Ethiopian supermodel Liya Kebede is a well-respected and top-earning model with a career filled with coveted editorials, multiple magazine covers for the likes of Vogue and Elle and serious beauty contracts including L’oreal and Estee Lauder. She also happens to be a driving force in the efforts to improve living conditions on the continent of Africa.
Liya Kebede is the founder of The Liya Kebede Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization that seeks to make an impact on the fight against poverty beginning with the health and wellbeing of mothers and children. The foundation works to provide healthcare services to mothers (especially for safe childbirth) through the training of health professionals, educating communities and supplying clinics with the proper equipment necessary for good healthcare.
Projects of The Liya Kebede Foundation include the funding and training of clinical staff via the Hawassa Safe Mothering Initiative and the providing of obstetric and neonatal supplies and equipment via the Durame Safe Birth Supplies Project. Campaigns by the organization include the promotion of postpartum care, efforts to save the lives of newborns and the prevention of HIV transmission from mother to child.
The Liya Kebede Foundation partners with a number of organizations including Born Free Africa and Every Woman Every Child and receives support from such organizations as David Yurman and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2010, Liya Kebede is a former World Health Organization (WHO) Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. The longtime advocate of social causes and mother of two is also an actress starring in feature films and jewelry and clothing designer. She helps African communities through the employment of traditional Ethiopian weavers for her fashion brand, Lemlem.