Friday, September 18, 2009

Stroke survivors strut their stuff

The Star News : Friday September 18, 2009

WHO says stroke survivors cannot dress in style?

The Truly Loving Company (TLC) and the National Stroke Association of Malaysia (Nasam) organised a fashion show with a line of clothes tailor-made for stroke survivors by designer Carven Ong recently.

It was held in conjunction with TLC’s second donation of RM10,000 to Nasam.

Good job: The guests cheering on the stroke survivors.

TLC is the first social enterprise, which pledges 100% of its dividends to its charity partners through TLC Charitable Trust held by HSBC (M) Trustees Bhd.

Nasam is one of TLC’s five charity partners entitled to receive the dividends.

As stroke survivors are paralysed on the left or right side of their body, the act of grooming presents an everyday challenge.

To help them overcome this challenge, Ong has designed six outfits for females and four for males incorporating friendly features such as velcro fasteners, extra large press studs and elasticised waistbands for easy dressing and undressing.

Ten stroke survivors took to the catwalk to display Ong’s personalised creations for them. Ong said the line took two months to make.

He said that he had met with the survivors first to get their measurements and understand their conditions.

“The outfits are chosen based on whether they can carry them or not. They must feel comfortable when wearing the outfits.

“For the materials, we used lycra, which is stretchable as well as velcro instead of zip or buttons. The zips are placed on the side of the dresses.

“This is my first time doing this and I feel great because designing is not only for the stage,” he said.

When asked if he was interested in making a whole collection, Ong said if there was an opportunity, he would like to.

However, he would prefer to do it on a personal basis to meet the requirements of the person.
TLC founder and chief executive officer Julia Chong said they were happy to have Nasam work with Ong.

Chong hoped that the fashion show would create greater awareness among designers to make user-friendly clothes for stroke survivors and the disabled.

The event was graced by Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, who pledged RM5,000 to Nasam.

She was happy to see the close co­operation between TLC and Nasam.

“More businesses are seeing corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a key element to the sustainability and well-being of community.

“The ministry has also launched the Prime Minister’s Corporate Social Awards 2007, the highest recognition of private companies making a difference to the community through CSR.

“This year, a new category has been included for Empowering Women,” she said.

Chew said that companies and charities have continued to play important roles to complement the government’s effort in providing care and support.

Also at the event was Nasam patron Toh Puan Dr Aishah Ong, who donated RM5,000 and another RM1,000 for Nasam’s Hari Raya celebration.

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