Fashion models from South Sudan have become a dominant voice in advocating for the country. Models Mari Agory, Elizabeth Arjok, Grace Bol, Nyamouch Girwath, Rina Kara, Nykhor Paul, and Mari Malek feature in this series of images shot by Cliff Watts for Malek’s non-profit charity Stand 4 Education.
Malek tells Models.com,
Stand 4 Education is a nonprofit that is dedicated to providing access to education for children and women–globally. Because every child who is in need deserves to have education. We are now focused on South Sudan because I’m from South Sudan and the girls in the images are all from South Sudan. We are all refugees who have risen above many adversities. So it makes sense for us to start with our country. Our country is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world with many issues such as a lack of education, gender inequality, early child marriage, discrimination and war. 80% of our country is unable to read or write. It is the youngest country in the world. We are now 3 years old. We got our independence on July 9th, 2011. 51% of the country are children under the age of 18 so it’s very important we focus on the children because they are the future generation. 64% of our country are women. Ultimately, we want to build quality schools throughout South Sudan. But it doesn’t make sense for us to start building schools when there are schools that need help.