- In the 1990s Ethiopian Anna Getaneh was a supermodel
- A trip to a refugee camp on the border of Ethiopia and Kenya in 1995 changed her life
- She has set up a charity that supports an Ethiopian school and clinic
(CNN) — In the 1990s Ethiopian supermodel Anna Getaneh walked the runways of Paris and Milan. These days she is putting her flair for fashion to good use, helping deprived children in rural areas of her home country.
“I was working in an industry where I felt that there were very few Africans that were represented,” says Getaneh, who modeled for Yves Saint Laurent, among others.
“Africa’s presence was sort of very vague or reduced to being different,” she adds.
In 1995 Getaneh visited a refugee camp on the border of Ethiopia and Kenya with Pharmacists Without Borders. She returned to New York “moved” and inspired to make a difference.
“My life I think completely changed from then onwards,” Getaneh recalls.
After the trip Getaneh set up ECF — the Ethiopian Children’s Fund. “It became pretty much the number one focus in my life until I had my own children,” she says.
ECF has set up a school, health clinic, feeding program, and environmental programs for 600 poor and vulnerable children around Aleltu, 55 kilometers north of Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.
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Watch the CNN video on Anna’s dual efforts in the fashion and charity sphere…
Images via CNN, Fashion Model Directory