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Gelila Bekele: A model, humanitarian, social activist

Gelila Bekele is a model, humanitarian, and social activist. Most people recognize this Ethiopian beauty from seeing her in popular advertisements for Pantene and Colgate, but many people have no idea that there is much more behind this stunning woman that makes her even more intriguing. Gelila was born in an impoverished country that is ruled by a brutal dictatorship where millions of people don’t have access to the most basic human needs like food and water.

With the success and celebrity afforded to her through her work as a recognizable model, Gelila devotes much of her time to aiding people around the world through her charity involvement with groups that help those living in third world nations attain fundamental natural resources like water. One organization that she is passionate about is simply called: Charity: Water.

Charity: Water is a non-profit organization founded by Scott Harris in New York City in 2006 that brings clean and safe drinking water to impoverished communities in Africa, India, and South America. When asked what inspired her to get involved with the organization she declared, “I have encountered many things and through time I have learned human beings are not programmed to endure a predestined life.”

Through benefits, fund-raisers and events, Charity: Water has attracted the attention of countless people, and celebrities and has raised over $3 million dollars in 18 months and has funded over 600 water projects.

Some of the other charities Gelila is involved with include Kageno, Keep a Child Alive and Darfur Action Network.


5 thoughts on “Gelila Bekele: A model, humanitarian, social activist

  1. Elias can you post this letter please.

    To Honorable Senator Russ Feingold
    United States Senate
    Washington, D.C. 20510
    Dear Senator Feingold,

    Re: Bill 3457 (“Support for Democracy and Human Rights in Ethiopia Act of 2008’’).

    My name is Hagos Araya. I live in Arlington, VA. I am happy to say that I supported and voted for Democrats since I came to the United States and I am currently supporting Senator Barack Obama for his presidency and will absolutely vote him for change. I am also an active participant for one of the grass root organizations Ethiopians for Obama in support of Barack Obama.

    I am very proud to say thank you for introducing the Bill 3457 (“Support for Democracy and Human Rights in Ethiopia Act of 2008’’). And thank you for your long time continuous human rights support for Ethiopia along with many other Senators and citizens of the United States.

    As you aware of, the Bill HR2003 authored by Congressman Donald Payne (Chairman, House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health) passed unanimously in the House of Representatives last October 2, 2007. Since, then I have been very curious to glimpse the next stage of this very important piece of legislation in Senate. And at this critical moment of Ethiopia, it is very pleasant to hear the prologue of the Bill 3457 as Ethiopian-American for me.

    I was also recently read your magnificent and historic speech on foreign policy that you made at Georgetown University on September 15, 2008 with a topic “Promoting Democracy, Development and U.S. Diplomacy: U.S. Interests and Values” I completely agree with the entire facts that you addressed regarding the U.S. bilateral relationship should be strongly committed and restricted with the nations that are very democratic to their own people, so that they can be an asset for the counter terrorism and extremism joint force with the U.S.

    I would not also expect a regime like Ethiopia, who is terrorizing its own citizen, would be an alley to confront terrorism along with the U.S. Particularly, in this world of change and challenge; I strongly believe that the U.S. strong transatlantic alliance based on a legitimate democracy and belief in human freedom, justice, rule of law, limits on the power of the state, freedom of speech, assembly and worship and an enduring conviction that every human being has dignity and worth value is more important than ever before.

    I have always believed that you are a great supporter of human rights and democracy throughout the world. I also know the issues of human rights and democracies are very important to you, particularly Ethiopia. It is with this knowledge that I write this letter to say thank you so much for speaking on behalf of many Ethiopians who have been silenced by the current Ethiopian regime, to the minimum. I am also expecting you will continue to do the best along with many other human rights advocators including myself.

    As you clearly stands for it is very crucial for all of us to help democracy and freedom take root in Ethiopia, a land that has suffered and still currently suffering from famine, political turmoil and poverty for so long. Without democracy and protection for human rights, my ancestral homeland and my family there members do not stand a chance of survival.

    Again Senator Feingold, I thank you deeply for your entire consideration of launching and developing the Bill 3457, and let me know if you rigorously need any other support on my side, since this is a significant issue that I have to contribute my own part using my own potential to make Ethiopia a country with a rule of law is respected above all.


    Hagos Araya

  2. I think she is doing a great job and I just want her to keep it up! I also want to be a model when i get older so I think she is a great role model for teenage girls.

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