THE Mozambique-born supermodel-turned-humanitarian, Tasha de Vasconcelos, has hit out at the adoption of African children by celebrities like Angelina Jolie (pictured).
By taking children away, Ms De Vasconcelos said, they are "ripping the heart out of Africa".
As she prepares to open a new eye clinic she built in Malawi with her charitable foundation, Amor, Ms 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," Ms De Vasconcelos, whose family fled Mozambique when she was 10, said. "That's how I know you don't take a child out of Africa. If you want to help them, you help them inside their country. You have to become close to the people: 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."
Ms De Vasconcelos, now based in London, launched Amor in 2006. She said: " I have experienced the impact of leaving behind family members and the land we all love. This is why I do not advocate adoption out of Africa to a Hollywood lifestyle as Madonna and Angelina Jolie have done." (© Independent News Service)