Downtown business community comes together to raise money for Lambadina Foundation
In Menlo, November 28, 2016
The business community of downtown Menlo Park will come together on Sunday, December 4, in support of Showa Sahle (pictured), owner of La Migliore Aveda Salon on Santa Cruz Avenue, and her non-profit, Lambadina Foundation.
A number of Menlo Park fashion and design stores will host the 2016 Designer Showcase featuring a holiday Fashion Show & Fair at the Stephen Miller Gallery on Santa Cruz Avenue. Doors open for the Fair at 4:00 pm, and the Show starts at 6:00 pm. Seating is limited, tickets cost $30, and can be purchased in advance online. All ticket proceeds go directly towards the Foundation, along with 20% of sales from the Fashion Show & Fair.
“Lambadina” means light, and the Foundation’s mission is to bring light to victims of human trafficking. It was formed by Showa in response to the horrific situation of human trafficking in the North African country of Eritrea, her country of origin. In recent years, this tiny country has wracked up the world’s worst per capita record of human trafficking.
This is one of a string of similar events that Showa has held each year to raise funds to help her countrymen, but this year is special. She is announcing the official formation of her Foundation and its immediate objective to raise $50,000 to build a shelter for displaced Eritrean women wandering the streets of nearby Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “We have called it our Brick-by-Brick campaign,” she explained. “A donation of $25 will purchase a brick to help build this shelter, and we need a total of 2,000 bricks.”
Displaying their work at the Fashion Show & Fair are Graciana, Blue Illusion, Jarbo, Kicks, Ela Lingerie, Gitane, Pieces of Lisa Jewelry, Trebella Jewels, Flegels, and La Migliore Aveda Salon.
Refreshments will be served to those attending, compliments of local restaurants who support Lambadina’s cause, led by Carpaccio, whose part-owner, Ciya Martorana, plays an active role in the Lambadina Foundation.
Falilah Aisha Bilal, a community leader from San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking, will be addressing the audience at the start of the Fashion Show. Her work is centered in healing practices, empowering women and girls, youth development, and innovative thought and transformative movement.
“I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to those who are supporting me in this endeavor,” said Showa. “This is a labor of love for my beautiful country of Eritrea, which had one of the most creative communities in the world, until the lights of freedom were dimmed. We want Lambadina to play its part in helping to light those lights again,” she said.
Helping in the fight against human trafficking
by Jane Knoerle / Almanac, January 15, 2015
Showa Sahle recently gave a party at La Migliore, her hair salon at 644 Santa Cruz Ave in Menlo Park. Clients, neighbors and “friends of friends” enjoyed music, goodies and wine, with proceeds benefiting Lambadina Foundation, founded to fight human trafficking.
Human trafficking is something Ms. Sahle knows about first hand. A native of Eritrea, she has lost three of her cousins, ages 17, 20 and 22, there. All were abducted and eventually shot, despite the family paying out thousands of dollars in ransom.
“It’s all over Africa,” said Ms. Sahle of human trafficking, “especially Eritrea and Ethiopia. The forces behind it are so powerful, it’s going to take a long time to stop it.”
This is the third year Ms. Sahle has raised funds for the foundation. Her yearly event featured scarves donated by Dolma, the shop next door to La Migliore, and jewelry, including a bracelet designed by Ms. Sahle. She and her husband, Abraham, also send computers and school clothes to aid Eritrean children.
“I used to go back a lot to see my mom, but she’s here now, living with my sister,” says Ms. Sahle.
Showa Sahle has lived in the Bay Area for 26 years. “I first came here on my honeymoon. I was 17 and had a cousin at Stanford,” It was love at first sight.
From a highly educated family (“My grandfather said I would make a good lawyer”), Ms. Sahle chose a career in the world of fashion and hair design, working in San Francisco and traveling to Europe and London.
Today Ms. Sahle is an avid Menlo Park booster and business owner. She has two hair salons: La Migliore and Piccola Bella (at 1143 Crane St.).
“It’s all about community,” she says. “I’ve made a lot of great friends in Menlo Park. I love it here.”