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Successful Refugees and Immigrants Leading the Way, Part 19 of a Multi-part Series: Supermodel Adut Akech

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Today, we are going to introduce to you a beautiful South Sudanese-Australian supermodel, Adut Akech, who was born in what is now South Sudan, grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya, and immigrated with her family to Australia when she was eight years old. Now, Ms. Akech, only 22 years old, is a well-known fashion model worldwide. As a prominent member of the fashion world who cares for others, Adut has participated in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)’s #EveryoneCounts social media campaign to support refugees worldwide. Her refugee background has made her achievements incredible and inspiring.

Hunger and fear were the norm in the camp. However, those years also taught her the power of gratitude and developed her inner strength. In Adelaide, thanks to the Australian government, Ms. Akech had the opportunity to receive an education. She said, “I was this tall, super-shy, awkward kid. I had a weird name, and a gap tooth.” She told Allure magazine that one day, the mindset of “I don’t care” entered into her mind, and “I told myself I was beautiful.”

Ms. Akech started her professional modeling career at the age of 15. In December 2018, Adut Akech was named Model of the Year by those in the fashion industry. Ms. Akech was honored the following year with the Model of the Year title from the British Fashion Council.

Growing up in a refugee camp, Adut has accomplished remarkable success in five years. Within that timeframe, she has made an impact in the modeling industry by speaking out for refugees and against racism. “I want to help people to understand that refugees are normal people, just like everybody else,” she said during a British Vogue cover shoot in New York, USA, in 2019. “You know I come from nothing. I'm a refugee, and I'm very proud of that. That's just… it's a part of my story. That's who I am, and it's something that I'll never ever be ashamed of.” She said to i-D magazine, “I don’t want to be known as just a model - I want to be remembered as someone who did something, someone who made a big impact.”
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