Helena Christensen Meets Refugee Models

UNHCR High Profile Supporter Helena Christensen travelled with UNHCR to Rwanda to meet Burundian refugees and learn more about one of the world’s most underfunded refugee crises. There she met refugees Leatitia, Elvira, Innocent and Giselle – all models with Top Family Models, an agency they have collectively set up from Mahama refugee camp. Many of them took part in Kigali Fashion week earlier in 2018, and are excited for their futures.

There are over 380,000 Burundian refugees now living in neighboring countries including Rwanda. These refugees, mostly women and children, have fled horrific violence and persecution in Burundi. Rwanda has been hosting thousands of refugees for decades. The Government of Rwanda has generously maintained open borders and refugees in Rwanda have access to the right to work as well as being progressively integrated into host communities, national health and education systems and provided with identification documents. But international funding for UNHCR’s work with Burundian refugees is currently only at 28% overall of what is needed – with only 9 per cent funding in Rwanda.