By Charlotte Taper
Miss Kabi has the pleasure to receive Rahel Mwitula Williams at the Pop up Beauty on august 12th.
Waiting for that exciting event to come, here are few things you should know about the brand!
Rahel Mwitula Williams and ILAVA
Rahel Mwitula Williams is the woman who founded ILAVA. ILAVA not only sells clothing, but also gives back to the community using the clothing to help do so. ILAVA’s charity projects are focused on helping others. One of the projects “ELIMAA School” helps provide education for children age 4-7. Another project “One Girl One Bike” focuses on providing transportation to girls so they can get to school safely. “The Uniform Project” was inspired by an ELIMAA student requesting uniforms to fit in with the surrounding schools.
Things that have influenced Rahel’s point of view
Rahel says that, “ There are many things that have shaped my life.” She notes that one in particular was a college professor who stated that , “Africans are not philanthropists.” Instead they are “ receiving people”. But, according to Rahel her memories are of seeing her parents go to Western Union every week to send money home to help family members with medical bills, educational bills and others. “ I realized then that we needed to redefine “philanthropist”. I am a young African woman who is a “philanthropist”. She also says that other aspects that have helped influence her are family members. “ Watching my grandmothers, aunties and mother kept me moving forward. They had a dream and I am part of their dream and I have an obligation to fulfill it.”
Inspiration to give back
Rahel wants to inspire young African girls because she was once that girl with a dream to be part of a solution. “Regardless of what life gives you, you can make an impact.” Rahel’s belief of empowering other women certainly shows in everything she has done including the fact that her team consists of all women. ILAVA is firm in it’s mission to help bring people together and give back to the community and help out women entrepreneurs. The companies and organizations Rahel works with have been hand-picked to ensure they have the same values as ILAVA which include commitment to poverty reduction , sustainability, promotion of community development and empowerment of people.
Social responsibility as a basis for ILAVA
It was while in graduate school that Rahel read and researched a lot about corporate social responsibility. She says, “ I was amazed how corporations said they wanted to give back to society,but it seemed only after they had stripped all of the resources”. Rahel refused to believe that this was the only way to do business.“ At that time I wondered if we were crazy to want to change the way business is done.” However, Rahel and her sister wanted to develop a business that had giving back to society and ethical values as its foundation, not as the result of profit. Rahel points out that her university degree has helped her to understand the concept of economic development and sustainability. To empower herself and other women, she surrounds herself with like-minded people (women and men). She is not only a mentor but, also a mentee. This shows that Rahel still allows room for herself to grow and learn. She wants to ensure that there is someone who shares her values who is able to take over this business at anytime. Rahel has a lot of passion for what she is doing. She does feel that it takes time and a lot of hard work noting, “ I set goals and I try to achieve them daily. The process is still tough, but seeing the impact is really rewarding.”ILAVA is proof that fashion can go beyond what you wear to what you do and how you can give back in the process.