The Dress Made With Love: See Aly’s Runway Dress Made in Congo by the Women of City of Joy & Please Donate Today to Help Those Impacted by Decades of Sexual Violence

Help Us Raise Money for Women in Need

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet for tomorrow’s (Oct 25th) giveback and glam event, Fashion Meets Passion, get your tickets here. And please donate to the City of Joy today. We need to raise a minimum of $1000, and we have a long way to go to reach our goal tomorrow of helping female victims of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Would you please consider donating to this incredible cause? Every penny counts. 

Alyson Howard Hoag of Authentic Beauty walks the runway at Best Self's Fashion Meet Passion runway show to raise funds for the City of Joy in Africa to put an end to violence against women and girls.

City of Joy: Turning Women’s Pain Into Power

For over three decades, women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been subjected to horrific violence including  sexual violence, rape and sexual slavery.  According to Relief Web, the decades-long strife in the DRC “has been marked by almost unimaginable atrocities. Most horrifically, sexual assault has become a major part of the violence with rape being so systematic and brutal that doctors in the DRC are now classifying wounds inflicted by rapists as combat injuries.” In addition, “up to one in three Congolese women living in conflict affected areas have been raped.”

In a part of the world pockmarked by darkness and often referred to as “the worst place in the world to be a woman,” a beam of light shone through when an organization and center called the City of Joy was created to help these women heal and reclaim their power. Conceived, owned, and run by local Congolese and founded by Congolese doctor, Dr. Denis Mukwege, (2016 Nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize), playwright and activist, V (formerly Eve Ensler), and a charismatic Congolese human rights activist, Christine Schuler Deschryver, the City of Joy first opened its doors in June 2011 and ever since they have helped thousands of women heal from their past trauma through therapy and life skills programming while providing them with the essential ingredients needed to move forward in life – love and community.

Aly’s Dress: Made with Love by Women from the Democratic Republic of Congo 

“At the fashion show tomorrow, I wanted to wear something that put DRC and the City of Joy on everyone’s radars because the ongoing violence is devastating yet these women have been globally forgotten,” said Alyson Howard-Hoag, CEO & Founder of Authentic Beauty & Genuist Beauty. She also wanted a dress that was made with love, through thoughtful workmanship and local fabrics so that the entire outfit was in alignment with her goal to raise money for this important cause. “As women, we need to stand up for each other, to lift each other up,  and cheer each other on around the world,” she added. 

Aly worked with Christine Schuler Deschryver, V-Day Congo and City of Joy Director, to find the right fabric and colors for her runway dress and then the women of City of Joy in Africa made the dress for Aly. “It is such an incredible honor to wear a dress made by these incredible women,” Aly said, “ and my favorite feature of the dress is that it has birds on it that to me symbolize the freedom these survivors now experience at City of Joy,” she said. 

Donate to the City of Joy & Join us Tomorrow!

Want to do your part to help these women and girls heal through their trauma? Please join us at this incredible event tomorrow, October 25th,  from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Stave Room and support Aly as she walks the runway in her gorgeous Congolese dress to raise funds for City of Joy. Every penny is needed to help these girls and women turn their Pain into Power. 

Authentic Beauty attends Fashion Meets Passion in Atlanta

Get your tickets for Best Self’s Fashion Meets Passion here. Attendees of this fun evening will also enjoy a champagne toast, hors d’oeuvres, a wellness & beauty expo, and the Over 40 & Fabulous Alumni Fashion Show featuring Aly. Even better? You will be helping others in our community and around the world! 

Whether you can come or not, would you also please consider donating to this incredible cause! The women and girls of the City of Joy need our help more than ever.  

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