Africa

Supermodel Alek Wek's emotional homecoming

Updated 9:00 AM ET, Tue September 11, 2012
Share
1 of 8
Sudanese-born supermodel goes back to South Sudan, the country she was forced to flee during the civil war. Getty Images
Young girls are particularly vulnerable. An United Nations Refugee Agency report says a South Sudanese girl is three times more likely to die in childbirth than reach eighth grade. Getty Images
Today, Alek Wek is a world famous supermodel, featured in magazines and on catwalks. Yet in the early 90s, Wek and her family were penniless refugees forced to leave their home. Getty Images
South Sudan celebrated the first anniversary of its independence in July. Getty Images
Alek Wek went back to South Sudan to celebrate the country's first year of independence. B.Sokol/UNHCR
The UNHCR is still operating in South Sudan. Getty Images
"South Sudanese people are rich like the soul of their nation," Wek says. "What they lack in training they make up in sheer willpower." Getty Images
As a member of the South Sudanese diaspora, Alek Wek says she hopes to help rebuild the nation. "Education projects in my hometown of Wau are threatened because the organization can only do so much," she says. Getty Images