Fariba Rahimi, the Iranian born top model turned entrepreneur, has always been deeply committed to humanitarian work. She had dreamed of offering help to people in desperate need since she left her homeland in search of better prospects for herself. As she grew in her modeling and business career and traveled, she saw even more hardships than she had ever imagined, especially on the continent of Africa.
She recently announced that with the help of several collaborators, she will now build a new hospital and school in Africa. Rahimi also went on to encourage others to do the same, considering the vast need for help across the continent of Africa.
In the past, Rahimi has often expressed her deeply felt sorrow about how difficult it is for opportunities to reach some people across the globe. The issues, she has said, are many, and each country faces its own set of challenges. However, for Rahimi, the challenges faced by many regions on the continent of Africa have made her more passionate about making a difference there through her humanitarian work. Fariba Rahimi has particularly focused her humanitarian efforts as a donor to hospital projects on the continent.
The U.N. has actively played a role in many regions on the African continent where natural and man-made disasters have created economic, social, and cultural problems that require humanitarian relief. These emergencies require fast responses to avert deaths from the hunger, displacement, and illnesses they cause.
Rahimi said: “There are many ways in which people can help, even just by sponsoring specific organizations. Among the key entities of the UN working tirelessly in Africa are the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO)”.
Together these organizations try to coordinate their relief efforts where needed most at any given time on the continent. Efforts are concentrated on helping refugees, threats to the survival of children, feeding the hungry, and healing the sick.
Health facilities in most parts of sub-Saharan Africa are difficult to access, with people often needing to travel far, often by foot to access them. These very same facilities are often poorly maintained and have shortages of everything from beds, medical staff to drugs.
Timely emergency care is often non-existent and it is believed that nearly half the deaths on the continent could be prevented if people had access to it. Africa has a high number of road accidents, complications during childbirth, and various illnesses.
According to the UN, approximately 1.6 million died in 2015 from diseases that could have been treated. These diseases include malaria, tuberculosis, and complications arising from HIV. Sadly, according to the WHO, 50% of children who die globally of pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, TB, and HIV are in Africa.
Access to good hospitals and medications is the main cause of death and according to WHO, hospital beds are often shared by three patients and only 2% of drugs in Africa are produced there, making them extremely expensive and inaccessible to patients.
Other challenges in Africa that Rahimi supports are efforts to prevent the economic and social impact of climate change on the continent, the advancement of women, access to drinking water, and educational projects for children in rural areas.
A fragile continent with a lot of potentials is how many people view Africa, and Fariba Rahimi believes that humanitarian efforts combined with educational and financing projects will increase the continent’s ability to overcome the challenges and reach their potentials.
Fariba Rahimi was born in Iran at a time of drastic change. Her dream was to become a model, something that she knew she could never achieve there. She made the difficult decision to leave at 16 and spent a couple of years in Turkey. However, she knew that if she wanted to broaden her modeling horizons she would have to move and chose Norway as her final destination. After a few years of modeling, Fariba moved to the world of business. Today she is the owner of a successful real estate and construction maintenance business and was recently warmly welcomed to the modeling world when she made her comeback as the ‘Face of Versace’.
As a model and businesswoman, Fariba Rahimi, born September 18th, 1979 proves that every beginning offers an uncertain journey and ending. Yet all opportunities need to be used wisely so that they can make a difference to lives. Although she is an ex-Versace model, her focus is certainly not exclusively aimed at the high-life: her humanitarian efforts are all about offering people across Africa opportunities. Access to medical facilities and education allows more people to take their destiny into their own hands to create a continent with opportunities for all.