TEDxAccra speaker profile – Lisa Lovatt-Smith

English, 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 a 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”

About TEDxAccra

TEDxAccra is annual event, where thinkers and doers of our community are gathered to create and share ideas. This year’s TEDx will come off from April 19 to 23, 2016.

The event seeks to develop and leverage the TED experience at a community level, bring together innovative thinkers to connect and discuss great ideas.

At TEDxAccra, participants will take part in a TED-like experience that will ultimately equip and inspire them into boundless possibilities.

The concept is to reflect ideas and inspire thinking of a new generation of African thinkers and leaders, presenting to an audience committed to engaging and reengaging in an active and meaningful manner with the continent.

Source: TEDxAccra

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