SEATTLE — Naomi Campbell is a world-renowned supermodel, actress and philanthropist whose career has spanned over 30 years, with no signs of slowing down. Campbell can still be found on runways at fashion week and in magazine spreads, but what people may not know is that she has also spent many years leading charity work to benefit organizations around the globe.
Naomi Campbell’s notable charity work began in 2005, when she founded the charity We Love Brazil, which sells fabrics made by local women to fight poverty in Brazil. Also in 2005, Campbell founded Fashion for Relief, which raised over $1 million for Hurricane Katrina victims, and has provided millions of dollars for other victims around the world, like those of the Haiti and Japan earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Campbell was also a personal friend of late South African president and activist, Nelson Mandela.
Recent Charity Efforts
Campbell’s charity work in late 2018-2019 has focused on bringing Africa to the forefront of the global fashion scene, and harnessing the talents of its citizens to turn the continent into a global power. As the keynote speaker at the 2019 Forbes Woman Africa Leading Woman Summit, Campbell said, “The African continent is absolutely, one hundred and one percent, the future.”
To that end, Campbell has helped to shine a light on African textiles, fabrics and craftsmanship, explaining that the continent is worthy of more global attention and its own edition of Vogue magazine. After the launch of Vogue Arabia, Campbell said Vogue Africa is the natural next step in expanding the Vogue family, and in influencing global fashion, saying “Africa has never had the opportunity to be out there and their fabrics and their materials and their designs be accepted on the global platform. It shouldn’t be that way.”
Social Media Activism
Naomi Campbell’s charity work has infiltrated her Instagram account and her 6.7 million followers. She started the hashtag #NaomiAfrica to document her travels, highlight the joys of the people she meets and bring attention to important causes. On top of her recent fashion photoshoots in South Africa, Campbell has traveled throughout Africa on behalf of many global organizations.
She is garnering attention on social media in order to help lift the entire continent of Africa out of poverty and support them in growing as a global player in the economy. Campbell recently called for donations to Doctors without Borders and Save the Children for relief from Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia which has affected over 1.5 million people.
She also uses her Instagram to publicize campaigns for Global Citizen, an organization whose goals are to end extreme poverty around the world by hunting down the systemic causes of poverty and ending them, while encouraging sustainable economic growth in impoverished regions. Campbell has brought attention to issues like education, health and poverty all in partnership with Global Citizen, and her posts have garnered over 45,000 likes. All of her posts are accompanied by facts about the ways that lack of education, inadequate access to health care and wealth inequality negatively affect the countries in Africa, and around the world.
Campbell is a supporter of UNAIDS and its fight to end AIDS by 2030. In 2016, she donated $100,000 to be split between British organization Save the Children and UNAIDS. In her speech at World AIDS Day in New York, she promised she would do what she can to help fight and end AIDS. She recently visited Lesotho on behalf of UNAIDS, and posted her trip, tagging UNAIDS on Instagram with the hashtag “NaomiAfrica.”
This year, Campbell has taken to social media more than ever to promote the causes she cares for and is centering the next chapter of her activism around bringing attention and prosperity to all of Africa, the continent she believes is “the future.”
– Ava Gambero