Liya Kebede is a supermodel turned philanthropist, who has used her platform to empower women and children in her home country of Ethiopia and beyond. Her journey to philanthropy is rooted in her personal experiences and her commitment to making a difference in the world.
Kebede was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She was discovered by a French modeling scout while attending university in Paris and soon became one of the most sought-after models in the industry. Despite her success, Kebede never forgot her roots and remained committed to giving back to her community.
In 2005, Kebede founded the Liya Kebede Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving maternal and child health in Ethiopia. The foundation focuses on providing access to healthcare services and education to women and children in rural areas. Kebede has also worked closely with the World Health Organization to raise awareness about maternal health issues and has advocated for increased funding for maternal and child health programs.
Kebede has also been an advocate for women’s empowerment, particularly in the fashion industry. She has spoken out against the lack of diversity in the industry and has pushed for greater representation of women of color on the runway and in advertising campaigns. In 2013, she launched her own line of sustainable clothing, called lemlem, which employs women artisans in Ethiopia and provides them with fair wages and training opportunities.
In addition to her philanthropic work, Kebede has also been recognized for her humanitarian efforts. In 2013, she was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health by the World Health Organization. She has also been honored with numerous awards, including the Women Together Award from the United Nations in 2014 and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum in 2018.
Through her work as a model, philanthropist, and advocate, Liya Kebede has made a significant impact in the world. Her commitment to improving maternal and child health in Ethiopia and her dedication to empowering women in the fashion industry have inspired countless others to make a difference in their own communities. Kebede’s journey serves as a reminder of the power of one individual to effect positive change in the world.