If being a fashion model and holding an executive position in a charitable organization seems controversial or even contradictory to some, I will argue quite the contrary.
Evidences indeed are plenty; from Petra Nemcova to Selita Ebanks, many used their platform as fashion icons to give back. Models Care – African Education Initiative broadens the scope of fashion models taking action. Indeed, famous or not (yet!) all can get involved in philanthropic projects: by merely volunteering, spreading the word or by serving as board member.
The fashion industry – from modeling agencies to designers – is a wonderful space to leverage relief projects. Of course this is not exhaustive; caring for others and giving are qualities that go well beyond boundaries set by industries or professions. Model or not, every one has the power to help and create meaningful change in underprivileged communities.
Now, getting to the substance: what charitable projects do Models Care – African Education Initiative do, and how do we do it?
Good intentions are not enough, expertise and dialog are key.
We keep these values at the heart of the two current programs we manage: sponsoring an orphanage in Togo and building additional classrooms in a school in Ghana (both projects are at initial stages).
(1) Thirty-one children in an orphanage in Togo have been rescued from child labor or abandonment. They are longing to end the insecurity of a life deprived of sufficient food, healthcare and every basic requirements of a normal childhood.
Providing food, medical care, education, shelter, and hygienic material costs less than $2 per child per day (visit our website to see our budget in details). Focusing on orphans is paramount as they are most vulnerable. In 2006, according to UNICEF, 48 million children were orphans, while in 2010, this number reached 53 million, or 1 out of 8 children in sub-Saharan Africa.
Breaking the cycle of deprivation will enable children to set their sights higher and lead the development of their whole country. In particular, education yields the highest rate of return than any other investment in the developing world as every additional year spent in school increases a child’s potential income by other 10%.
However, in order to make the best use of their education, children need to be in good health, well nourished and safe, which is why we approach care in a holistic manner. But we need your help to achieve this goal!
(2) In a