spain. “We are excited with the commitment from the Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week to end child marriage, an issue that affects 12 million girls around the world every year”, adds Conde.

The challenge for this collaboration is to raise €100,000 joining the efforts of the whole industry. These funds will be invested by the NGO in its programme The right to be a girl in Sierra Leone to help more than 1,000 girls to continue their education and decide their own future. Save the Children works closely within the community and with institutions to strengthen the role of girls as agents of change.

According to Estermaria Laruccia, director of VBBFW: “With this partnership, which we’re particularly proud of, VBBFW will become the platform through which Save the Children and the bridal fashion industry can contribute to promote equality and the rights of girls, adolescents and young women. It’s a unique form of partnership that’s fully aligned with our brand values, linking them to a cause that involves us directly”.

Events and initiatives during VBBFW
All the players from the bridal fashion industry, including business people, designers, buyers, models, partners and collaborators, will have the opportunity to join this campaign by spreading the message via their social media or taking part in the different initiatives to take place within the framework of the trade fair. One of these will be a charity gala to be attended by professionals from the industry, Barcelona society, and media.

Another initiative will be geared towards Wedding Planners, who will propose specific campaigns to turn the voluntary cooperation with Save the Children into a wedding gift, enhancing the power of dissemination of values and contents of marriage.

About Save the Children
Save the Children is the leading independent organisation that defends children’s rights around the world. It has been striving for over 100 years to ensure that all boys and girls can survive and learn and enjoy protection. The organisation currently operates in more than 120 countries.
In Spain it has been working for more than 20 years on programmes to assist the most vulnerable boys and girls, focusing on children at risk of poverty or social exclusion. By means of its programmes it provides comprehensive care for boys and girls and their families to ensure the economic situation or social exclusion they live under does not prevent them from enjoying their rights to the fullest and achieving all their potential.

About VBBFW
Organised by Fira de Barcelona, it will celebrate its 30th anniversary between 20th and 26th April 2020 at the Plaza de España fairground with large companies and young designers from all over the world among the exhibitors. In addition to the fashion show, which will see the participation of more than 35 brands, VBBFW 2020 will feature more than 450 companies, 74% international from 34 countries.
The catwalk will host the fashion shows during the first days of the event, and from 24th to 26th the trade fair that will connect exhibitors with buyers will be held, promoting business and networking on the international stage.

February 2020, Barcelona

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