The most inspiring piece of advice I've gotten is simply to persevere. My mom taught me to always keep going no matter what from an early age. When it feels too difficult to push forward, I always remind myself, 'This too shall pass,' and then I redouble my efforts.
It's not just Ethiopia, but Africa in general - most of the media concentrates on what's not going well. But there is so much beauty there. When you go, it changes everything. It changes you, your life, and the way you see things. The challenge is changing the image of Africa that's been anchored in people for years now.
One thing modeling taught me is that the spotlight can change everything.
If nothing else, I want women to understand that they are powerful. If you look back at history, in almost every big moment, in every leap forward, you find ordinary women at the core. We have more ability to make changes in the world than we can imagine if we have the courage to try.
When our mothers are alive and healthy, they do extraordinary things... like the mothers of Plaza de Mayo, who marched in Argentinean plazas, defying the military junta dictatorship and demanding the whereabouts of their abducted children... or the Liberian mothers who faced down civil war armed only with T-shirts and courage.
For my diet, I choose mostly organic. But in general, I am a big believer in trying to strike a balance with everything.
I don't listen to people who say my dreams are impossible: I just work to prove them wrong.
Investing in women's lives is an investment in sustainable development, in human rights, in future generations - and consequently in our own long-term national interests.
In 1967, the world health community launched a global effort to eradicate smallpox. It took a coordinated, worldwide effort, required the commitment of every government, and cost $130 million dollars. By 1977, smallpox had disappeared.
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