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HOW CARA DELEVINGNE’S WEEK WITH SOUTH SUDANESE REFUGEE GIRLS “CHANGED HER LIFE”

24-year old English model and actress, Cara Delevingne has a growing reputation for breaking the norm and speaking out in ways you are not typically expected to as a young woman in her profession. One key example was in August 2015, when the uber successful supermodel publicly declared she was done with the fashion modelling world, as she is “a bit of a feminist,” and the physical and mental toll of the job made her “feel sick.”

This was something totally unusual for a model at the very top of her game, but Delevingne did it anyway; the same way she did something not many celebrities would not: Take off to Uganda for a week to spend time with young Ugandan refugees from a totally different world to hers.

EDWARD ECHWALU

EDWARD ECHWALU

“As a champion of Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s campaign to unite and empower girls around the world, I’m proud to raise awareness for their work providing thousands of refugees in Uganda and Ethiopia with access to education—but to see it in action, in the flesh, was moving beyond words,” Delevingne wrote in her exclusive travel diary.

EDWARD ECHWALU

“At Bidibidi refugee settlement, I got to sit with a class of girls who shared their stories of fleeing home in South Sudan and talked openly about what they need to continue attending school. There was one girl, she had this incredible fire, and this very strong voice when she said, “It’s very simple. This is what we need: We need books. We need uniforms.” That’s when it hit me. What they need seems so easy, so small to us, but it’s so important to them. It makes you feel spoiled because all they want is an education, and that’s something so many of us take for granted.”

It wasn’t all empathy and no play, though. The Girl Up and UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) ambassador created her own mannequin challenge video, with the girls!

The model went on to talk about the importance of maintaining and protecting our humanity. “I mentioned a lot of statistics in this diary. 460,000 refugees. That’s a big number, and it’s a weird thing about stats: It can be easy to lose sight of the person behind the number. But the fact is that we’re all human. We’re all the same. Someone in Uganda is the same as your child, or your sister, or your friend, or someone you met last week. Helping a human is helping a human.”

EDWARD ECHWALU

Find out more about Delevingne’s trip to Uganda here.