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100 Women: Gelila Bekele Is the Ethiopian Activist Building Solutions to Help Her Community Thrive

The Ethiopian model and activist wants to make sure that "Africa isn't a dumping ground for foreign aid"—here's how she's doing it.

Gelila Bekele, is an Ethiopian model, activist, filmmaker and self-proclaimed "village girl" who is fiercely advocating for the people of her community.

Bekele is dedicated to fostering growth and long-term sustainability in Ethiopia's rural areas—places where she proudly calls home. For her, it's all about supporting her local community and addressing the barriers that young people face to receiving education, clean water and more. "It all starts from your home," says Bekele."

When it comes to seeing her community thrive, Bekele believes that It's all about intention and follow through. One of her primary goals is to "make sure Africa isn't a dumping ground for foreign aid, and really making sure that we are apart of the conversation in every level."


She emphasizes the need for Africans to be in control of our own destinies—this message is wholly reflected in the work she does.

Learn more about Bekele and her work as a community builder in the video below.

This article appears as part of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2018—a project highlighting the impactful work done by African women across the globe. Throughout March, we will be publishing a series of profiles, videos, interviews and feature stories on these inspirational women. Click here to see the entire list of 2018 honorees.

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