TedxAccra 2016 speakers: Meet Lisa Lovatt-Smith #RethinkAccra

TedxAccra 2016 speakers: Meet Lisa Lovatt-Smith #RethinkAccraEnglish, but born in Spain, a winner of the Vogue talent competition at age 18, I spent fifteen years of my life as an editor at Vogue magazine in London, Paris, Madrid and Milan. I then authored 13 interior design and photography books, In 2002 I left behind this glamorous European lifestyle, moved to rural Ghana and opened an NGO, OAfrica dedicated to serving the neediest of Ghana’s children.

My radical decision to start a new life in Ghana stemmed from first-hand observation: child labor, trafficking and abuse were rampant in illegal orphanages and no effort was being made to reunite these children with their extended family. I became a warrior to right this wrong as I believe every child should grow up in a family .My cause has been written about in over 50 publications including Elle, Glamour and Vanity Fair.

I was recognized with the Face Africa Award and Clarins Award in 2012. My memoir “Who Knows Tomorrow” was just published by Harvey Weinstein Books, in the USA, UK, Australia, Spain and France.

Why you should listen
From my personal experience , age 4, of abandonment and then of being a foster child, later successfully re-united with my biological mother, I knew that there had to be a better way and so I sold my house, my company and car, packed up the life I had known and moved to Ghana . I found that the government had only records of 5 registered orphanages in yet there are over 140 functioning orphanages in the country. The problem was much more severe than even the government was aware of.

OAfrica has spearheaded a massive care reform reform project with the Department of Social Welfare and UNICEF to avoid institutional care whenever possible and enhance the capacity of impoverished families and strengthen communities so they are able to care for their children

Quote from Lisa

Ghana has something amazing to export and share with the world: the extended family system is an incredibly resilient safety net for children that has served as a model for my work

More from the speaker
Twitter: oafrica
Website: www.oafrica.org

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