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‘Give a Girl a Future’: British Asian Trust launches appeal at exclusive fashion event

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‘Rise On The Runway’ features prominent fashion brands Raishma and Lucy Choi London, with acid attack survivors Laxmi and Adele gracing the catwalk.

‘Rise On The Runway’ features prominent fashion brands Raishma and Lucy Choi London, with acid attack survivors Laxmi and Adele gracing the catwalk.

The British Asian Trust, the UK’s leading organisation for British Asian philanthropy, launched it’s first public appeal, Give a Girl a Future at an exclusive pre-London Fashion Week fashion event on Monday 12th September.

In partnership with the GMSP Foundation, organizers hosted a gala evening at the Waldorf Hilton, which was graced by acid attack survivors Laxmi and Adele. The two brave women inspired the room with an appearance on the catwalk, which also saw collections showcased by leading designers Raishma and Lucy Choi London.

During the event, the British Asian Trust, which is also one of The Prince’s charities, launched it’s first appeal video for Give a Girl a Future, featuring chart topping music producer Naughty Boy, British TV stars Anita Rani and Sanjeev Bhaskar, Bollywood icon Anil Kapoor and British actor Ray Panthaki.

British Asian Trust ambassador Laila Rouass, British singer Sonique and ex-West Indian cricketer Carlos Braithwaite also attended.

The funds raised from the event will be donated to the Trust’s Give a Girl a Future appeal, with every £1 donated matched by the UK Government. Matched donations from the UK Government will support girls, women and their families across Pakistan in livelihood projects.

The GMSP foundation, set up by Ramesh and Pratibha Sachdev, invests in immediate needs and long-term mindset change with a focus is women and girls who they believe are the engine of social change.

The Give a Girl a Future campaign is aiming to transform the lives of 100,000 girls, women and their families in South Asia through a campaign that will see the UK Government match all donations by members of the UK public made before 7th December.

In some rural areas, 94 women in every 100 have no work and even those with work, may earn as little as 17p per day. With no skills or hope the brutal reality for thousands of girls born into poverty in South Asia is that they have no real future.

Money from the UK Government will support girls and women in Pakistan to access the skills they need to secure a sustainable livelihood.

Speaking at the event, Richard Hawkes, CEO, British Asian Trust said: “Tonight’s event in partnership with GMSP Foundation is a unique night of fashion and a chance to share the stories of vulnerable women in South Asia.

“Our first public appeal ‘Give a Girl a Future’ aims to transform the lives of girls, women and their families in South Asia and this will be an opportunity to raise funds to support the appeal and unlock the potential of a new generation.”

Donations to the British Asian Trust before 7th December 2016 will support some of the poorest people in South Asia. The UK Government will match all donations up to a maximum of £5 million during the appeal. This match funding will be used to give girls a future in Pakistan by supporting them to get the skills and opportunities they need to secure a sustainable livelihood.

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Bearded woman hits the catwalk

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FASHIONISTA: Harnaam Kaur opened the Marianna Harutunian Royal Fashion Day show last weekend (pic credit: Instagram)

FASHIONISTA: Harnaam Kaur opened the Marianna Harutunian Royal Fashion Day show last weekend (pic credit: Instagram)

Face of fashion empowers all to embrace natural beauty

An anti-bullying activist and body confidence promoter says the ‘jokes are on the bullies’ after living out her dream and modelling on a catwalk last weekend.

Harnaam Kaur, from Slough, has suffered from a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome since she was a young girl, causing her to grow excess facial hair.

After years of attempting to hide the hair in her youth, which involved up to three waxes a week, the 25-year-old now embraces her ‘natural look’ and is a campaigner for others to do the same.

Last week, Harnaam opened for the Marianna Harutunian Royal Fashion Day show, taking to the catwalk in a blue sleeveless dress above the knee, black ankle boots and her traditional Sikh turban.

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS: Harleen suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome which causes excess facial hair growth (pic credit: Instagram)

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS: Harleen suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome which causes excess facial hair growth (pic credit: Instagram)

Writing on Instagram following the show, the inspirational model said it was a day she never thought would happen when growing up.

“I grew up watching America's next top model, and I admired Tyra Banks whole heartedly,” Kaur wrote.

“I always wanted to be like the pretty models, so I remember copying the way they posed and walked. I grew up being told I was to [sic] fat, ugly, and disgusting to even model... I used to look at models and tell myself that I will never ever be able to do what they are doing.

“I am not pretty enough or beautiful enough and I don't have the 'right' body type.”

She continued: “I was laughed at when I said I wanted to model. Jokes on my bullies.

“I was lucky enough to walk for @mariannaharutunian as the first bearded lady to walk for a celebrity jewellery designer.

“I was humbled to be the first model to walk and open the show for #royalfashionday with the portrait of the legendary #davidbowie looking down on me.”

Three months ago, Harnaam joined Tess Holliday’s anti-body shaming team, modelling for Urban Bridesmaid Photography in a number of photos which went viral.

Are you female and hirsute? Well, just follow suit.

EMPOWERING: Harnaam Kaur shared her catwalk story on her Instagram

EMPOWERING: Harnaam Kaur shared her catwalk story on her Instagram

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‘Mr Photogenic’: Birmingham accountant retains prestigious catwalk award

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CHAMP: Zain Hassan was awarded the Mr Photogenic title from the Mr British Empire Awards in August

CHAMP: Zain Hassan was awarded the Mr Photogenic title from the Mr British Empire Awards in August

An aspiring accountant from the West Midlands was celebrating his success on the catwalk earlier this year as he proved brains and beauty can go together.

Zain Hassan, from Birmingham, retained his Mr Photogenic title on 29th August at the annual Mr British Empire Awards.

Originally from Lahore, Pakistan, Zain now resides in the UK and was named Mr Birmingham prior to the competition for the second year in a row.

Competing against representatives from across the country, the 28-year-old also picked up the first runners-up award to the Mr British Empire title, to go alongside his Mr Photogenic accolade.

Speaking about his success, Zain said: “It is obviously a huge confidence boost to win such a prestigious award two years in a row and will be a great addition for my portfolio.

“I have been doing this for around four years now and I really enjoy the competitions and having the chance to model.

“Through the Mr British Empire contest, I have been able to meet some incredible people from across the UK and it is an honour to have succeeded in this prestigious competition.

“The judges were really impressed with my facial hair and I am delighted to have retained my title.”

Following his success, Zain hopes to continue modelling whilst training to be an accountant.

He has already landed spots in upcoming fashion shows and was on the runway within a month of winning his nationwide title.

“I was selected for New Top Model UK 2016 after the event in Watford,” he added.

“I have also been included in the Pakistan Fashion Week in London where I was able to gain even more experience in this field.

“Hopefully I can continue to grow as a model and work it alongside my accountancy role.”

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