A very happy 244th birthday to Ludwig van Beethoven!
Peace through Fashion
â€œIn Africa, most of the times design and anything affiliated with sewing is a manâ€™s job, not a womanâ€™s job,â€ Momolu said.
Momolu was born in Liberia and came to the U.S. shortly before the civil war. She said Liberian women and young girls must now fend for themselves.
â€œLiberiaâ€™s just coming off a civil war,â€ Momolu said. â€œSo you have a lot of families who, the head of their family was murdered in the war.â€
Momolu, who was first runner-up on Project Runway Season Five, is working with Amani Liberia to bring African women hope.
â€œIn Amani Liberia, we have found that by educating one woman, youâ€™re educating a family and youâ€™re educating a village,â€ said Stephanie Myers of Amani Liberia.
According to their website, Amani Liberia is a part of Amani ya Juu, which means â€œhigher peaceâ€ in Swahili. Amani ya Juu teaches marginalized women in Africa to learn to sew and provide for themselves.
â€œOften weâ€™ve heard of young Liberian women who are finding themselves only able to turn to prostitution for food, to turn to prostitution for the grades, for their education,â€ Myers said. â€œSo [Amani Liberia is] very different, but itâ€™s saying, â€˜You have another choice.â€™â€
Momolu recently showcased her designs at the Columbus Athletic Club to benefit Amani Liberia.
â€œNow that the war is over, everybodyâ€™s kind of regrouping and coming back to life,â€ Momolu said. â€œThese women have to find a way to, you know, make money for their families.â€
Momolu is returning to Liberia for the first time in more than 20 years to display a 27-dress collection in May to open the Amani Liberia center.
â€œFor me to come in and say, â€˜Iâ€™m a designer, Iâ€™m Liberian, I left the year before the war started but I made it happen and I went through the same thing you went through,â€™â€ Momolu said. â€œâ€˜Iâ€™m doing it and Iâ€™m gonna teach you how to do it.â€™â€
Myers said Amani brings multiple tribes together in the same building.
â€œAmaniâ€™s mission really is to give women hope, to give them peace. They have to work together,â€ Myers said. â€œWe are in this together â€¦ it is peace. It is higher, higher peace.â€