Families in Khasi culture are matrilineal. Children take their mother's…
are aware of the rest of the world.” —Liya Kebede
Ethiopian supermodel Liya Kebede, is—deep breath—a 37-year-old actress, a philanthropist, the designer of the fair-trade clothing line Lemlem, and mother to Suhul, 14, and Raee, nine.
On motherhood: “I want my children to have passions and be compassionate. Having them inspired me to fight for better care for all mothers.”
Her cause: The Liya Kebede Foundation aims to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in Africa by providing equipment and training for safe deliveries.
“We [Western women] are concerned with how to be the perfect mom. Moms in other parts of the world worry if they will even make it through their pregnancy.
Where I grew up, mothers were dying from infection, hemorrhages, no ambulances.
In 2011 we started a maternity center [in Hawassa, Ethiopia].
Since then, we’ve had over 7,000 safe births.
We haven’t lost one mom.” —Liya Kebede
Kebede, a former World Health Organization ambassador for maternal and child health, started the Liya Kebede Foundation to support maternal health care throughout Ethiopia, and the results are impressive: In one health center she supports, hospital deliveries increased more than 50 percent in one year, proving that if resources are available, women will use them.
Thanks to Glamour for this inspiring story.
Check out this month’s feature of 7 moms who are making the world a better place for all of us.