Photo Credit Faultless Magazine
Georgie Badiel is an activist, supermodel and former Miss Africa from Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in West Africa. As a young girl, she had to walk for miles to fetch water from the well, carrying the pail of water back on her head. It was very hard for her to focus while going to school due to the never ending thirst and extreme poverty in her country. Despite the odds, she is still very thankful that she continued to pursue her education and eventually started a career in modeling to build a better future for herself.
A 6 year old girl in Burkina Faso walking for hours to fetch water from a well. Photo credit Georgie Badiel Foundation.
She has come a long way to be the successful woman she is today and now she is using her position as a top model in New York City to give back the gift of clean water and sanitation to her country and Africa by founding her very own nonprofit charitable organization – The Georgie Badiel Foundation.
Water is absolutely crucial for the survival of all forms of life, from plants, micro-organisms, insects, animals and us humans. As we know from biology, the adult human body is made up of at least 60% of water and 75-78% in infants. So it’s no surprise that babies and children are the first to die from thirst. In Burkina Faso alone, at least 6,000 children die from dehydration and unclean water. No matter how impoverished and far away these people are, they deserve the access to this very basic necessity to survive.
Other than building wells to provide water and installing water purification systems, the Georgie Badiel Foundation also empowers young children and women to go to school. They plant trees to protect the country from desertification. To curb starvation, they also provide grains for the villagers to plant and also educate them on how to maintain the wells so they will be able to sustain themselves.
Georgie Badiel is also a good friend of mine. Despite her accomplishments and what she has gone through, she is a very humble, soft spoken person with a heart of gold! She among the strong and successful women that I look up to. Beauty definitely shines from determination and compassion. When I heard about her foundation I was more than happy to volunteer for her great cause!
Photo Credits to Georgie Badiel Foundation
The foundation’s summer fundraising fashion event was presented by Major Model Management. It was a glamourous celebration of African culture, fashion, music, cuisine and art. It was hosted by fashion model Madlena Kalinova and Jozef Naggiar to tell the audience more about the foundation and the plight of the people in Burkina Faso and other poor countries in Africa.
The beautiful models from the agency were decked out in stylish African inspired outfits. It was a heartwarming sight to see women of every color wearing the “Gele” also known as the African head wrap in the fashion presentation.
The history of the “Gele” can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians and Nubian empire. Powerful people such as priests, queens and kings used to only wear them. In West Africa today, other than wearing them for protecting their heads from the sun, the people also wear different styles of head wraps for special occasions. A more elaborate headdress is also a symbol of power and status in West Africa. Perhaps another great way to support the artisans who make them in Africa is to incorporate these stunning head wraps into our wardrobes. They definitely make a more exotic fashion statement than a sun hat and you’re also giving back to the world!
Other special guests who are renowned in the fashion industry also showed their support for the foundation. Katia Sherman, the president of Major Model Management and Macdella Cooper, the founder of The Macdella Cooper Foundation which is another charity organization that gives back to Africa by educating and motivating disadvantaged children, youth and women spoke about how we can show compassion and help out people in the poorer regions in Africa. Mariam Fofana who is one of the ambassadors of Burkina Faso was overjoyed to share her experience about how the Georgie Badiel Foundation has helped out so many people in the villages.
Finally, they held an auction to raise money for the foundation by auctioning off some exquisite works of art from some of the popular, up and coming artists in New York City such as Vika Costa Art Work.
It was such an eye-opening and heartbreaking experience to learn more about the poverty and fight for survival for the less fortunate people in other parts of the world. We are very lucky to live in more developed countries where everything is available at our fingertips and we tend to not appreciate what we have. Let’s use our blessings as a way to reach out to these people who deserve a fighting chance to live. With one click of a button thanks to our trusty smart phones and internet, we can make a quick donation, no matter how small. $25 is what we often pay for a decent meal in the city, to them it could mean so much more, and they can live another day.
To learn more about The Georgie Badiel Foundation check it out on the link below
By the way Georgie Badiel, along with Susan Verde also wrote a storybook called The Water Princess, which is based on her struggle for survival in her village and how she pursued her dreams. You can get this inspiring book here www.amazon.com/Water-Princess All proceeds go towards her charity of course.
Remember, Water Comes First. Water is the Gift of Life. Let’s appreciate, save it and share it with the rest of the world!