Mozambique-born model Tasha da Vasconcelos has hit out at the adoption of African children by celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie, saying that by taking children away, they are “ripping the heart out of Africa.”
As she prepares to open the doors to a new eye clinic she built in Malawi with her charitable foundation, Amor, De Vasconcelos also criticised wealthy foreigners for “throwing money” at Africa rather than getting involved on the ground and working directly with the systems in place there.
“There is something inside me that cries every day for not being in the place where I was born,” she told the Independent.
She added that if anyone wants to help them, they should help them inside their country.
One has to become close to the people on the ground: the ministers, the chief of the village, the people who are running the projects on the ground, and that means being hands-on. It is not enough just to send cheques, she said.
She said that as a refugee she had experienced the impact of leaving behind cousins, family members, grandparents and, most of all, the land she loved.
“This is why I do not advocate adoption out of Africa to a Hollywood lifestyle, as Madonna and Angelina Jolie have done,” she added.
Following a recent visit to Africa, the 46-year-old supermodel was made honorary consul for the G8 to “bridge” the gap between Europe and Africa.